Ready to Use Virtualized ROS Groovy

UPDATE: You might want to use a more recent version of ROS: Hydro Medusa (released on September 2013). See the corresponding post: Virtual Machine with ROS Hydro Medusa Pre-Installed. Install procedure unchanged.

virtualizingRosGroovyGalapagosCropROS Groovy was released on December the 31st, 2012. For those of you who just want to quickly experiment with it, we provide a ready to use virtual machine. It features ROS Groovy Galapagos installed on Ubunutu 12.04.1 LTS (Precise).

The ROS Groovy virtual machine comes in a single file .ova of approx. 3.3GB. You can launch it using VirtualBox, the very same way as we explained for virtualized ROS Fuerte. The .ova file complies with the Open Virtualization Format (OVF), thus it can be used with other virtualization tools. People reported successful use of the Fuerte’s virtual machine under VmWare and Parallels.

We set Unbuntu to automatically log in the unique admin user:

  • login: viki
  • password: viki

It’s a reference to the V.I.K.I character from the I, Robot movie 🙂

We first experimented with the latest Ubuntu: version 12.10. But, we decided to roll back to the Ubuntu 12.04. Indeed, with 12.04, the virtual machine is smaller and a bit faster. Besides 12.04 is an LTS version, which means Long-Term Support. The Ubuntu community will be maintaining it for a while. Indeed, LTS versions receive support fir 5 years. For the record, Ubuntu 12.04 was released on April 2012.


  • i would recommend everyone install version 4.2.4 of VMWare rather than 4.2.6 (currently the latest). In 4.2.6 i’m finding that 3D acceleration does not seem to work properly with OpenGL in VMWare’s “guest addons”, thus OpenGL things in ROS like Gazebo do not work.
    It works if you just disable 3D acceleration and let the CPU do everything, but this is of course very slow.
    Tried a lot of stuff to fix it, but downgrading back to version 4.2.4 of VMWare fixed the problem.

    Try it yourself by typing each of these lines into new terminal windows or tabs:
    rosrun gazebo gazebo
    rosrun gazebo gui

  • Daniel reported trouble installing the appliance on windows 7. After some investigation, we figured out that Windows 7 seems to have some issues when it comes to dealing with large files.
    Actually, it has a max size, so it stops downloading when this maximum is reached.

    You can increase this maximum using a utility provided by Microsoft support at:

  • sorry, i meant VirtualBox yes.

    I’m also having another problem ontop of this, using Ubuntu’s update manager to update the system is apparently breaking Groovy ROS (but strangely Precice ROS is fine).
    After updating, trying to run roscore now responds with “roscore: command not found”.
    It does this even if i install the freshly downloaded rosGroovyGalapagos.ova, confirm roscore loads fine, then update, restart etc, confirm roscore won’t load.

    I’m able to work around both of these problems for now by using version 4.2.4 of VirtualBox, and not letting the Groovy ROS Ubuntu system’s update manager download updates for anything.

    I’m curious if others who are more knowledgeable about Linux and ROS can reproduce my problems.

    • Yes, with ROS Galapagos the update breaks something with catkin that eventually empties the PATH environment variable. There’s a discussion thread about it on the Virtualizing ROS page. The fix isn’t much complicated. Basically, you need to re-initialize the catkin_workspace.

    • Below is the sequence to recover ROS Galapagos after an update. Step 5 does re-initialize catkin_workspace.

      1-Open a new terminal or in an existing one go to your home directory by evaluating:
      2-Open the .bashrc file using a text editor by evaluating:
      /usr/bin/gedit .bashrc
      3-In the text editor insert a # in the line that causes the bug. It is located at the end of the .bashrc file. The commmented line will become:
      #source ~/catkin_ws/devel/setup.bash
      4-save the .bashrc file
      5-reinitilize catkin workspace (Warning: this will delete packages you might have built, so make a backup before) by evaluating in the terminal:
      rm -rf ~/catkin_ws
      mkdir -p ~/catkin_ws/src
      cd ~/catkin_ws/src
      cd ~/catkin_ws/

      6-In the editor uncomment the line commented in step 3, by removing the #. It will become:
      source ~/catkin_ws/devel/setup.bash
      7-save the .bashrc file and you are done

      As a side note, I’d like to mention that sourcing the setup.bash file from catkin_ws (put back in step 6) is just a facility. Its not mentionned in the ROS Groovy installation procedure. But, it is a step that repeats in tutorials.

  • Dear Nootrix Team
    I’va been tested Groovy Galapagos under Virtual Box and Winows XP …
    Great Jobs it is running..
    Second, i want to connect to the NXT LEgo Version 2 .. But how ? I’ev application under ANDROID asking hte LMASTER URI but it can NOT connect why ?
    I’ve the MAster URI display once i’ve started roscore ..
    Please help and goodies to run..

  • I am encounting a problem when running
    Sudo apt-get update
    It failed to fetch all of it.
    Why is this?

  • I just installed openni on the on th ros groovy but when I connect my kinect to my iMac it didn’t recognize it. What should I do?


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