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Greenpower Software

This provides some basic information on software that can be used for Greenpower and specifically the GpSpeed controller.

There are a large number of software packages available that can be used for Greenpower engineering work. Many of these are available in free Open Source forms. Most of Rotary Racers software development and experimentation work has been performed using free Open Source software running under the free Open Source Linux operating system.

Software on Fedora 23 Linux

Using Linux for engineering work is best. Linux provides an free Open Source operating system with thousands of useful programs and complete software development environments. Linux can be installed in a separate disk partion to Microsoft Windows as long as you have enough disk space for this (at least 30 GBytes). The Fedora Linux installer can shrink Microsoft Windows partions and create the new Linux ones for use.

Linux can be used to do almost all of the things people do with Microsoft Windows apart from some comercial 3D CAD packages and some comercial 3D games.

Fedora 23 Linux provides software in a unified software package system based on RPM packages. Various network servers provide these packages in repositories. There is thus a unified and simple way to install software under Linux from these trusted repositories without having to download code from various websites. There are GUI tools such as apper and command line tools such as dnf to install and manage these software packages.

To simplify the installation of these tools further Beam provides a special repository that contains known useful additional Greenpower software packages and a master “beam-suite-greenpower” package that installs a reasonable complete set of these. The software packages that are useful include:

GpSpeed Work


This package pulls in all of the packages listed below


Linux command line PicAxe “compilers” and programming tools


The Python programming environment


Python serial port access library


Python wxWidgets GUI library


Python graph drawing library


Python graph drawing using wxWidgets library


Scientific Python algorithms etc


GUI IDE (Integrated development environment)


GUI IDE (Integrated development environment)

We have packaged up the command line Linux Picaxe "compilers" and downloaders into the picaxe RPM package. This inclues the necessary Linux system config files so that the USB AXE027 picaxe serial download lead can be used. Information on this in: PicaxeUnderLinux.html

General Work


Web based VWT (Virtual wind tunnel)


3D data viewer. Suitable for viewing streamlines etc from VWT processing runs

Libreoffice Calc

Spreadsheet system like Microsoft Excel


Graph plotting and analysis program


2D CAD package


3D CAD package. This is a bit young but can create 3D designs for VWT usage

To install all of these packages on a Fedora 23 Linux system run these command line command as the root used in a suitable terminal window:

  1. dnf install -y

  2. dnf install beam-suite-greenpower

Install Fedora 23 Linux onto a Laptop/PC

  1. Install the KDE SPIN of Fedora 23 from:

  2. Instructions at:

  3. Install the greenpower utilities as above and any other software you would like.

If you want a fuller set of packages including video and audio players, Google chrome etc the RPM fusion repository can be added and numerous packages installed.

Software on Microsoft Windows

If you are stuck with Microsoft Windows the following programs and libraries can be installed. Unfortunately Microsoft Windows doesn't have a proper package management system. So you will have to mannually download bits and hope the versions are compatible etc.

This is not complete and hasn't been tested as I don't use Microsoft Windows.

Install Python 2.7.x for 64bit systems  Windows x86-64 MSI installer or Windows x86 MSI installer for 32bit systems
Install the 3.0.x version, 32bit or 64bit version for Python 2.7
This may be present in the Python package

This needs more work and testing.

Software on Raspberry PI

A number of the above utilities are available for the Linux system running on various Raspberry PI systems.


Developing the Programs