Please see the latest instruction always in the documentation of our SDK for ctrlXAUTOMATION



This guide shows how to use the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) as an development environment to develop ctrlX AUTOMATION Apps. It allows you to use Visual Studio Code for Windows as your IDE and to compile your program in the WSL running on Windows. This setup gives you a seamless development environment for Linux applications from within you Windows environment. This guide is based on Microsoft WSL1.

For more information about WSL see:

  • You need to have admin rights on your Windows system to be able to install WSL.
  • Windows 10 with latest updates.
Install WSL

Enable Admin access and run PowerShell with Administrator privileges.

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux

Follow the instructions and reboot. For troubleshooting see the official Microsoft documentation:

Install Distribution (Ubuntu 18.04)

Download your desired Distribution (Ubuntu 18.04 recommended) from and install the archive by executing it from the windows host.

Wait for the application to install.

Setup Corporate Proxy (Optional)

If you are in a corporate environment which uses a http-Proxy, then you may want to set the proxy configuration to be able to download software from within your distribution. For this you want to run a proxy on your Windows environment and redirect the distribution to this proxy running on localhost. If you are directly connected to a router or the Internet, then this step can be skipped. A recommended proxy program to be used on your Windows host system is

To set the environment variable in the WSL distribution use:

sudo nano /etc/environment

Add the following variables:


You need to set this configuration also for wget.

sudo nano /etc/wgetrc

Search for the http proxy settings and make sure you configure:

https_proxy =
http_proxy =
use_proxy = on

Note: It could be necessary to add an firewall exception on your host system for the px-proxy!

Setup Packages in the WSL

You might want to update your distribution and install essential packages for development.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install ssh zip unzip git curl cifs-utils apt-transport-https ca-certificates openssh-client

The following packages are needed for software development of ctrlX AUTOMATION apps.

sudo apt install crossbuild-essential-arm64 cmake snapcraft gcc gdb
Dependencies for Crossbuild (Multiarch)

Multiarch lets you install library packages from multiple architectures on the same machine. This is useful in various ways, but the most common is installing 64 and 32-bit software on the same machine and having dependencies correctly resolved automatically. In our way we use multiple architectures. In general you can have libraries of more than one architecture installed together and applications from one architecture or another installed as alternatives. Additional information can be found here Multiarch.

Be sure that apt can connect to the Internet.

Run the commands below as root user:

sudo dpkg --add-architecture arm64
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=arm64] bionic main restricted universe" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/multiarch-libs.list'
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=arm64] bionic-updates main restricted universe" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/multiarch-libs.list'
sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get update

After apt-get update you might get some warnings like: Failed to fetch To avoid it add the vendor with the host architecture [arch=i386,amd64] to your sources list /etc/apt/sources.list.

For example: deb [arch=i386,amd64] bionic main restricted

Now it is possible to download packages for other architectures. For building the examples you need to install additional libraries

sudo apt-get install libsystemd-dev:arm64
sudo apt-get install libsystemd-dev:amd64
sudo apt-get install libssl-dev:amd64
sudo apt-get install libssl-dev:arm64
Install Visual Studio Code

Install Visual Studio Code on your windows environment as described here:

Setup WSL Remote Compilation

In order to be able to develop in Windows, but to compile in the WSL you need to install an additional extension as described here:

Install the following extension locally in VS Code:

In order to compile all examples of the SDK you will need to install additional extensions on the remote backend. This can be done easily from within VS Code as soon as you open a project. In the extension windows you can press install in WSL.


Make sure to have at least the following extensions installed.



Install the SDK

Copy the complete contents of this SDK into your WSL system. It is recommended to copy the SDK to the home directory of your user.

Open a Project
Open from the WSL terminal

Opening a folder inside the Windows Subsystem for Linux in VS Code is very similar to opening up a Windows folder from the command prompt or PowerShell.

  1. Open a WSL terminal window (using the start menu item or by typing wsl from a command prompt / PowerShell).
  2. Navigate to a folder you'd like to open in VS Code (including, but not limited to, Windows file system mounts like /mnt/c)
  3. Type code . in the terminal. When doing this for the first time, you should see VS Code fetching components needed to run in WSL. This should only take a short while, and is only needed once.
Open VS Code
  1. Start VS Code.
  2. Press F1, select Remote-WSL: New Window for the default distro or Remote-WSL: New Window using distro for a specific distro.
  3. Use the File menu to open your folder.
PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission denied when calling snapcraft

When calling snapcraft in WSL1, there might occur errors regarding file permissions. This happens, when snapcraft is called from a directory which is mounted from the windows host file system (e.g. mnt/c/). This is a known problem with the WSL1 files system implementation and will probably be fixed with Microsoft WSL2. Meanwhile, the only solution is to call snapcraft from a subdirectory within your home directory. Therefore your might want to copy the sdk to your home directory and compile the projects from there.

mkdir -p ~/ctrlx_sdk && cp -r /mnt/c/path/to/sdk ~/ctrlx_sdk