Command line options

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Command line options are a common way to tell applications what to do/how to act on startup. With FlightGear they are used for many things, from simple ones like selecting an aircraft up to complex stuff like network traffic and weather parameters.

The easiest way to handle those options for FlightGear is using a tool with a graphical user interface like the FlightGear Qt launcher. This way one don't have to bother about them at all.

However, there are users who don't want or are not able to run a GUI and therefore are interested in this. Those who need them or just want to learn more about FlightGear, but have no idea what we are talking about, may read the wiki page on the general usage of the command line.

A good place to store the personal options is a file called fgfsrc. This file is read by FlightGear on each startup.

The following lists show the options for FlightGear including a short description and sorted by categories. Please have in mind that keeping those lists up to date on the wiki is not an easy task. Also there are different versions of FlightGear out there which don't share exactly the same options. Therefore you better also check your versions ones with fgfs --help --verbose. If this command fails, you may add the option --fg-root=[path] as well, see below.

It is sad but true, not even this command is, at least in Git, up to date all the time. At the time of writing at least one option which is supported is not shown with fgfs --help --verbose. So if you have serious issues with an option, the source code is, as always, also the best source for info. In the file src/Main/options.cxx all the options are listed with their hard coded default setting and type.

The file $FG_ROOT/options.xml is used to generate the output for fgfs --help [--verbose]. That's the reason why --fg-root=[path] has to be added to this, if it is not set as environmental variable or as option in fgfsrc.


Usage: fgfs [OPTION [OPTION ...]]

General Options

--help, -h                   Show the most relevant command line options
--verbose, -v                Show all command line options when combined with --help or -h
--fg-root=path               Specify the root data path
--fg-scenery=path[:path...]  Specify the base scenery path;
                               Defaults to $FG_ROOT/Scenery
(--language=code              Select the language for this session
                               *Not* supported in 1.9.1 and Git atm!)
--launcher                   Enable Qt launcher 
--disable-fullscreen         Disable full-screen game mode
--enable-fullscreen          Enable full-screen game mode
--disable-splash-screen      Disable splash screen
--enable-splash-screen       Enable splash screen
--disable-mouse-pointer      Disable extra mouse pointer
--enable-mouse-pointer       Enable extra mouse pointer
                               (i.e. for full screen Voodoo based cards)
--disable-random-objects     Exclude random scenery objects
                               (buildings, etc.)
--enable-random-objects      Include random scenery objects
                               (buildings, etc.)
--disable-ai-models          Disable the AI subsystem.
                               (This also disables showing the models of other
                                multiplayer aircraft)
  --enable-ai-models           Enable the AI subsystem.
  --disable-ai-traffic         Disable the autogenerated traffic subsystem.
  --enable-ai-traffic          Enable the autogenerated traffic subsystem.
  --disable-freeze             Start in a running state
  --enable-freeze              Start in a frozen state
  --disable-fuel-freeze        Fuel is consumed normally
  --enable-fuel-freeze         Fuel tank quantity forced to remain constant
  --disable-clock-freeze       Clock advances normally
  --enable-clock-freeze        Do not advance clock
  --enable-auto-coordination   Enable auto coordination - rudder and
                               ailerons will be controlled together
  --disable-auto-coordination  Disable auto coordination (default)
  --browser-app=path           Specify path to your web browser
  --prop:name=value            Set property  to 
  --config=path                Load additional properties from path
  --units-feet                 Use feet for distances
  --units-meters               Use meters for distances
  --ai-sc

Features

  --disable-panel              Disable instrument panel
  --enable-panel               Enable instrument panel
  --disable-sound              Disable sound effects
  --enable-sound               Enable sound effects
  --disable-hud                Disable Heads Up Display (HUD)
  --enable-hud                 Enable Heads Up Display (HUD)
  --disable-anti-alias-hud     Disable anti-aliased HUD
  --enable-anti-alias-hud      Enable anti-aliased HUD
  --disable-hud-3d             Disable 3D HUD
  --enable-hud-3d              Enable 3D HUD
  --ai-scenario=scenario       Add and enable a new scenario. Multiple options
                               are allowed. Scenarios are in /$FG_ROOT/AI/.


Aircraft

  --aircraft=name              Select an aircraft profile as defined by a top
                               level -set.xml
  --aircraft-dir=path          Specify the exact directory to use for the
                               aircraft (normally not required, but may be
                               useful). Interpreted relatively to the
                               current directory. Causes the <path-cache>
                               from autosave_X_Y.xml, as well as
                               --fg-aircraft options and the FG_AIRCRAFT
                               environment variable to be bypassed.
  --show-aircraft              Print a list of the currently available
                               aircraft types

Flight Model

  --fdm=name                   Select the core flight dynamics model
                               Can be one of jsb, larcsim, yasim, magic,
                               balloon, ada, external, or null
  --aero=name                  Select aircraft aerodynamics model to load
  --model-hz=n                 Run the FDM this rate (iterations per second)
  --speed=n                    Run the FDM 'n' times faster than real time
  --notrim                     Do NOT attempt to trim the model
                               (only with fdm=jsbsim)
  --on-ground                  Start at ground level (default)
  --in-air                     Start in air (implied when using --altitude)
  --wind=DIR@SPEED             Specify wind coming from DIR (degrees) at SPEED
                               (knots)
  --turbulence=0.0 to 1.0      Specify turbulence from 0.0 (calm) to 1.0
                               (severe)
  --ceiling=FT_ASL[:THICKNESS_FT]
                               Create an overcast ceiling, optionally with a
                               specific thickness (defaults to 2000 ft).


Initial Position and Orientation

  --airport=ID                 Specify starting position relative to an
                               airport
  --runway=rwy_no              Specify starting runway (must also specify an
                               airport)
  --vor=ID                     Specify starting position relative to a VOR
  --ndb=ID                     Specify starting position relative to an NDB
  --fix=ID                     Specify starting position relative to a fix
  --airport=ID                 Specify airport (e.g. KOAK)
  --parkpos=NAME               Specify a gate at the airport (e.g. 747d11)
  --offset-distance=nm         Specify distance to reference point (statute
                               miles)
  --offset-azimuth=degrees     Specify heading to reference point
  --lon=degrees                Starting longitude (west = -)
  --lat=degrees                Starting latitude (south = -)
  --altitude=value             Starting altitude
                               (in feet unless --units-meters specified)
  --heading=degrees            Specify heading (yaw) angle (Psi)
  --roll=degrees               Specify roll angle (Phi)
  --pitch=degrees              Specify pitch angle (Theta)
  --uBody=units_per_sec        Specify velocity along the body X axis
                               (in feet unless --units-meters specified)
  --vBody=units_per_sec        Specify velocity along the body Y axis
                               (in feet unless --units-meters specified)
  --wBody=units_per_sec        Specify velocity along the body Z axis
                               (in feet unless --units-meters specified)
  --vc=knots                   Specify initial airspeed
  --mach=num                   Specify initial mach number
  --glideslope=degrees         Specify flight path angle (can be positive)
  --roc=fpm                    Specify initial climb rate (can be negative)

Rendering Options

  --bpp=depth                  Specify the bits per pixel
  --fog-disable                Disable fog/haze
  --fog-fastest                Enable fastest fog/haze
  --fog-nicest                 Enable nicest fog/haze
  --disable-horizon-effect     Disable celestial body growth illusion near the
                               horizon
  --enable-horizon-effect      Enable celestial body growth illusion near the
                               horizon
  --disable-enhanced-lighting  Disable enhanced runway lighting
  --enable-enhanced-lighting   Enable enhanced runway lighting
  --season=winter              Enable snow covered scenery
  --disable-distance-attenuation
                               Disable runway light distance attenuation
  --enable-distance-attenuation
                               Enable runway light distance attenuation
  --disable-specular-highlight
                               Disable specular reflections on textured
                               objects
  --enable-specular-highlight  Enable specular reflections on textured objects
  --enable-clouds              Enable 2D (flat) cloud layers
  --disable-clouds             Disable 2D (flat) cloud layers
  --enable-clouds3d            Enable 3D (volumetric) cloud layers
  --disable-clouds3d           Disable 3D (volumetric) cloud layers
  --fov=degrees                Specify field of view angle
  --disable-fullscreen         Disable fullscreen mode
  --enable-fullscreen          Enable fullscreen mode
  --shading-flat               Enable flat shading
  --shading-smooth             Enable smooth shading
  --disable-wireframe          Disable wireframe drawing mode
  --enable-wireframe           Enable wireframe drawing mode
  --geometry=WxH               Specify window geometry (640x480, etc)
  --view-offset=value          Specify the default forward view direction as
                               an offset from straight ahead. Allowable values
                               are LEFT, RIGHT, CENTER, or a specific number
                               in degrees
  --visibility=meters          Specify initial visibility
  --visibility-miles=miles     Specify initial visibility in miles
  --texture-filtering=number   Specify anisotropic filtering of terrain textures. Valid values is 1, 2, 4, 8, 16. Default is 1.

Hud Options

  --hud-tris                   Hud displays number of triangles rendered
  --hud-culled                 Hud displays percentage of triangles culled


Time Options

  --timeofday={dawn,noon,dusk,midnight}
                               Specify a time of day
  --time-offset=[+-]hh:mm:ss   Add this time offset
  --time-match-real            Synchronize time with current time at chosen airport
  --time-match-local           Synchronize time with system time of computer
  --start-date-sys=yyyy:mm:dd:hh:mm:ss
                               Specify a starting date/time with respect to
                               system time
  --start-date-gmt=yyyy:mm:dd:hh:mm:ss
                               Specify a starting date/time with respect to
                               Greenwich Mean Time
  --start-date-lat=yyyy:mm:dd:hh:mm:ss
                               Specify a starting date/time with respect to
                               Local Aircraft Time

Network Options

  --httpd=port                 Enable http server on the specified port
  --telnet=port                Enable telnet server on the specified port
  --jpg-httpd=port             Enable screen shot http server on the specified
                               port


MultiPlayer Options

  --callsign                   assign a unique name to a player
  --multiplay={in|out},hz,address,port
                               Specify multipilot communication settings
                               multiple instances can be used


Route/Way Point Options

  --wp=ID[@alt]                Specify a waypoint for the GC autopilot;
                               multiple instances can be used
  --flight-plan=file           Read all waypoints from a file


IO Options

  --generic=params             Open connection using a predefined
                               communication interface and a preselected
                               communication protocol
  --garmin=params              Open connection using the Garmin GPS protocol
  --joyclient=params           Open connection to an Agwagon joystick
  --jsclient=params            Open connection to a remote joystick
  --native-ctrls=params        Open connection using the FG Native Controls
                               protocol
  --native-fdm=params          Open connection using the FG Native FDM
                               protocol
  --native=params              Open connection using the FG Native protocol
  --nmea=params                Open connection using the NMEA protocol
  --opengc=params              Open connection using the OpenGC protocol
  --props=params               Open connection using the interactive property
                               manager (LEGACY/DEAD DO NOT USE same as --telnet)
  --pve=params                 Open connection using the PVE protocol
  --ray=params                 Open connection using the Ray Woodworth motion
                               chair protocol
  --rul=params                 Open connection using the RUL protocol
  --atc610x                    Enable atc610x interface

Under Windows, you must use a special escape sequence if you need to specify a COM port higher than 9.

Example: --generic=\\.\COM10,out,1,/tmp/data.xml,myproto

This is per the Microsoft KB article here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa363858%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

Avionics Options

  --nav1=[radial:]frequency    Set the NAV1 radio frequency, optionally
                               preceded by a radial.
  --nav2=[radial:]frequency    Set the NAV2 radio frequency, optionally
                               preceded by a radial.
  --adf=[rotation:]frequency   Set the ADF radio frequency, optionally
                               preceded by a card rotation.
  --dme={nav1|nav2|frequency}  Slave the ADF to one of the NAV radios, or set
                               its internal frequency.


Environment Options

  --disable-real-weather-fetch
                               Disable METAR based real weather fetching
  --enable-real-weather-fetch  Enable METAR based real weather fetching (this
                               requires an open internet connection)
  --disable-horizon-effect     Disable celestial body growth illusion near the
                               horizon
  --enable-horizon-effect      Enable celestial body growth illusion near the
                               horizon
  --enable-clouds              Enable 2D (flat) cloud layers
  --disable-clouds             Disable 2D (flat) cloud layers
  --enable-clouds3d            Enable 3D (volumetric) cloud layers
  --disable-clouds3d           Disable 3D (volumetric) cloud layers
  --visibility=meters          Specify initial visibility
  --visibility-miles=miles     Specify initial visibility in miles
  --wind=DIR@SPEED             Specify wind coming from DIR (degrees) at SPEED
                               (knots)
  --turbulence=0.0 to 1.0      Specify turbulence from 0.0 (calm) to 1.0
                               (severe)
  --ceiling=FT_ASL[:THICKNESS_FT]
                               Create an overcast ceiling, optionally with a
                               specific thickness (defaults to 2000 ft).
  --random-wind
  --metar="metar string"       Starts with a certain METAR string. Only works if live weather is disabled.

Situation Options

  --failure={pitot|static|system|vacuum}
                               Fail the pitot, static, vacuum, or electrical
                               system (repeat the option for multiple system
                               failures).


Debugging Options

  --log-level={bulk|debug|info|warn|alert}
                               Set the logging level for this session.
                               0=verbose, 5=alerts only
  --pid=/pathto/some/file.pid  Write current PID into file.
  --trace-read=property        Trace the reads for a property;
                               multiple instances can be used
  --trace-write=property       Trace the writes for a property;
                               multiple instances can be used

Related content

Wiki articles

Source files