What do I need to install Flotilla and Rockpool on Ubuntu?

Good Afternoon,

The postman kindly brought me my Mega Chest the other morning (thanks pirates!)

I’ve been following the guide from here:

Pimoroni Flotilla and Rockpool on Ubuntu

But got stuck around the ‘pushd Flotilla-Daemon-VS/libserialport’ command.

I think I may have some build tools missing but I’m not sure which ones.
(Running XFCE on a Chromebook under Crouton)

Can anyone point me in the right direction towards how to build this, I’m a bit of a new builder.

Happy to use the flotilla-pre git and start testing.

Thanks in advance.

My advise is to try first the pre-built linux binaries available at:

they may or may not work, I suspect at the very least you’ll have to figure out where libserialport should go on your system. It might even be suitable to build against, not sure.

… either way, it could give me some pointers as how to refine potential support on Ubuntu without requiring to build from source.

PS: and err yeah, if compiling and deploying was as easy as the comment made on the blog was, we could all live a happy (but boring) life ever after!

You can substitute the instructions supplied ( for compiling libserialport ) with these:

git clone https://github.com/martinling/libserialport
cd libserialport
./configure --prefix=/usr/local
sudo make install

I’d like to piece together full linux build instructions since it’s really not that complicated and I recently completed a build on Linux Mint 17.2. The main problem is it necessitates you having a lot of build tools installed that you may not otherwise desire!

That said, I’m more than happy trying to help you figuring out the missing part in your compilation jigsaw, but you have to post exact messages received… I suspect you simply need to cd in the right directory to build libserialport, but that’s just a wild guess!

EDIT: follow @gadgetoid instructions, the sources for libserialport are more suitable than those currently included in the ‘VS’ repo.

Thank you for the quick replies.

Thank you for the above instructions.

I think that has worked.

(I had to remove and then re-install ‘make’ for some reason.)

I’ll try following the remaining blog instructions.

Thanks for all the help everyone.

Build script I’m now trying on Linux Mint 17.3 ( which is based upon Ubuntu 14.04.3 ):


sudo apt-get install --yes build-essential
sudo apt-get install --yes libtool autoconf automake cmake
sudo apt-get install --yes libboost1.55-dev libboost-system1.55-dev libboost-program-options1.55-dev libboost-filesystem1.55-dev libboost-date-time1.55-dev

git clone --depth=1 https://github.com/martinling/libserialport
cd libserialport
sudo make install
cd ..

git clone --depth=1 https://github.com/zaphoyd/websocketpp
cd websocketpp
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..
sudo make install
cd ../../

git clone --depth=1 https://github.com/pimoroni/flotilla-daemon-vs
cd flotilla-daemon-vs/Flotilla
make CC=g++

This now works in both ShipShape and Master. I’ve fixed the master Makefile so it no longer explodes the linker after compiling. D’oh.

If you want to use ShipShape ( recommend, it’s sooo much better ) then add -b ship to the end of git clone --depth=1 https://github.com/pimoroni/flotilla-daemon-vs to target that branch.

wow. Brill.

I’ll give it a go and let you know how I get on.


Note the edits I’ve included above.

This may not be a straight copy & paste affair since your Ubuntu install may not have the right versions of Libboost or g++ out of the box, but it’s usually easy enough to find them yourself by doing something like:

apt-cache search libboost

And picking an available version number ( 1.50, 1.55 or 1.6x ) to substitute into the script above.

Compiling stuff can be painful and lead to some very, very obscure error output, but it’s a learning exercise!

Once compiled, the binary will be in the Flotilla folder:

cd flotilla-daemon-vs/Flotilla/Debug
./flotillad -d

Thank you.

Guess what I’m going to be doing this weekend ??


Sounds like a plan!

You may also have to add your user to the dialout group, or you’ll get tons of ‘unable to open port’ errors when you actually run the Daemon- as I just discovered on mint!

‘Flotilla ready to set sail’

I be raisin’ a glass of grog to ye.

Not sure, but I think that was taken care of when I installed the Arduino IDE.

Worth noting though.

Grabbed ‘flotilla-offline’.

Everything works so far.

I just need to plug in the dock later on this evening.

Once again, that you both for the pointers and fantastic support.

For anyone else who has an odd setup like me:

Chromebook running Ubuntu 14.04 with XFCE in a Crouton chroot

Running '**python rockpool.py**' launches the ChromeOS browser.

An unexpected surprise, but a nice one.
1 Like

Yarrr, she be sailin’ on the high seas!

Good news to know it can be fudged onto a Chromebook, we’ve got one kicking around that might make a great portable demo-unit. WiFi inevitably fails us in venues :(

hmmm. Seem to be a bit stuck.

On a fresh Ubuntu install, with flotilla-pre cloned from git, I ran:
sudo ./install_dependencies

All ran OK with the nice ‘All Done!’ message.

However, when I run:
sudo ./launch_flotilla
or just

I get:
./flotillad/flotilla-i386: error while loading shared libraries: libboost_system.so.1.55.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Any ideas?

Either libboost didn’t install properly or it’s not where the flotilla daemon expect it.


sudo apt-get libboost-system1.55.0 libboost-filesystem1.55.0 libboost-program-options1.55.0 libboost-date-time1.55.0

and watch the output for any problem.

what distribution is that on incidentally?


Still getting the same No such file or directory error.

Here is what I went through:
Powerwashed the Chromebook.
Fresh Ubuntu 14.04 install.
Added a few programs (like git).


sudo apt-get install libboost-system1.55.0 libboost-filesystem1.55.0 libboost-program-options1.55.0 libboost-date-time1.55.0

With no errors.

Then cloned ‘flotilla-pre’ from git and ran:

sudo ./install_dependencies

With no terminal errors.


sudo ./launch_flotilla

And got the error:

./flotillad/flotilla-i386: error while loading shared libraries: libboost_system.so.1.55.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Any ideas ?

What Chromebook specifically are you using?

A Toshiba Chromebook CB30-B-104

Running Ubuntu in a chroot under Crouton.

Does that make a difference you think ?

That particular binary was compiled under Debian 8.3 on a notebook with a 32-bit instruction set CPU. I’m not sure what would happen on anything else… I suspect that could be the problem, namely that you’d need boost libs that match the arch of the build.

Your best bet may be to compile from source using @gadgetoid script, it should be easy enough, hopefully.