how to: Building PCL & laser_scan_matcher on Raspberry pi 2

asked 2016-03-21 15:43:25 -0500

MarkyMark2012 gravatar image


I thought I would publish this "how to" to build pcl and related ros libraries on a raspberry pi with a view to running the laser_scan_matcher on a pi.

My motivation for this was because I found there were often timing issues when I ran the LSM on the host PC

So here goes:

Installing PCL on Raspberry Pi 2

System Set-up

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libflann-dev
sudo apt-get install libqt4-dev libvtk5-qt4-dev
sudo apt-get install gsl-bin libgsl0-dev

Ensure swap space is = 2Gb - some of the complilation of PCL uses up a lot of memory (In total takes about 24 hrs on raspberry Pi 2)

First we have to build PCL git clone cd pcl

Edit cmake/pcl_find_sse.cmake and replace '-march=native' from line (approx) 10 with '-march=armv6 -mfloat-abi=hard -mfpu=vfp

Edit the files below and add this line before the definition is checked for



Then build pcl

mkdir build && cd build
cmake ..
make -j1 (>j1 will fail and given the swap space usage uses up too much bandwidth)
sudo make install

Now we need to make the ros PCL libraries and the scan_tools package (Which includes laser_scan_matcher) into ros working dir (Assuming this is ros_ws)

pcl_conversions pcl_msgs perception_pcl scan_tools

cd ~/ros_ws/src
git clone 
git clone 
git clone 
git clone

Before kicking these off we need to set csm up CSM: csm is a part of the laser_scan_matcher can requires a couple of configs to be set first

git clone (I cloned this into a sub directory of scan_tools)

Build csm (catkin will do this but I just found it easier to check it build okay)

You can run the csm build script to do this


Update PKG_CONFIG_PATH to include the path to csm.pc

In my case this was:

export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$PKG_CONFIG_PATH:/home/pi/ros_ws/src/scan_tools/csm/sm/pkg-config

Set up the csm headers - these didn't copy to the right location for me so I did it manually: cp -r ~/ros_ws/src/scan_tools/csm/deploy/include/ /home/pi/ros_ws/install/

Finally we're ready to make all the libraries So from top level


If there are problems I suggest building the pcl packaged first then csm and scan_matcher

Hope this finds a use.


PS thanks to @joq for the help with csm

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+1 for the elaboration, but I have to ask; for Raspberry Pi2, can't you just use binary installation for ARM?

130s gravatar image 130s  ( 2016-03-21 16:04:19 -0500 )edit

Answering to my own question; Looks like for ARM for Indigo the binary of laser_scan_matcher is not available as of today. I'm the maintainer of the package but I don't know yet how to submit a request for building ARM binaries.

130s gravatar image 130s  ( 2016-03-21 16:08:14 -0500 )edit

If using a raspberry pi 3, is it armv6 or v7? Also can ros_pcl be used, or do I have to use PCL? (I have ros_pcl package which isn't really working so I'm trying the entire PCL now). However, I'm fairly sure I have the pcl from apt-get... which doesn't seem to work. Must I build it from scratch?

DM2 gravatar image DM2  ( 2016-07-12 23:17:06 -0500 )edit

pi 3 is v7. I found I had to build pcl from scratch - might be a bit faster on pi 3 than 2 Mark

MarkyMark2012 gravatar image MarkyMark2012  ( 2016-07-13 02:59:40 -0500 )edit

Thanks Mark. So I have to change v6 to v7? I've also realised that I actually have pcl 1.7 already installed (and can program with it) from a previous project... Compiling takes entirely too long even on the pi 3... granted my swap is only 1 GB. I'll try changing it to 2 GB and try again

DM2 gravatar image DM2  ( 2016-07-13 17:57:33 -0500 )edit

Actually the major problem I'm having is csm. I just can't get catkin to find csm even with everything installed/copied... using rosdep install gives me "no definition of [csm] for OS [debian]. After building csm, when I try to catkin_make_isolated, it can't find csm anyway

DM2 gravatar image DM2  ( 2016-07-13 18:03:08 -0500 )edit

@DM2 - sorry late reply - you need to put cms in the scan_tools dir and build it independently (just cmake .. in the bin dir) . But the key is to "export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$PKG_CONFIG_PATH:/home/pi/ros_ws/src/scan_tools/csm/sm/pkg-config" or where ever it is on your system

MarkyMark2012 gravatar image MarkyMark2012  ( 2016-09-10 06:53:39 -0500 )edit

FYI, the cmake/pcl_find_sse.cmake has been changed. Now the line you should edit is around line 19. Line 10 is now comment section for Apple device it would seems. I just suffer from my idiot for 3 days because I edited the wrong place. You'll get a out of memory error at around 50%.

EwingKang gravatar image EwingKang  ( 2018-02-01 01:02:53 -0500 )edit