This website uses browsing/session and functional cookies to ensure you get the best experience. Learn More

Linux:Installation from sources

From Wiki for iCub and Friends
Jump to: navigation, search
The page contains instructions for compiling YARP and the iCub software. We recommend you get the required dependencies from the binary packages.


Getting all dependencies

Add to your sources.list. Determine the Linux distribution you use.

E.g. for Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial (Note: you need to adapt these instructions according to your distribution).

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb xenial contrib/science" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/icub.list'

For Debian 7.0 Wheezy(Note: you need to adapt these instructions according to your distribution).

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb wheezy contrib/science" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/icub.list'

NOTE : if apt complains about missing public key, please import the repository public key (this must be done only once) as follows

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys 57A5ACB6110576A6

Install only the package icub-common:

sudo apt-get install icub-common

If you want to install all packages yourself, this is the list of packages you have to install (Linux: dependencies).

Setting up revision control systems

To download sources from our repositories you need to set up a revision control system client. The git client was already installed with the icub-common package.

To get sources you don't need to understand git in detail (just follow our instructions). However you can follow this link if you are willing to learn more Learning more about git.

Compile YARP

Follow instructions here:, follow the section Install from sources -- Compiling YARP (you an skip installation of packages).

Important, for use with the iCub robot when compiling YARP make sure you select the following CMake options:

 ENABLE_yarpcar_bayer, set to ON

Download iCub source code

In the rest of the tutorial, it will be assume that you will downloaded the code in the /home/user.

To download the icub-main source code, just use git:

 cd /home/user
 git clone

This command will create the /home/user/icub-main directory, containing the icub-main source code.

Create iCub makefiles

Pick a build directory to store makefiles and binaries, e.g. /home/user/icub-main/build

Run CMake to generate makefiles:

 cd  /home/user/icub-main
 mkdir build
 cd build
 ccmake ../

Hit 'c' to configure the project.

Select options:

 CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE to "Release"
 ENABLE_icubmod_cartesiancontrollerclient ON
 ENABLE_icubmod_cartesiancontrollerserver ON
 ENABLE_icubmod_gazecontrollerclient      ON

Leave all other options to default (unless you know what you are doing).

Note 1: You can optionally change CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX, this is the directory where you would like to install iCub (default is /usr/local). If you set it to a different prefix than YARP's, you will then need to set up the environment accordingly (see Configure your environment below).

Compile iCub

 cd  /home/user/icub-main/build
 sudo make install

Setup ICUBcontrib (optional)

First you need to download the sources. These are available only on subversion from sourceforge.

 cd /home/user/
 git clone

First set up the ICUBcontrib meta-package, which allows to properly configure your modules/libraries so that they share the same installation prefix.

 cd /home/user/icub-contrib-common/
 mkdir build && cd build
 ccmake ../

At this stage you must change CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX entry here to the path of your liking, preferably in your home; hit 'g' to generate the project. If you do not change the CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX you will need to constantly use sudo for any subsequent action, eg: run module with administrative rights.


 make install

Once you have installed the ICUBcontrib package you can compile the other modules individually.

Configure your environment

If you installed YARP and/or iCub or ICUBcontrib to non-default directories, you need to set your environment.

  • Set the ICUBcontrib_DIR env var to point to the installation directory.
  • Append $ICUBcontrib_DIR/bin to your PATH.
  • Set the CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH env var to point to the installation directory $ICUBcontrib_DIR.
  • Modify the variable YARP_DATA_DIRS accordingly, i.e.:

Check your installation

Now you are ready to check your installation.

Personal tools