Beginner: Overview


Welcome to the Beginner Module! This module will guide you through the most basic features of Gazebo. We will build a simple vehicle to demonstrate these features.

Each tutorial builds upon the last, so we recommend following the tutorials in order.

These tutorials are intended for those new to Gazebo and/or folks with no programming or Linux experience.

What is Gazebo?

Gazebo is a 3D dynamic simulator with the ability to accurately and efficiently simulate populations of robots in complex indoor and outdoor environments. While similar to game engines, Gazebo offers physics simulation at a much higher degree of fidelity, a suite of sensors, and interfaces for both users and programs.

Typical uses of Gazebo include:

  • testing robotics algorithms,

  • designing robots,

  • performing regression testing with realistic scenarios

A few key features of Gazebo include:

  • multiple physics engines,

  • a rich library of robot models and environments,

  • a wide variety of sensors,

  • convenient programmatic and graphical interfaces

System requirements

Gazebo is currently best used on Ubuntu, a flavor of Linux. You will need a computer that has:

  • A dedicated GPU,
    • Nvidia cards tend to work well in Ubuntu
  • A CPU that is at least an Intel I5, or equivalent,
  • At least 500MB of free disk space,
  • Ubuntu Trusty or later installed.

Installation Instructions for Ubuntu

If you run into problems during the install, please see the complete install instructions.

  1. Download the installer. Right-clicking the link to the installer and choose "Save Link As" to the Downloads directory of your disc.

  2. Copy the following text by pressing Ctrl-C:

    chmod +x ~/Downloads/
  3. Press Alt-F2

    • A window with a prompt should appear in the upper left
  4. Press Ctrl-V to paste the text, and press Enter

    • The window will disappear
  5. Copy the following by pressing Ctrl-C:

    gnome-terminal --working-directory="~" -e "./Downloads/"
  6. Press Alt-F2

    • A window with a prompt should appear in the upper left
  7. Press Ctrl-V to paste the text, and press Enter

    • A new window will appear with a password prompt.
  8. Enter your password, and press Enter

  9. If prompted, press Y to continue

  10. Wait until the window disappears

Run Gazebo

  1. Press Alt-F2
  2. Type "gazebo", and press Enter.