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 information needed in EMC2. (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" [source].)

The quick way how to get these setup files, using Linux, is this:

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/;

Discussion of this solution:

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

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