Quick and easier way to load CNCjs

(Tom Cole) #1

Over on the MPCNC forum, Jeffeb3 has made a Rasbian image for Raspberry Pi that already contains Octopi and Cncjs. The link below will point you to everything you need. It also has a link to a “How To” by Daniel Dunn that has a simple step-by-step to loading only Cncjs…but Jeffeb3’s image is super simple.


I am using Jeffeb3’s image to run both my 3d printer(Octopi) AND my MPCNC(Cncjs) at the same time from one Pi Zero W. I am running my Shapeoko on a separate Pi Zero W that only has Cncjs.

I’m sharing this because the instructions (that I could find) that otherwise exist to load Cncjs are not easy to follow, especially if you aren’t familiar with the unix command line.

(Tom Cole) #2

I need to update this to say that the Pi Zero is really insufficient to run this. I’ve encountered issues that I have narrowed down to the Pi Zero. A Pi3 B+ does an excellent job and can also allow you utilize a ShuttleXpress as a jogging pendent. CNCjs has built-in support for this.

(Tom Cole) #3

I am presently working on running the ShuttleXpress directly from the Raspberry pi. The goal is to have an old PC monitor plugged into the pi, a bluetooth keyboard with trackpad connected to the pi, and the shuttle express plugged into a usb port on the pi. Big issue #1 is the lack of linux drivers for the ShuttleXpress. Right now, you can only use the Shuttlexpress on a Windows or Mac machine that accesses the pi via a web browser over wifi. A solution MAY be to load windows onto the pi and run the CNCjs desktop app for Windows. Anyone with ideas, please chime in!

(Neil Ferreri) #4

Windows IOT Core, the version you’d load on a raspberry pi, is pretty specific in is use cases. I don’t know that you’ll get CNCjs or the shuttlExpress to work on it. Why not try a cheap windows tablet in place of the pi?

(Tom Cole) #5

After a heap of searching, I found this forum post and after further searching, found the code mentioned in that post on github since it is no longer available on freecode (now freshmeat).
I have verified that the shuttlexpress is recognized by the pi, so it is a matter of implementing those install instructions. The instructions are for linux, which is the basis of Raspbian sooo…fingers crossed.
Since I do my CAD/CAM on a Windows PC I am working on setting up a shared network drive that will auto mount on the pi. Already have that working on another pi that is my plex server so copy, paste, done.
I could go with a windows tablet, but I had a spare monitor that let me use the HDMI port on the pi. I also have a compact bluetooth keyboard with touchpad. If I can make the ShuttleXpress work, it will (almost) be like having a desktop computer dedicated to my Shapeoko made from spare stuff I already had. Plus, the journey!

(Tom Cole) #6

Here’s an update on this.
The Raspberry Pi really lacks the balls necessary to run CNCjs directly on the same Pi where it is served if you want to use the ShuttleXpress.
What works best for me is running the CNCjs server on the Raspberry Pi and accessing it via Google Chrome on my laptop with the ShuttleXpress plugged into the laptop. I cannot get the ShuttleXpress to work if using Firefox, my preferred browser.

Also, and more importantly, Someone seems to have picked up the baton on github with respect to CNCjs.
There are pre-compiled versions for Windows, Linux, and a ready to deploy image for a Raspberry Pi.