How to get the EMC2 machine configuration files for a STEP-FOUR Basic 540 or 1000 CNC mill?

Some mill-specific “setup files” from are needed to get a STEP-FOUR mill working with EMC2 [source]. These are the parallel port etc. configuration needed in EMC2. That’s also confirmed by a user who got his STEP-FOUR mill running with EMC2 and said: “you need to make a stepper.hal, a pinout.hal and of course a machine.ini”.


Since the original links are dead but every now and then somebody still needs these files to restore their favorite STEP-FOUR mill, I provide them here for download. These files are licenced under GPL2 and a licence note is included in the archive.

This contains the exact same data as emc2-cooltool-configs_1.03_i386.deb from the legacy instructions below, just already packaged as a ZIP archive for your convenience.

I also can provide you with slightly adapted versions that I used successfully for a STEP-FOUR Basic 1000 model back in 2011. One download contains the config files for the live mill, one for a simulated mill. I don’t remember exactly what feature of EMC2 this simulation capability refers to.

Legacy Instructions

Originally, this article had the following instructions to obtain these config  files, using Linux. However, the links are now dead. Please use the download in the instructions provided above.

mkdir emc2-cooltool-configs_1.03_i386;
cd emc2-cooltool-configs_1.03_i386;
ar vx ../emc2-cooltool-configs_1.03_i386.deb;
tar -xzf data.tar.gz;
cd usr/local/etc/emc2/configs/TheCoolTool/;
cp S4_stepper.hal S4_pinout.hal Basic540_3axis.ini Basic540_4axis.ini your-target-dir/;

Details about The Cool Tool config files

  • The EMC2 machine configuration files for STEP-FOUR machines are provided by “The Cool Tool” company under GPL2. Only files for the STEP-FOUR Basic 540 model are provided, but the Basic 1000 model deviates only by having a longer x axis.
  • The software is provided on a page “Cool CNC Linux Ubuntu-based“; it is unclear how to reach that page from their website menu, however, but it is available via their website search and Google search. The software comes as .deb packages meant for use with EMC2 Ubuntu live CDs and EMC2 Ubuntu installations. (Probably independent of which Ubuntu version you choose.) So, if you want to use EMC2 in such a way anyway, just install these .deb packages in your EMC2 deployment. It seems that this procedure is also referred to here: “I downloaded Ubuntu linux along with the EMC2 controller ( and also downloaded the setup files for the step four from Cooltool […].” [source].
  • What is confusing here is that The Cool Tool also offers a previous version of their CoolCNC Linux software, called “CoolCNC Linux V 0.5 ISO-File“. This one also uses EMC2, but is based on Puppy Linux and is several years old (older than 2004-06, as can be seen from file creation dates). Also, the versions currently available for download do NOT include the EMC2 configuration files for STEP-FOUR devices. I confirmed that by booting the ISO file in a VirtualBox virtual machine, starting EMC2 and looking at the list of supplied config files there. Specifically, I refer to these ISO files:
  • However, there has to have been a Puppy Linux based version including the STEP-FOUR machine configuration files, as the manual for “CoolCNC Linux V 0.5 ISO-File” includes these in a screenshot on p. 6. (You can find this PDF manual for download, look for “Cool CNC Linux First Steps”.)
  • Note also that there is a full set of instructions how the “CoolCNC Linux 0.5 ISO-File” was built.







One response to “How to get the EMC2 machine configuration files for a STEP-FOUR Basic 540 or 1000 CNC mill?”

  1. […] Download and install the EMC2 configuration files for the STEP-FOUR Basic 540 mill. They are provided as package emc2-cooltool-configs_1.03_i386.deb, provided by company The Cool Tool. For a more detailed discussion, see the article “How to get the EMC2 machine configuration files for a STEP-FOUR Basic 540 or 1000 CNC mill?“ […]

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