OS X + Ubuntu 13.04 + ROS Setup

So basically, I’ve been setting up an entry level, mid 2012 Macbook Pro to dual boot between OS X Mavericks and Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail). To mediate between Operating Systems, I kept rEFInd. Although there is documentation that Linux Grub can manage the boot process, I have yet to refine my setup; probably after an SSD upgrade (pun intended).

I may have shortened the lifespan of my hard drive following a set of instructions haphazardly but in the end simulations run smoothly despite that the MacBook’s Intel 4000 graphics is still visually wonky. Before this setup, I used VMware Fusion 4, 5, and 6; with version 6 having a better response with partly rendering RVIZ and Gazebo screens. A quick run of ROS (Hydro), Gazebo and RViz Turtlebot Simulator and Keyboard teleoperation on the native  in Ubuntu 13.04 setup delivered an experience that was far from that of the virtual machine at least in rendering 3D worlds; but again because the graphics card isn’t working right, the wallpaper and GUI elements look like a Pentium 2 desktop more than 10 years ago. I’m guessing that a Kernel update (from t0 3.11) will banish the bad gradient effects on the GUI and further improve the 3D simulations but I’m not sacrificing another set of X-days of terrible internet connection and frozen screens in case something goes wrong with the setup. (but maybe I’ll test it on the VM first)

Workspace 1_001

Several face-palm moments and references:

  1. Distribution notes should be read carefully. Or at least a double check on the distribution name and  version number should be made before anything else. (ROS Target Platforms)
  2. Partitioning/Editing the partitions of the main hard drive requires Disk Utility run from OS X (not recovery). Problems with unmounting the drive occurs – no idea why.
  3. Instructions to make a bootable USB in Mac OS can be found here.
  4. If using the Ubuntu  12.04 LTS installer, an upgrade to Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) must go through Ubuntu 12.1 (Quantal Quetzal) via the Software Update Center.
  5. Installation delays from previous issue would have been avoided had I sooner read that the Intel Linux Drivers for the Intel HD 4000 had no support under Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.
  6. rEFIt != rEFInd (although errors encountered during the installation in one may be found/resolved from the other)
  7. Being used to the natural scrolling from OSX, I had to find a fix: dconf editor did not disappoint.

2013-11-22_dconf Editor_001


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