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Virtualization on Workstation

asked 2012-07-18 15:38:47 -0500

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For my workstation, I have installed ubuntu 11.04 on a virtual machine running inside Windows 7. Would virtualization of the "Workstation" cause any trouble in communicating to the other "Turtlebot" Netbook in future? Would a new, seperate ubuntu install without virtualizatin be necessary to run ROS without hiccups?

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answered 2012-07-18 21:56:35 -0500

Lorenz gravatar image

It is possible to get ROS communication working from inside a virtual machine. It's just important to use a bridged network instead of the default routed emulated network device.

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answered 2012-07-19 05:35:55 -0500

PerkinsJames gravatar image

Communication from ROS in a virtual machine to the host or outside machines should work fine. Normally, if you create a VM (virtual box as an example on linux) it sets your network information to NAT (network address translation). Usually, this will connect your VM to the network with no problems. ROS should run fine within this VM as long as you have your allocations (memory, HD, etc) setup to be sufficient enough to run ROS (which shouldnt be very much) and the VMs operating system.

However, it is common for VMs to crawl compared to the host machine. If you run into this problem, it is not ROS' fault, but just the VM/OS in general. Again, try giving your VM a larger share of memory or processor or whatever settings you have. You may run into this issue moreso if you start using significant graphics within the VM.

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NAT will only work if nodes are running on the same machine, in the host OS. If nodes are running on different machines, the routing into the VM's local network will probably not work since the machines don't have the right routes set up. That's why you have to use a bridged network.

Lorenz gravatar imageLorenz ( 2012-07-19 05:38:16 -0500 )edit
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answered 2012-07-18 21:57:30 -0500

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I guess that it depends... as long as there is network communication among all hosts ,everything related to ROS should be fine. But, if you are planning to run nodes in your virtual machine that makes use of specialized hardware or drivers (such as gpu or external sensors connected to your Windows 7 machine) you might find problems.

You can always give it a try and if you see that you are not getting the expected performance out of your virtual machine, then do a "real" installation.

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rviz can also cause problems in virtual machines

Ryan gravatar imageRyan ( 2012-07-19 15:12:34 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2012-07-18 15:38:47 -0500

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Last updated: Jul 19 '12