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Oculus Prime - OS and Software Install

The following instructions are for updating Oculus Prime software from versions 0.84 and lower, to versions 1.0 and higher.

You’ll need to plugin a monitor, keyboard and mouse for these steps.


Do fresh install of Ubuntu OS:
  -Ubuntu desktop version 18.04 LTS 64-bit
  -Choose fresh install when prompted (ie., erase whatever is on the SSD)
  -Set username to “oculus”
  -with auto login enabled
  -Set hostname to “prime”

After installation, open a terminal and enter:

sudo apt update

Then enter:

sudo apt upgrade

(Upgrade will take a while.)

Then, install various required packages. Enter:

sudo apt install vim geany htop x11vnc git openjdk-11-jdk-headless v4l-utils openssh-server coturn python3-pip net-tools v4l-utils espeak


sudo adduser oculus dialout

Install Gstreamer components – enter the following:

sudo apt install libgstreamer1.0-0 gstreamer1.0-plugins-base gstreamer1.0-plugins-good gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad gstreamer1.0-plugins-ugly gstreamer1.0-libav gstreamer1.0-doc gstreamer1.0-tools gstreamer1.0-x gstreamer1.0-alsa gstreamer1.0-gl gstreamer1.0-gtk3 gstreamer1.0-qt5 gstreamer1.0-pulseaudio

pip3 install websockets

sudo apt install libgstreamer*1.0-dev libnice-dev gstreamer1.0-nice libjson-glib-dev libsoup2.4-dev


Follow ROS1 Melodic ‘desktop full install’ instructions here

To install required ROS packages, enter:

sudo apt install ros-melodic-move-base ros-melodic-map-server ros-melodic-amcl ros-melodic-dwa-local-planner ros-melodic-gmapping ros-melodic-usb-cam

To setup ROS workspace and install required packages from source, enter each line below in order:

mkdir -p ~/catkin_ws/src
cd ~/catkin_ws/src
cd ~/catkin_ws/
cd ~/catkin_ws/src
git clone
git clone
cd ~/catkin_ws/
echo "source $HOME/catkin_ws/devel/setup.bash" >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

Add Astra camera ROS package to your catkin workspace, and compile, using instructions here:


Download the latest Oculus Prime Java from here
Unpack it into the home folder: /home/oculus/

Enable the headless wifi manager on startup -
as root user create the file /etc/rc.local with the following contents:

#!/bin/sh -e
# rc.local script is executed at the end of each multiuser runlevel.
# Make sure that the script will "exit 0" on success or any other
# value on error.
# In order to enable or disable this script just change the execution
# bits.
/home/oculus/oculusPrime/access_point_manager/run &
exit 0

Make executable by entering:

sudo chmod +x /etc/rc.local

Enable regular user access to reboot and shutdown commands – enter:

sudo visudo

Add the following line, then save the file:

ALL ALL=NOPASSWD: /sbin/reboot,/sbin/shutdown

To auto-start Oculusprime Java, go to desktop GUI > applications > Startup Applications
add new item with the following command entry:

/bin/bash -i /home/oculus/oculusPrime/


VNC won’t work without a monitor plugged in, so adding a dummy monitor is required for VNC access during normal robot use. Download the package by entering:

sudo apt install xserver-xorg-video-dummy

Then create+edit the file /etc/X11/xorg.conf with the following contents:

Section "Device"
    Identifier  "Configured Video Device"
    Driver      "dummy"
Section "Monitor"
    Identifier  "Configured Monitor"
    HorizSync 31.5-48.5
    VertRefresh 50-70
Section "Screen"
    Identifier  "Default Screen"
    Monitor     "Configured Monitor"
    Device      "Configured Video Device"
    DefaultDepth 24
    SubSection "Display"
    Depth 24
    Modes "1024x800"

After reboot, you should be able to run a VNC session at any time with the command:

x11vnc -xauth /var/lib/gdb/:0.Xauth -display :0 -forever -shared &

NOTE: This will disable functionality for actual plugged-in monitors. To re-enable it, delete or rename the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file.


That’s it! Disconnect the monitor and keyboard. After reboot, the robot will (hopefully) come up with full software functionality.

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