If you use Linux or OS X, then all dependencies can be installed either through a package manager or by OMPL's build system. In other words, you probably don't have to compile dependencies from source.

To compile OMPL the following two packages are required:

  • Boost, version 1.54 or higher, and
  • CMake, version 2.8.7 or higher.

The build system includes a number of options that you can enable or disable. To be able to generate python bindings you need to install the Python library and header files.

Below are more detailed installation instructions for Linux, OS X, and Windows.

If you are using ROS, please see MoveIt!.

Installation on Linux

Ubuntu Linux

Installation from repositories

Starting with Ubuntu 14.04, you can install OMPL like so

apt-get install libompl-dev ompl-demos

Debian packages for the latest version of OMPL are also found in ROS distributions (they might be newer than the standard Ubuntu ompl packages). All you need to do is add the ROS repository to your list of sources (you probably have added this already if you are using ROS):

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb `lsb_release -sc` main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ros-latest.list'
wget -O - | sudo apt-key add -

and install OMPL:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ros-`rosversion -d`-ompl

Installation from source

  • Install Boost, CMake, and optional dependencies
    sudo apt-get install build-essential libboost-all-dev cmake doxygen graphviz python-dev libeigen3-dev libode-dev
  • If you want Python bindings or a GUI, install Py++ and its dependencies.
  • Create a build directory and run cmake:
    cd ompl
    mkdir -p build/Release
    cd build/Release
    cmake ../..
  • Optionally, generate the Python bindings with make -j 4 update_bindings.
  • Compile OMPL by typing make -j 4.
  • Optionally, run the test programs by typing make test.
  • Optionally, generate documentation by typing make doc.
  • If you need to install the library, you can type sudo make install. The install location is specified by CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX. If you install in a non-standard location, you have to set the environment variable PYTHONPATH to the directory where the OMPL python module is installed (e.g., $HOME/lib/python2.7/site-packages).

Installation from source for use with ROS

If you'd like to use your own build of OMPL with ROS, follow the following steps:

  • Create a normal ROS catkin workspace
  • Clone OMPL into the src/ folder
  • Add the package.xml file:
    wget`rosversion -d`/`lsb_release -cs`/ompl/package.xml
  • To build, you must run catkin_make_isolated instead of the normal catkin_make since OMPL is not a normal catkin package.
  • When sourcing this workspace, be sure to source devel_isolated/setup.bash.

Fedora Linux

Simply type:

sudo yum install ompl

Debian Linux

Simply type:

sudo apt-get install libompl-dev ompl-demos

Installation on Mac OS X

It is easiest to install OMPL through either MacPorts or HomeBrew, two package managers for OS X. Note that the HomeBrew package does not include the Python bindings for OMPL.


Install MacPorts and type:

sudo port sync \; install ompl

Demo programs can be found in /opt/local/share/ompl.


Install Homebrew and type:

brew install ompl

Installation on Windows

It is possible to run OMPL natively on Windows, although it must be stressed that extensive testing on Windows is not performed at this time, and running OMPL on Windows is considered highly experimental. It is much easier to install VirtualBox, create an Ubuntu virtual machine, and follow the Ubuntu installation directions above.

For best performance, the MinGW compiler is recommended. Visual Studio can also be used to build the core OMPL library, but currently it is not possible to generate the python bindings for OMPL with this compiler. However, if the bindings are generated with MinGW, the bindings can be compiled by Visual Studio with some minor tweaks to the code (not recommended, unless you are an experienced Windows developer).

Required Dependencies

  • CMake, version 2.8.7 or higher,
  • MinGW (recommended) or Visual Studio compiler, and
  • Boost, version 1.54 or greater.

    It is recommended to make a complete Boost compilation from source. If using Visual Studio, this process can be automated using the BoostPro installer. Once complete, set the environment variables BOOST_ROOT and BOOST_LIBRARYDIR to the locations where Boost and its libraries are installed. The default locations are C:\\Boost and C:\\Boost\\lib. Ensure that BOOST_LIBRARYDIR is also in the system PATH so that any necessary Boost dlls are loaded properly at runtime.

Optional Dependencies (for Python bindings)

  • A 32-bit version of Python 2.7. Ensure that this is installed before building Boost so that Boost.Python is properly compiled.
  • Ensure that Python is added to the system PATH.
  • Py++: To generate the Python bindings, Py++ and its dependencies must be installed. Instructions can be found here.


  • Once the dependencies are installed, CMake can be used to generate MinGW makefiles or a Visual Studio solution by specifying a specific GENERATOR:
    cd ompl
    mkdir build
    cd build
    mkdir Release
    cd Release
    cmake -G "GENERATOR" ../.. [-DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/path/to/install]

The CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX variable is set to C:\\Program Files (x86)\\ompl by default.


  • The CMake generator for MinGW is "MinGW Makefiles"
  • To generate the python bindings (optional), execute the update_bindings make command before compiling:

    mingw32-make update_bindings

    Note: update_bindings is never run automatically. If you change any of the OMPL header files, you need to regenerate the bindings for the changes to be reflected in the Python modules. See also the more detailed documentation on generating python bindings.

  • Use mingw32-make to build OMPL.
  • If you wish to install OMPL, use the install command to copy the binaries, demo code, and other resources to the cmake install prefix. Note that you will need to be in a shell with administrator privileges to install to the default directory.
    mingw32-make install
  • Make sure to add the install path's \lib subdirectory to the PATH so that the DLLs are found when code is loaded.

Visual Studio

  • The CMake generator for Visual Studio depends on the version of Visual Studio to generate a solution for. The generator for VS 2010 is "Visual Studio 10", and the generator for VS 2008 is "Visual Studio 9 2008". Consult the CMake documentation for other generators.
  • Open ompl.sln and build the solution. A static library will be created (ompl.lib) to link your code against, as well as several demo programs.
  • You can install OMPL by building the "INSTALL" project inside of the solution. Note that this will attempt to copy files to C:\\Program Files (x86)\\ompl (the default). The installation will fail unless Visual Studio is opened with administrator privileges, or a non-system install prefix is specified when cmake is run.