May 5 2014
Dominik Egger

Asus Xtion on UDOO with OpenNI2 and ROS

Asus Xtion on UDOO

This step by step tutorial shows how to setup the UDOO in order to use an Asus Xtion with ROS. If ROS is not necessary, follow this tutorial alternatively and go directly to step 2.

Step 1: Install ROS on UDOO

To use ROS on the UDOO set up an sdcard with an ubuntu core, following the steps described here with these modifications:

  1. Instead of downloading the kernel, u-boot and modules seperately, download the Update Package found under the tab Driver & Tools on the udoo download page here

  2. Depending on the udoo cpu, use the following command to flash the boot sector: (replace by u-boot-q.imx for the quad)

     sudo dd if=u-boot-d.imx of=/dev/sdb bs=512 seek=2 status=noxfer
  3. Fix hostname problem. first add a correct hostname

     sudo nano /etc/hostname

    then add that hostname to the file /etc/hosts

     sudo nano /etc/hosts

    by adding this line (Replace with the hostname defined above) 	localhost <HOST_NAME>

    then reboot.

  4. To use the WiFi module, the firmware has to be installed seperately and can be found here

     sudo dpkg -i firmware-ralink_0.41_all.deb

Step 2: Install OpenNI2 Driver

Minimal Install

To use OpenNI2 with ROS, we only need the shared OpenNI2 libraries and the Drivers. Java is not necessary and doesn’t need to be compiled. So to avoid installing and using up unneccessary space, I describe here first the minimal solution, and later the additions necessary to compile the java code and create an archive.

Install the following dependencies:

sudo apt-get install git g++ make python libusb-1.0-0-dev libudev-dev pkg-config

clone OpenNI2

git clone
cd OpenNI2

edit ThirdParty/PSCommon/BuildSystem/Platform.Arm

nano ThirdParty/PSCommon/BuildSystem/Platform.Arm

and replace

CFLAGS += -march=armv7-a -mtune=cortex-a9 -mfpu=neon -mfloat-abi=softfp #-mcpu=cortex-a8


CFLAGS += -march=armv7-a -mtune=cortex-a9 -mfpu=neon -mfloat-abi=hard

then run make to compile the OpenNI2 drivers and libraries


Note: Because of the missing java compiler, the compilation will fail with, and javac not found. This is ok since the drivers and shared libraries are already compiled at this point. The only thing missing are the samples.

Once the compilation is done, run the linux install script

cd /Packaging/Linux
sudo ./

copy libraries and includes to the system paths

sudo cp -r Include /usr/include/openni2
sudo cp -r Bin/Arm-Release/OpenNI2 /usr/lib/
sudo cp Bin/Arm-Release/libOpenNI2.* /usr/lib/

create a package config file

sudo nano /usr/lib/pkgconfig/libopenni2.pc

and fill it with this:


Name: OpenNI2
Description: A general purpose driver for all OpenNI cameras.
Cflags: -I${includedir}
Libs: -L${libdir} -lOpenNI2 -L${libdir}/OpenNI2/Drivers -lDummyDevice -lOniFile

this will enable ubuntu to find the location of the drivers, libraries and include files.

To make sure it is correctly found, run

pkg-config --modversion libopenni2

which should give the same version as defined in the file above (

Now the Xtion is ready to be used. Plug it in (if it is already, unplug it first), then run the sample program


Note: For the minimal install, the samples need to be compiled first. Add the following line to the makefile at the end

core_samples: $(CORE_SAMPLES)

then run

PLATFORM=Arm make core_samples

to compile the samples.

The SimpleRead returns the readings of middle point in the sensor data

	[00066738]      631
	[00100107]      641
	[00133477]      654
	[00166846]      662
	[00200215]      670
	[00233584]      677
	[00266954]      679
	[00300323]      678
	[00333692]      675
	[00367061]      669
	[00400431]      657
	[00433800]      644
	[00467169]      629
	[00500538]      611
	[00533908]      592

Full Install

in addition to the dependencies of the minimal install, the default-jdk package is needed:

sudo apt-get install default-jdk

now running


will compile the drivers, shared libraries, jar files and samples.

If a compressed archive with the drivers and libraries is needed, install the following:

sudo apt-get install doxygen

then run

cd Packaging
./ Arm

which creates the archive OpenNI-Linux-Arm-2.2.tar.bz2 in Packaging/Final/

Step 3: Install ROS Packages to run the Asus Xtion

The packages used to run the Asus Xtion on the UDOO are not availbale over apt yet, so they need to be compiled from source

First install the following dependencies, which will take some time and space (~900MB):

sudo apt-get install ros-hydro-ros ros-hydro-rostopic ros-hydro-nodelet ros-hydro-camera-info-manager ros-hydro-roscpp ros-hydro-sensor-msgs ros-hydro-dynamic-reconfigure ros-hydro-image-transport ros-hydro-image-proc ros-hydro-depth-image-proc ros-hydro-tf 

then create a catkin workspace as described here, and check out the following packages in the src folder of the catkin workspace:

git clone
git clone
git clone

Now the ros packages checked out above to the catkin workspace can be compiled with catkin_make

cd ~/catkin_ws

Once the packages are compiled, the Xtion is ready for use with ROS with

roslaunch openni2_launch openni2.launch

Performance on the UDOO is good with 30 Hz at 640x480, compared to the Raspberry Pi that can only provide 30 Hz at 320x240 under no other load.

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