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  • Setting Up a Clean Installation of ROS
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This page details how to get a computer ready to run ROS and robots and simulation.

Installing Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx)

Note that we're using Ubuntu 10.04LTS since the Long Time Support version will be around for a while!

Some additional packages that may be useful

  • Update all packages using $ sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get upgrade
  • Include a console-based editor, such as vim
  • Install version control manipulation software, including svn (Subversion) and git-core (Git) and mercurial-common (Mercurial):
    1. $ sudo apt-get install subversion
    2. $ sudo apt-get install git-core
    3. $ sudo apt-get install mercurial

Additional configuration settings

  • .bashrc: This configuration file contains aliases, environment variables, etc. that define the appearance and navigation of the terminal window.
  • sshd: It will be extremely useful for your machine to be ssh-able so that users can remotely log in across the network.
    • $ sudo apt-get install openssh-server
  • Window focus: I find it convenient to allow the window focus to follow the mouse (so that even though a given window is mostly obscured by a window above, you can still have it keep the focus). You can change this setting under System->Preferences->Windows and then checking the box Select windows when the mouse moves over them. (See screenshot)
  • Cisco VPN: It will be useful to have remote access if you're working off-campus but want to connect to the campus network. See instructions for Remote Access on the campus IT site.

Setting up a Ubuntu as dual boot (on Windows or Mac platform)

There are many installation guides online for setting up a separate partition for Ubuntu, including:

Installing Robot Operating System (ROS)

Follow instructions at this link to install the Diamondback version of ROS.

  1. We recommend the ros-diamondback-desktop-full installation
    • $ sudo apt-get install ros-diamondback-desktop-full
    • Could take about two hours (since likely it's also updating/upgrading additional necessary packages), so make sure your power supply is plugged in!
  2. You'll probably need to restart your computer at this point

First Steps

  1. Run through Section 1.1 of the Gazebo tutorial for the Erratic robot, which will also install a number of additional packages
    • The main ones are the packages for Gazebo
    • You should be able to launch the Gazebo window as well as use the erratic_keyboard_teleop node to drive the simulated Erratic robot.
      1. $ roscore
      2. $ roslaunch erratic_description erratic_empty_world.launch
      3. $ rosrun erratic_teleop erratic_keyboard_teleop
    • Test additional Gazebo worlds for good measure
      1. $ roslaunch gazebo_worlds wg_world.launch
      2. $ roslaunch gazebo_worlds simple_world.launch – (from this tutorial)
    • Section 1.2 of the tutorial requires the navigation_stack which can come later.
  2. Visualize the robot in rviz (see tutorial)
    • You need to instantiate the robot (either a simulated (as above) or real robot)
      1. $ rosrun rviz rviz
      2. The configuration for rviz requires configuration of the Robot Model, such as this config file
  3. Install teleoperation packages (useful for using joysticks and keyboards to control robots)
    • $ sudo apt-get install ros-diamondback-joystick-drivers ros-diamondback-joystick-drivers-tutorials
    • $ sudo apt-get install ros-diamondback-pr2-apps (for teleoperating, e.g., the Pioneer, using pr2_teleop)
  4. Install some auxiliary ROS packages
  5. Install the Pioneer P2OS package, p2os
  6. Install the iRobot Create package (within the brown-drivers)
  7. Install the Hokuyo LIDAR package, hokuyo
    • $ sudo apt-get install ros-diamondback-laser-drivers
    • Check that it is working – see ROS -- Hokuyo LIDAR
  8. Install the Kinect RGBD sensor package, kinect
  9. Install SLAM Gmapping package, gmapping
    • $ sudo apt-get install ros-diamondback-slam-gmapping
  10. Install rosjava, the Java-based client libraries for ROS

Configuring your system

  • Editors
    • Install your integrated development (IDE) of choice, with some helpful hints here: ROS-friendly IDEs
    • Use your favorite text editor, such as gedit, vim, or emacs
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