Troubleshooting problems

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Hi, you were probably referred to this page because you are having problems getting FlightGear to work for you. This page is dedicated to helping you address any issues you may face.

You need to realize that, in order for other people to be able to help you sorting out any FlightGear related problems, you need to provide certain information about your platform and the nature of the problem you are encountering. This is due to the fact that we don't have access to your machine and thus cannot see what you are (or were) doing, so you need to be our eyes and ears. Also, it is important that you try not to mix up different symptomps that may not necessarily be related with each other.

Even if some of the information we ask for is not always necessarily required in order to fix a particular issue, it can tremendously simplify and shorten the troubleshooting process, for example by allowing us to exclude certain problem sources. So, if at all possible please try to comply with our requests, if anything is unclear or you don't know how to obtain certain information please ask for clarification rather than ignoring a particular request.

In general, you should always try to provide the following information in your requests/reports:

Hardware Specs:

  • CPU
  • RAM

Software Specs:

  • OS (Version, Kernel, Servicepacks etc)
  • any other software that may be running while FlightGear is running (i.e. antivirus tools)
  • driver versions for relevant hardware (graphics, sound, input hardware)

Input Hardware:

  • KEYBOARD (language/country encoding)
  • YOKE


  • version of FlightGear you are trying to get to work for you
  • where you obtained it from
  • in what format you obtained it (executables/binaries vs. source code)
  • if you built it yourself, how you did do that (compiler,flags etc)
  • how and where you installed FlightGear
  • how you are starting FlightGear (GUI frontend vs. shell/console)
  • startup parameters you use
  • runtime settings you use
  • any console messages (warnings and errors) you may see
  • whether the same machine/OS has previously been used to run FlightGear successfully, if so what version of FlightGear
  • if FlightGear works properly using the default settings

If you experience any problems during flight, please save the active flight and make the saved file available for further investigation (i.e. in order to post it to a forum or send it to a mailing list)

If you are facing scenery-related problems (i.e. no scenery visible), please also try to provide the following information:

  • whether FlightGear's default airport KSFO (San Francisco) works for you or not
  • whether you can see any scenery (i.e. runways) from the cockpit view
  • whether you can see any scenery (i.e. runways) from non-cockpit views (i.e. outside view: using the v/V key to cycle through all views)
  • what daytime settings you are using and whether changing this setting has any effect
  • which tiles you downloaded, and from where-including the size of each file or its MD5 sum
  • whether you are able to open the downloaded scenery tiles using an archiver such as WinZip, PowerZIP, IzArc
  • which areas/airports specifically are causing trouble, and what you are (not) seeing (i.e. water?)
  • how exactly you installed the scenery tiles, did you extract the scenery tiles properly?
  • the location of your FlightGear base package (data) folder
  • if you are using the FG_ROOT and FG_SCENERY variables, their contents
  • the contents of the folder under $FG_ROOT/Terrain
  • ICAO code and runway of airport, as well as your actual longitude/latitude retrieved from the property browser: /sim/position/longitude-deg & /sim/position/latitude-deg
  • the value of /sim/rendering/draw-otw using the property browser (needs to be true)
  • any screenshots depicting the problem

If you are facing problems related to your input hardware, please also try to provide the following information:

  • the nature of your problem
  • whether the symptoms appear to be in any way specific to the aircraft you are using
  • what input hardware you are trying to use with FlightGear
  • whether the corresponding hardware works under the same OS with other applications
  • how the input hardware is connected to your machine
  • if there is any other input hardware connected to your machine
  • if the symptoms disappear when you disconnect either single components of your input hardware or all of it together

TODO: we need to evaluate the forum and mailing discussions of the last 2-3 months in order to determine which issues were the most frequently reported ones (i.e. FreeGLUT, RenderTexture,3D Clouds,non calibrated hardware etc), so that we can summarize these issues here, and possibly even directly provide solutions later on.