Category Archives: Howtos

ROS – [rosout-1] process has died, exit code -11

Some days ago I started roscore and got faced with an error message like that:

Okay, so roscore seemed to have crashed and created a log file according to the given path. But the logfile was empty *please imagine dramatic sound effects here*. But what do you do, if a programm (rosout?) crashes without log file and an error message like the above?

You insert your well done system wide backups like snapshots from zfs,btrfs, virtual machines, lvm or anything. If you forgot to do so… *fail sound here* you might need to manually check what changed since the last time it worked.

And so I did. For several days.

I soon figured out, that this error applied to all rosccp related ROS-programms – but left all rospy parts alive, which finally put my on track that there has been an kernel update of my ubuntu 14.04, which I unfortunately installed in a moment of weak decisions.
So reverting that would have been been an option, further my lib-boost version seemed to have changed – since ROS is very sensible to that, this might have been the problem. Therefore I tried everything by manually reverting updates, reinstalling packages, recompile everything from source, searching system logs and soon really considered to reset my system by installing good old 13.04 with ROS hydro…

But wait! Sometimes you strike lucky and time solves all issues. Today I’ve just upgraded my ROS from their repos and tadaaa – everything works again.

But why do I write this into an post? Because its easy to avoid situations like that and I want to share my hard learned lessons with you the easy way:

  1. Get your ROS version straight – Do you really need the latest ROS on the latest kernel?
    The answer for your system is probably no. I am currently running stable ROS Hydro and ‘unstable’ ROS Indigo on Ubuntu 14.04 on latest kernel. It works – but it would have been way easier to stick on Hydro all the way.
  2. avoid apt-get dist-upgrade on critical ROS machines
  3. use backups and / or virtual machines
  4. rospy didn’t cause any problems so far – in case performance isn’t the most important thing, think about using python
  5. avoid to put all your catkin_ws code into one git repository  if its running on multiple architectures (x86,x64, arm6,arm7) – alone the openni2_driver took nearly all my sanity during learning that lesson….

That is enough for today, but after this list, I really think about tracking all hard learned lessons in more public and better organised location – ROS best practices? We’ll see.



show apt-get history in Ubuntu / Debian

Sometimes you need some information about your apt-get install / upgrade / remove history. (for example if you destroyed your ROS-Install on your laptop).

By adding a little code snippet to your .bashrc you achieve a very useful tool.

Now running

brings you all install entries with timestamp and version information.  Note: instead of install ‘upgrade‘ and ‘remove‘ works too. ‘rollback‘ brings you version information you’ll might need for what I now call downgrade.

Reset Arduino Micro via python serial

Sometimes resetting a device isn’t as easy as expected. After some research i figured out, that opening a serial connection with a special baud rate would to the job for our Arduino Micro (and similiar like Leonardo):

Run the script as root. It might need required to change your port according to your serial controller status.

Arduino Micro and 3.3V IMU LSM9DS0 9DOF

Soldering, Soldering, Soldering 🙂 Everything else had been following the amazingly well written guides of the LSM9DS0 made by sparkfun. Nine degrees of freedom at a rate of “a few per second”(currently 9Hz) since I’ve followed just the basic setup without fancy interrupt usage.

One thing thats really important to mention is the different signal voltage level of the SDA and SCL pins between the Micro(5V) and the IMU Breakout Board(3.3V) – which in case you connect them together without bi-directional level shifting, as you might expect since i2c is designed for exactly that, would lead to blue chip burn.

So wiring on the bread board (and not removing the wires used by the arduino motor shield v2, so do not get too confused by that):


and applying the library to the arduino IDE, leads to a working live example with 2 outputs per second:ScreenshotIMULSM9DS0So the next step is to increase the rate by improving the setup wiring, parse that data into ROS Hydro by a SensorMsg/Imu publisher,  kalman and combining these with other odom sources like my currently used (and sadly poor)  or even an GPS source to a exact and really usable Odometry by the robot_pose_ekf package for later Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) – a real autonomous mapping and navigation. Sounds easy right?

Using TU-BAF VPN on Ubuntu with NetworkManager and VPNC

Using the VPN of the Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg on Ubuntu 14.04 and previous version can be really easy. Please check if you are running NetworkManager like you should by default.

Now install the network-manager-vpnc extension by:

Using system settings > Network Connections, or the nm-applet (the small network icon in your task bar) > Edit Connections
you should be able to follow this images:ScreenshotNMApplet

ScreenshotAddVPNScreenshotAddVPN2Now set the empty fields to the values below, for user name, choose your default credential:


click on Advanced button:ScreenshotAddVPN4

Now the VPN should start by clicking inside the nm-applet:


Please also see the official pages (german):