MORSE installation

MORSE in two minutes (if you run Debian or Ubuntu!)

Start up a console, type sudo apt-get install morse-simulator (or click here: install morse-simulator), then:

$ morse create my_first_sim
$ morse run my_first_sim

Here you are!


Installing this package also gives you full support for ros, yarp, moos, and in fact, all of the middlewares supported by MORSE (with a few corner cases for the pocolibs middleware that may require manual compilation. Read on).


Automatic installation of middlewares’ support requires MORSE >=1.3! Ubuntu =< 15.04 and Debian Wheezy/Jessie only ship MORSE 1.2.2: in that case, you still need to install MORSE manually if you want to use MORSE with ROS/YARP/MOOS/pocolibs. Read on.

You can now head to the Quickstart tutorial!

System requirements

Supported operating systems

Only Linux (x86 and x86_64) is currently officially supported. MORSE is mainly developed on Fedora and Ubuntu, but we don’t expect problems on other distributions.

Other UNIX-based systems probably work as well, like FreeBSD or Apple’s macOS. Limited testing has been performed on OSX 10.8 with success (see below for the Homebrew recipe).

MORSE does not currently officially support Microsoft Windows, although some users have reported success. Testers/maintainers for Windows are welcome!


A decent machine is required (typically, with an Intel i5 and 4GB RAM should be sufficient).

To display textures correctly in the simulator, as well as to generate images using the simulated cameras, you will need to have a graphics card that supports GLSL shading. The Blender website lists these graphic cards as compatible with GLSL:

  • ATI Radeon 9x00, Xx00, X1x00, HD2x00 and HD3x00 series and newer.
  • NVidia Geforce FX, 6x00, 7x00, 8x00, 9x00 and GTX 2x0 and newer.

If you do not need cameras and OpenGL textures/shaders, you are advised to run your simulation in fastmode (refer to the simulation’s Builder API) for vastly improved loading time and performance.

Packaged versions

MORSE is available on Debian >= Wheezy and Ubuntu >= 13.04. You can install the package morse-simulator with your favorite software package manager:

$ sudo apt-get install morse-simulator

You can also install the Python bindings with:

$ sudo apt-get install python3-morse-simulator


Automatic installation of middlewares’ support requires MORSE >=1.3! Ubuntu =< 15.04 and Debian Wheezy/Jessie only ship MORSE 1.2.2: in that case, you need to install MORSE manually if you want to use MORSE with ROS/YARP/MOOS/pocolibs. Continue to the next section.

You can also easily install MORSE with:

See their associated documentation for details.

Manual installation


The directory where MORSE is installed will be referred to as $MORSE_ROOT in this document.


  • cmake
  • Python (>= 3.3)
  • python-dev package
  • Blender (>= 2.65) build with Python >= 3.3. You can simply get a binary from the Blender website
  • numpy for python3 (often packaged as py3-numpy `` or ``python3-numpy)


If you plan to build packages for MORSE, please read the notes on packaging below.


If you use a Blender binary, numpy is already shipped within it.


Clone with git or download the latest version of the source code:

$ git clone

(the latest revision is always reasonably stable, and we recommend that you use it. However, if you prefer to use the stable branch, you can checkout the 1.4_STABLE branch or download it from here.

MORSE relies on a standard CMake workflow: go to the directory where you downloaded the MORSE source and type:

$ mkdir build && cd build
$ cmake ..
$ sudo make install

While the default set of options should cover the needs of most users, you can use ccmake .. to inspect (and modify) all the available options.

The optional $MORSE_BLENDER environment variable can be set to let the simulator know where to look for Blender if it is not accessible from the path.

You can check your configuration is ok with:

$ morse check


When updating MORSE to a more recent version, you’ll simply have to do:

$ git pull --rebase master
$ cd build
$ sudo make install

Time to jump to MORSE’s Quickstart tutorial!

Middleware-specific notes

  • ros Since MORSE runs with Python 3, you need to install the packages python3-catkin-tools and python3-yaml. If these packages are not available for your distribution, check the manual instructions.
  • yarp If needed, instructions to install YARP on your system are available here.
  • moos If needed, instructions to install MOOS on your system are available here.
  • pocolibs pocolibs support requires specific steps (some bindings require a compilation). Instructions are available here.


While not officially supported, MORSE is also known to work with OpenRTM.

Advanced components

If you want to distribute your simulation in a multinode infrastructure, MORSE provides by default a socket service for multinode synchronization. If you want to use HLA, you have to first install the CERTI and PyHLA packages:

Notes for packaging

By default, MORSE automatically installs support for every supported middleware as well as the Python bindings pymorse.

To package MORSE, you may want to separate the support for the various middlewares from the core of the simulator. This can easily be achieved by passing options to CMake like -DBUILD_ROS_SUPPORT=OFF or PYMORSE_SUPPORT=OFF.

-DBUILD_CORE_SUPPORT=OFF disables the installation of the core of the simulator. This way, you can easily package separately the support for the various middlewares/bindings.

Installation troubleshooting

In case of problems installing/running MORSE, check the list of Frequently Asked Questions.