Apache PLC4X

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  1. 4442cc3 Merge branch 'develop' of https://gitbox.apache.org/repos/asf/plc4x into feature/plc4c by Christofer Dutz · 2 days ago develop feature/plc4c
  2. 24f9505 - Got a first working version of the dataIo generation working in C by Christofer Dutz · 5 days ago
  3. 659d6b8 Merge pull request #184 from hutcheb/Modbus/UpdateDocumentation by Christofer Dutz · 5 days ago
  4. d762953 - Added code to reset id counters to Ads and AbEth protocols by Christofer Dutz · 6 days ago
  5. d105ce4 Merge branch 'develop' of https://gitbox.apache.org/repos/asf/plc4x into feature/plc4c by Christofer Dutz · 6 days ago

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Table of contents

About Apache PLC4X

Apache PLC4X is an effort to create a set of libraries for communicating with industrial grade programmable logic controllers (PLCs) in a uniform way. We are planning on shipping libraries for usage in:

  1. Java
  2. C/C++ (not ready for usage)
  3. C# (.Net) (not ready for usage)
  4. Python (not ready for usage)

PLC4X also integrates with other Apache projects, such as:

Getting started

Depending on the programming language, the usage will differ, therefore please go to the Getting Started on the PLC4X website to look up the language of choice.


See the PLC4J user guide on the website to start using PLC4X in your Java application: https://plc4x.apache.org/users/plc4j/gettingstarted.html



Currently the project is configured to require the following software:

  1. Java 8 JDK: For running Maven in general as well as compiling the Java and Scala modules JAVA_HOME configured to point to that.
  2. libpcap/WinPcap for raw socket tests in Java or use of passive-mode drivers
  3. (Optional) https://www.graphviz.org/: For generating the graphs in the documentation
  4. Git (even when working on the source distribution)

With this setup you will be able to build the Java part of PLC4X excluding the “proxy” drivers and servers. For a full build of PLC4X with all options the following has to be provided:


On a clean Ubuntu 18.04 the following software needs to be installed:

    sudo apt install python-setuptools gcc g++ make libpcap-dev

If you‘re building a source-distribution and haven’t installed git yet, be sure to do so:

    sudo apt install git

In order to build the .Net version, please install the .Net package according to this guide:



Make sure Homebrew ist installed in order to update Bison to a newer version (the version 2.3 installed per default is too old)

    /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

Then update Bison:

    brew install bison
    brew link bison --force
    echo 'export PATH="/usr/local/opt/bison/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bash_profile

Install Python 2.7:

    brew install python@2

Be sure to re-open the command window or the changes will not apply.

If you're going to build the with-dotnet profile you also need to install DotNet. Please download it from: https://dotnet.microsoft.com/download and run the installer.

LibPCAP is also installed via Homebrew:

    brew install libpcap


Some tools need to be installed before being able to build on Windows:

  • WinBuilds (for with-cpp, with-proxies profiles)
  • Bison (for with-cpp profiles)
  • Flex (for with-cpp profiles)
  • Python 2.7 (for with-python, with-proxies profiles)
  • Dotnet (for with-dotnet profiles)
  • WinPCAP
  • OpenSSL

We have tested WinBuilds with the bundle of: http://win-builds.org/doku.php/download_and_installation_from_windows Run the installer as “Administrator” or you won't be able to install it to “C:\Program Files” or the 32 Bit counterpart. When running the installer, make sure to select the options:

  • Native Windows
  • x86_64 Not quite sure which elements are really needed, better just install all of them. If the installer fails to do something complaining about having to use a different mirror, enter “http://win-builds.org/1.5.0” as mirror address.

WARNING: If you don't use the installer version of the distribution. The build will probably fail and it will be pretty impossible to see the problem. When manually executing the command, a popup will appear complaining about not being able to find some DLL. So if you are having these problems, please try using the installer instead of manually unpacking the archive.

For Bison, please download the Setup installer version from here: http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/bison.htm (When using the zip version the bison.exe couldn‘t find some DLL files) It seems the official 2.4.1 version has issues when installed in a directory which’s path contains spaces. Please make sure you replace the exe with a patched version form here: http://marin.jb.free.fr/bison/bison-2.4.1-modified.zip (More infos on this issue here: https://sourceforge.net/p/gnuwin32/bugs/473/)

Please download the Flex compiler from here: http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/flex.htm (Ideally download the binary zip distribution)

You can get Python from here: https://www.python.org/downloads/release/python-2716/

For .Net, you need the Developer Pack in order to build .Net applications. So be sure to get a reasonably fresh installation from https://dotnet.microsoft.com

If you‘re building a source-distribution and haven’t installed git yet, be sure to do so.

The windows version of the PCAP library can be found here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/winpcap413-176/ (In order to read PCAPNG files we require a libpcap version 1.1.0 or greater. The default Windows version is 1.0. At this location there is a patched version based on libpcap 1.7.4)

Last not least we need to install OpenSSL, which is available from here: https://indy.fulgan.com/SSL/ The letter at the end of the version is sort of a “sub-minor” version, so I usually just take the version with the highest letter.

Make sure the bin directories of containing the executables mingw32-make.exe, bison.exe and flex.exe are all on your systems PATH as well as the directory containing the openssl.exe.

Building with Docker

If you don't want to bother setting up the environment on your normal system and you have Docker installed, you can also build everything in a Docker container:

   docker build -t plc4x .

   docker run -p 9200:9200 -p 9300:9300 --name plc4x plc4x

Getting Started

You must have Java 8 installed on your system and connectivity to Maven Central (for downloading external third party dependencies). Maven will be automatically downloaded and installed by the maven wrapper mvnw.

Build PLC4X Java jars and install them in your local maven repository

./mvnw install # add -DskipTests to omit running the tests

You can now construct Java applications that use PLC4X. The PLC4X examples are a good place to start and are available inside the plc4j/examples directory.

The C++ drivers are still under development and still not really usable. Therefore they are located in the so-called sandbox. If you want to build them, this has to be enabled by activating the with-sandbox and with-cpp maven profiles:

./mvnw -P with-sandbox,with-cpp install  # add -DskipTests to omit running the tests

Same applies for the C# / .Net implementation with with-dotnet profiles.

./mvnw -P with-sandbox,with-dotnet install  # add -DskipTests to omit running the tests

The Python implementation is currently in a somewhat unclean state and still needs refactoring. In order to be able to build the Python module, you currently need to activate the: with-sandbox, with-python and with-proxies profiles.

./mvnw -P with-sandbox,with-python,with-proxies install  # add -DskipTests to omit running the tests

In order to build everything the following command should work:

./mvnw -P with-boost,with-cpp,with-dotnet,with-logstash,with-proxies,with-python,with-sandbox install


Join the PLC4X community by using one of the following channels. We'll be glad to help!

Mailing Lists

Subscribe to the following mailing lists:

See also: https://plc4x.apache.org/mailing-lists.html


Get the latest PLC4X news on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ApachePlc4x


There are multiple forms in which you can become involved with the PLC4X project.

These usually are, but are not limited to:

  • Submitting Pull Requests
  • Filing Bug-Reports
  • Active communication on our mailing lists
  • Promoting the project (articles, blog posts, talks at conferences)
  • Documentation

We are a very friendly bunch and don’t be afraid to step forward. If you'd like to contribute to PLC4X, have a look at our contribution guide!


Apache PLC4X is released under the Apache License Version 2.0.