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Core Flight System - BUNDLE

The Core Flight System (cFS) is a generic flight software architecture framework used on flagship spacecraft, human spacecraft, cubesats, and Raspberry Pi. This repository is a bundle of submodules that make up the cFS framework. Note the "lab" apps are intended as examples only, and enable this bundle to build, execute, receive commands, and send telemetry. This is not a flight distribution, which is typically made up of the cFE, OSAL, PSP, and a selection of flight apps that correspond to specific mission requirements.

This bundle has not been fully verified as an operational system, and is provided as a starting point vs an end product. Testing of this bundle consists of building, executing, sending setup commands and verifying receipt of telemetry. Unit testing is also run, but extensive analysis is not performed. All verification and validation per mission requirements is the responsibility of the mission (although attempts are made in the cFS Framework to provide a testing framework to facilitate the process).

The cFS Framework is a core subset of cFS. There are additional OSALs, PSPs, and tools as listed below available from a variety of sources.

References Documentation

Release Notes

See releases for release history and associated artifacts related to the cFS BUNDLE.


  • Released under Apache 2.0
  • Includes cFE 6.7.0 (cFE, PSP, framework apps, and framework tools as marked) and OSAL 5.0.0


Other elements listed below are released under a variety of licenses as detailed in their respective repositories.

Known issues

Historical version description documents contain references to internal repositories and sourceforge, which is no longer in use. Not all markdown documents have been updated for GitHub.

See related repositories for current open issues.

Major future work

Caelum (aka 7.0) Major release development plans (Targeting end of 2020 for release candidate)

  • Certification framework with automated build verification tests of framework requirements
    • Executable on real/emulated/simulated/ or dockerized targets
    • Add PSP coverage testing framework (nasa/psp#184, nasa/psp#174)
    • Add PSP and cFE functional testing framework for APIs (nasa/cfe#779)
    • Scrub OSAL coverage and functional tests
    • Scrub cFE coverage tests
    • Add cFE API functional tests
    • NOTE: Command verification pending tool open source release
  • Documentation (updated traceability, APIs/ICDs, general update)
  • Framework for mission customization of core services
    • Header customization support (nasa/cFE#726)
  • Remove deprecated code
  • Cmd/Tlm structure scrub for alignment/padding/consistency
  • Library query and reporting and ES resource management (nasa/cFE#28, nasa/cFE#797)

Other (may not make 7.0)

  • Open source automated build verification execution framework for emulated targets (likely docker based)
  • Deployment quality of life improvements (configuration, transition to CMake source selection vs compiler directives)
  • Update OS support (VxWorks 7, RTEMS 5)
  • Time services refactor
  • Symmetric multi-processing APIs
  • Electronic Data Sheet integration option and improvements to packet layouts for portability/consistency
  • Toolchain updates

Getting Help


You can start a new discussion for discussions, questions, or ideas, in the cFS repository under the Discussions tab.

Join the mailing list

To subscribe to our mailing list, send an email to [email protected] with the word subscribe in the subject line.

The cfs-community mailing list includes cFS users and developers. The cFS Product Team also uses the mailing list to share information on current and future releases, bug findings and fixes, enhancement requests, community meetings, etc.

If you'd like to unsubscribe, send an email with the word unsubscribe to [email protected]. Mailing list requests are typically processed within 5 minutes.

Contact the cFS Product Team

You can email the cFS Product Team at [email protected] to explore partnerships and other arrangements for in-depth support.


Ensure the following software are installed: Make, CMake, GCC, and Git. To setup the cFS BUNDLE directly from the latest set of interoperable repositories:

git clone
cd cFS
git submodule init
git submodule update

Copy in the default makefile and definitions:

cp cfe/cmake/Makefile.sample Makefile
cp -r cfe/cmake/sample_defs sample_defs

Build and Run

The cFS Framework including sample applications will build and run on the pc-linux platform support package (should run on most Linux distributions), via the steps described in Quick-start is below:

To prep, compile, and run on the host (from cFS directory above) as a normal user (best effort message queue depth and task priorities):

make SIMULATION=native prep
make install
cd build/exe/cpu1/

Should see startup messages, and CFE_ES_Main entering OPERATIONAL state. Note the code must be executed from the build/exe/cpu1 directory to find the startup script and shared objects.

Note: The steps above are for a debug, permissive mode build and includes deprecated elements. For a release build, recommendation is make BUILDTYPE=release OMIT_DEPRECATED=true prep. Unit tests can be added with ENABLE_UNIT_TESTS=true, run with make test, and coverage reported with make lcov.

Send commands, receive telemetry

The cFS-GroundSystem tool can be used to send commands and receive telemetry. For details on using and setting up the Ground System, see the Guide-GroundSystem. Note it depends on PyQt5 and PyZMQ:

  1. Install PyQt5 and PyZMQ on your system. Some systems may also require installing libcanberra-gtk-module.

  2. Compile cmdUtil and start the ground system executable

    cd tools/cFS-GroundSystem/Subsystems/cmdUtil
    cd ../..
  3. Select "Start Command System"

  4. Select "Enable Tlm"

  5. Enter IP address of system executing cFS, if running locally

Should see telemetry, can send noops and see command counters increment.

Compatible list of cFS apps

The following applications have been tested against this release:

  • TBD

Other cFS related elements/tools/apps/distributions

The following list is user submitted, and not CCB controlled. They are released by various organizations, under various licenses.

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