Installing APM Mission Planner on Ubuntu

Installing APM Mission Planner on Ubuntu

Since APM planner is created using QT framework, it can run on Ubuntu.

Installation

To install do the following:

  1. Install the required packages including QT5.

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install qt5-qmake qt5-default \
      qtscript5-dev libqt5webkit5-dev libqt5serialport5-dev \
      libqt5svg5-dev qtdeclarative5-qtquick2-plugin
    sudo apt-get install git libsdl1.2-dev  libsndfile-dev \
      flite1-dev libssl-dev libudev-dev libsdl2-dev
    
  2. Clone the git repo: (We'll clean it up shortly, don't worry)

    git clone https://github.com/diydrones/apm_planner
    
  3. Make it and build it using QT.

    cd apm_planner
    qmake qgroundcontrol.pro
    make
    

    If a dependency is needed while making, and you install it, you must perform qmake again then make. I had to install more QT dependencies and to edit a few QT files for QTWidgets.

  4. Run it.

    ./release/apmplanner2
    
  5. If the application did run (the GUI opened), this is great news. If it didn't, make sure make worked properly and there are no errors.

  6. Exit the application. Add your user to dialout group and remove the modem manager.

    sudo adduser $USER dialout
    sudo apt-get remove modemmanager
    
  7. Copy the whole folder to opt to clean things up.

    sudo mv ../apm_planner /opt/
    
  8. Create an applications menu shortcut:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/apm_planner.desktop
    

    And copy the following contents in it:

    [Desktop Entry]
    Comment=
    Terminal=false
    Name=APM Planner
    Exec=/opt/apm_planner/release/launch
    Type=Application
    Icon=/opt/apm_planner/release/files/APMIcons/ap_rc.png
    
  9. Log out and in back again for the user group permissions to take effect.

  10. Run APM Planner from the Applications Menu.

What works and what does not

This version is better than Windows version generally, but worse in only two things.

Basically, everything works on the Linux version, you can enable Advanced settings to have all Windows default features. I was able to calibrate, set it up, create way points, arm and run a mission on the Linux version (as well as the Windows version).

The connection is much better than Windows' APM. On Windows I would have to try to connect multiple times and to disconnect and reconnect the Pixhawk multiple times for a connection to be established. On Ubuntu, one click of Connect does its magic.

However, on HiDPi screens, the Linux version does not scale (as you can see in the photo) and the text overlaps at times. Also, the calibration is not as fancy as the Windows one. And the worst one, the map is kinda funny on Linux. It does not zoom automatically to the GPS location, you would have to do that on your own which takes too much time due to the sensitivity of the zoom and drag.

Generally, I calibrate and set it all up on Linux. I would then create the mission on Windows and then switch back to Linux for monitoring.

More: apm planner, mission planner, ubuntu