Thursday, 22 March 2012


Once I tried to explain ROS to one of my friends, after about 15 minutes of blabbering and tapping keys on the computer .... he looked at me and asked; "We need to open 4 terminal windows to get this thing moving ?". Though the terminal window is what most of us just love to use, a colourful GUI is always more welcome. Such a GUI, rxDeveloper is provided by Filip Muellers at

The clear advantage that rxDeveloper has over the terminal window is that everything is pictorial and would lure the potentially non-initiated robot enthusiast. I used Stage and Gazebo launch scripts through rxDeveloper and everything worked nearly all right.

The GUI works well with launch files and it doesn't need to explicitly start the master. Tools as rviz, roswtf, rxgraph, rxconsole etc are available as a drop down menu, a bash like script keeps track of the execution of the launch files, each node/process is  pictorially denoted and there are facilities to create, edit and save all kinds of launch files.

With some effort it was  possible to add rxDeveloper to my Applications menu in Ubuntu 10.04,

NOTE : All observations are for rxDeveloper version 1.0b, ROS diamondback version 1.4.10 installed on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS


frontwise said...

Is it possible to visualize publishing and subscription without remaping using this GUI?

Arkapravo Bhaumik said...

Hello fontwise,

I take it that you have gone through the basic tutorials at

This GUI merely makes it more user friendly and is an encouragement for the non-coder.

Hope that helps.

frontwise said...

I want to make software diagram automaticaly, something like this because I saw this picture. I think, if I'll write specificationfile it could be possible, so is it? In video user does remaping by hand...

frontwise said...

I realized that I wanted too much;)
I want visualize service calls too...
But I should say this tool seems very useful.

Arkapravo Bhaumik said...

Hello frontwise,

You are welcome, if you are that interested then you may consider contacting Filip.

Unknown said...

Thanks for pointing this out. RXDeveloper appears not to have been updated in two years now. The same is true for the other ROS GUI I found. Are there any ROS GUI projects that are actively maintained and developed? It seems like it would help me get up the learning curve to have an environment for ROS with a GUI where everything functioned by default rather than starting from scratch, which seems to be the ROS paradigm.

Thanks for any tips you have!

Arkapravo Bhaumik said...

If you are interested in GUI, now ROS comes with rqt which can display the nodes etc. However, rqt is clearly a different philosophy from rxdeveloper as rqt displays the running nodes while rxdeveloper is a tool to run ROS nodes. I do not know of any other approaches which are similar to rxdeveloper.