These instructions assume the software will run on a Raspberry Pi computer in conjunction with OctoPrint. It is recommended that a Raspberry Pi 2, 3, or 4 computer be used as the host machine (see the FAQ for other machines).
Obtain a Klipper Configuration File¶
Most Klipper settings are determined by a "printer configuration file" that will be stored on the Raspberry Pi. An appropriate configuration file can often be found by looking in the Klipper config directory for a file starting with a "printer-" prefix that corresponds to the target printer. The Klipper configuration file contains technical information about the printer that will be needed during the installation.
If there isn't an appropriate printer configuration file in the Klipper config directory then try searching the printer manufacturer's website to see if they have an appropriate Klipper configuration file.
If no configuration file for the printer can be found, but the type of printer control board is known, then look for an appropriate config file starting with a "generic-" prefix. These example printer board files should allow one to successfully complete the initial installation, but will require some customization to obtain full printer functionality.
It is also possible to define a new printer configuration from scratch. However, this requires significant technical knowledge about the printer and its electronics. It is recommended that most users start with an appropriate configuration file. If creating a new custom printer configuration file, then start with the closest example config file and use the Klipper config reference for further information.
Prepping an OS image¶
Start by installing OctoPi on the Raspberry Pi computer. Use OctoPi v0.17.0 or later - see the OctoPi releases for release information. One should verify that OctoPi boots and that the OctoPrint web server works. After connecting to the OctoPrint web page, follow the prompt to upgrade OctoPrint to v1.4.2 or later.
After installing OctoPi and upgrading OctoPrint, it will be necessary to ssh into the target machine to run a handful of system commands. If using a Linux or MacOS desktop, then the "ssh" software should already be installed on the desktop. There are free ssh clients available for other desktops (eg, PuTTY). Use the ssh utility to connect to the Raspberry Pi (ssh pi@octopi -- password is "raspberry") and run the following commands:
git clone https://github.com/Klipper3d/klipper ./klipper/scripts/install-octopi.sh
The above will download Klipper, install some system dependencies, setup Klipper to run at system startup, and start the Klipper host software. It will require an internet connection and it may take a few minutes to complete.
Building and flashing the micro-controller¶
To compile the micro-controller code, start by running these commands on the Raspberry Pi:
cd ~/klipper/ make menuconfig
The comments at the top of the printer configuration file should describe the settings that need to be set during "make menuconfig". Open the file in a web browser or text editor and look for these instructions near the top of the file. Once the appropriate "menuconfig" settings have been configured, press "Q" to exit, and then "Y" to save. Then run:
If the comments at the top of the printer configuration file describe custom steps for "flashing" the final image to the printer control board then follow those steps and then proceed to configuring OctoPrint.
Otherwise, the following steps are often used to "flash" the printer control board. First, it is necessary to determine the serial port connected to the micro-controller. Run the following:
It should report something similar to the following:
It's common for each printer to have its own unique serial port name. This unique name will be used when flashing the micro-controller. It's possible there may be multiple lines in the above output - if so, choose the line corresponding to the micro-controller (see the FAQ for more information).
For common micro-controllers, the code can be flashed with something similar to:
sudo service klipper stop make flash FLASH_DEVICE=/dev/serial/by-id/usb-1a86_USB2.0-Serial-if00-port0 sudo service klipper start
Be sure to update the FLASH_DEVICE with the printer's unique serial port name.
When flashing for the first time, make sure that OctoPrint is not connected directly to the printer (from the OctoPrint web page, under the "Connection" section, click "Disconnect").
Configuring OctoPrint to use Klipper¶
The OctoPrint web server needs to be configured to communicate with the Klipper host software. Using a web browser, login to the OctoPrint web page and then configure the following items:
Navigate to the Settings tab (the wrench icon at the top of the page). Under "Serial Connection" in "Additional serial ports" add "/tmp/printer". Then click "Save".
Enter the Settings tab again and under "Serial Connection" change the "Serial Port" setting to "/tmp/printer".
In the Settings tab, navigate to the "Behavior" sub-tab and select the "Cancel any ongoing prints but stay connected to the printer" option. Click "Save".
From the main page, under the "Connection" section (at the top left of the page) make sure the "Serial Port" is set to "/tmp/printer" and click "Connect". (If "/tmp/printer" is not an available selection then try reloading the page.)
Once connected, navigate to the "Terminal" tab and type "status" (without the quotes) into the command entry box and click "Send". The terminal window will likely report there is an error opening the config file - that means OctoPrint is successfully communicating with Klipper. Proceed to the next section.
The next step is to copy the printer configuration file to the Raspberry Pi.
Arguably the easiest way to set the Klipper configuration file is to use a desktop editor that supports editing files over the "scp" and/or "sftp" protocols. There are freely available tools that support this (eg, Notepad++, WinSCP, and Cyberduck). Load the printer config file in the editor and then save it as a file named "printer.cfg" in the home directory of the pi user (ie, /home/pi/printer.cfg).
Alternatively, one can also copy and edit the file directly on the Raspberry Pi via ssh. That may look something like the following (be sure to update the command to use the appropriate printer config filename):
cp ~/klipper/config/example-cartesian.cfg ~/printer.cfg nano ~/printer.cfg
It's common for each printer to have its own unique name for the micro-controller. The name may change after flashing Klipper, so rerun these steps again even if they were already done when flashing. Run:
It should report something similar to the following:
Then update the config file with the unique name. For example, update
[mcu] section to look something similar to:
[mcu] serial: /dev/serial/by-id/usb-1a86_USB2.0-Serial-if00-port0
After creating and editing the file it will be necessary to issue a "restart" command in the OctoPrint web terminal to load the config. A "status" command will report the printer is ready if the Klipper config file is successfully read and the micro-controller is successfully found and configured.
When customizing the printer config file, it is not uncommon for Klipper to report a configuration error. If an error occurs, make any necessary corrections to the printer config file and issue "restart" until "status" reports the printer is ready.
Klipper reports error messages via the OctoPrint terminal tab. The "status" command can be used to re-report error messages. The default Klipper startup script also places a log in /tmp/klippy.log which provides more detailed information.
After Klipper reports that the printer is ready, proceed to the config check document to perform some basic checks on the definitions in the config file. See the main documentation reference for other information.