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Running Gazebo on a Server in ROS

asked 2012-11-28 19:13:50 -0500

updated 2014-04-20 14:09:40 -0500

ngrennan gravatar image

Can the ROS version of Gazebo be split so it's server functions (gzserver) be run on a server in the same way as the full version of Gazebo can?

Is this possible?

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answered 2012-11-29 00:57:53 -0500

updated 2012-11-29 00:59:28 -0500

Since gzserver is just a normal ROS node, it can run on one machine (e.g. a headless server), and you can have other nodes running on a different machine (e.g. your desktop PC). This tutorial explains how to do it.

There are some caveats, though:

  • You must have full network connectivity between both machines; no firewalls, blocked ports or NAT between them. You can get around that by setting up a VPN, but that's not trivial.
  • You should pay attention to the bandwidth of the topics exchanged between nodes running on the two different machines. If you're simulating a Kinect or a stereo camera in Gazebo on your server and subscribe to it (for example, using RViz) on your desktop machine, you're probably going to create more traffic than most "home ISP" connections can handle. You can get around this by grouping nodes which exchange a lot of data together on the same machine.

Oh, and of course the Gazebo GUI is a separate node from the Gazebo server, so all of the above applies.

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don't forget to set the GAZEBO_MASTER_URI environment variable to something reasonable as well..

SL Remy gravatar image SL Remy  ( 2012-11-29 03:38:04 -0500 )edit

Thanks, I was having problems running gzserver directly from the command line? I'm a bit new to the IT world, so what OS should the server be running, is ubuntu fine? Have you got any good links to setting up the environment? Are there any particular modifications required in the launch file?

PeterMilani gravatar image PeterMilani  ( 2012-11-29 12:03:26 -0500 )edit

1) Ubuntu is fine 2) There are many ways to set up environment variables.. that's a more general unix question (to the googles!). You can check for how to do so from a launch file. Good luck.

SL Remy gravatar image SL Remy  ( 2012-12-02 05:16:16 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2012-11-28 19:13:50 -0500

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Last updated: Nov 29 '12