Build AirSim on Linux#

The current recommended and tested environment is Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Theoretically, you can build on other distros as well, but we haven't tested it.

We've two options - you can either build inside docker containers or your host machine.


Please see instructions here

Host machine#

Pre-build Setup#

Build Unreal Engine#

  • Make sure you are registered with Epic Games. This is required to get source code access for Unreal Engine.

  • Clone Unreal in your favorite folder and build it (this may take a while!). Note: We only support Unreal >= 4.27 at present. We recommend using 4.27.

# go to the folder where you clone GitHub projects
git clone -b 4.27
cd UnrealEngine

Build AirSim#

  • Clone AirSim and build it:
# go to the folder where you clone GitHub projects
git clone
cd AirSim

By default AirSim uses clang 8 to build for compatibility with UE 4.27. The setup script will install the right version of cmake, llvm, and eigen.

# use ./ --debug to build in debug mode

Build Unreal Environment#

Finally, you will need an Unreal project that hosts the environment for your vehicles. AirSim comes with a built-in "Blocks Environment" which you can use, or you can create your own. Please see setting up Unreal Environment if you'd like to setup your own environment.

How to Use AirSim#

Once AirSim is setup:

  • Go to UnrealEngine installation folder and start Unreal by running ./Engine/Binaries/Linux/UE4Editor.
  • When Unreal Engine prompts for opening or creating project, select Browse and choose AirSim/Unreal/Environments/Blocks (or your custom Unreal project).
  • Alternatively, the project file can be passed as a commandline argument. For Blocks: ./Engine/Binaries/Linux/UE4Editor <AirSim_path>/Unreal/Environments/Blocks/Blocks.uproject
  • If you get prompts to convert project, look for More Options or Convert-In-Place option. If you get prompted to build, choose Yes. If you get prompted to disable AirSim plugin, choose No.
  • After Unreal Editor loads, press Play button.

See Using APIs and settings.json for various options available for AirSim usage.


Go to 'Edit->Editor Preferences', in the 'Search' box type 'CPU' and ensure that the 'Use Less CPU when in Background' is unchecked.

[Optional] Setup Remote Control (Multirotor Only)#

A remote control is required if you want to fly manually. See the remote control setup for more details.

Alternatively, you can use APIs for programmatic control or use the so-called Computer Vision mode to move around using the keyboard.