Ubuntu & Debian

Ubuntu and Debian are distributions (‘distros’) of GNU/Linux (a.k.a. Linux).


Ubuntu is Debian-based thus they share much code and packages.

For these OSs, the complete list of steps is available (and has been thoroughly checked), including ODE’s compilation and installation, which are the major obstacles in the process and may scare users unaccustomed to the command line and software compilation.

Ubuntu 12.04

Ubuntu’s latest long-term-support release is 12.04 (a.k.a. Precise Pangolin) and was published on April, 2012.

Run the following commands in sequence and you’ll have ARS ready to go. They are grouped as: a) Python basic packages, b) VTK, c) ODE, d) ARS:

sudo apt-get install python-dev python-support python-pip
sudo apt-get install python-numpy cython

sudo apt-get install libvtk5.8 python-vtk

sudo apt-get install make autoconf automake libtool g++ pkg-config
wget https://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/opende/ODE/0.12/ode-0.12.tar.bz2
tar xf ode-0.12.tar.bz2
cd ode-0.12/
./configure --enable-double-precision --with-trimesh=opcode --enable-new-trimesh --enable-shared
sudo make install
cd bindings/python/
sudo python setup.py install
sudo ldconfig

sudo pip install ARS

Notice how ODE is the software piece that takes more commands and time to install. Fortunately, ARS is the exact opposite.


Not all users will need to run ldconfig but it doesn’t hurt if you do. See ODE Import Error for more information.

Debian 7

Debian’s next stable version is 7 (a.k.a. Wheezy) and is about to be released in the first half of 2013. Debian 6 (a.k.a. Squeeze) had old versions of Python and VTK thus was not considered for these ‘easy install’ instructions.

The required steps are identical as those above, with one caveat:


Debian might not have sudo available or the OS user might not be in the sudo group. The solution (you need the root user password) for these is:

apt-get install sudo
adduser <username> sudo

and then logout and login again.

An alternative is to replace sudo <command> with su -c '<command>'.