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.

  2. Copy the following text:

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

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

    • The window will disappear
  5. Copy in the following:

    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, and press Enter

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

  9. Wait until the window disappears.

Run Gazebo

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