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OLA on Linux


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This describes how to get OLA working on a Linux system either from the git repo or by using a released tarball.

Install dependencies

You need a couple of libraries installed for everything to work correctly. Some of these are available as packages in distros but others need to be downloaded and built manually.

First you'll need at least the following:

If you're building from git you'll also need the following:

  • libtool
  • automake
  • autoconf

Debian / Ubuntu

There is a fully packaged version of OLA you can just install, for info see OLA Debian / Ubuntu. There's also a more specific Ubuntu walkthrough for building The Newbie Guide for OLA on Ubuntu.

Debian/Ubuntu users can install them with apt:

 sudo apt-get install libcppunit-dev uuid-dev pkg-config libncurses5-dev libtool autoconf automake  g++ libmicrohttpd-dev \
 libmicrohttpd10 protobuf-compiler python-protobuf libprotobuf-dev libprotoc-dev zlib1g-dev bison flex make libftdi-dev  libftdi1 libusb-1.0-0-dev liblo-dev libavahi-client-dev

Note: Some distributions may offer libprotobuf-lite6 instead of libprotobuf-lite7, which is an acceptable substitution.

If you're using Ubuntu 12.04 or later you can just use the command above. In earlier versions of Ubuntu the version of libprotobuf is too old, so you'll need to install them by hand. You may also need to install an older version of libmicrohttpd (libmicrohttpd9 rather than libmicrohttpd10).

Centos 6 / RHEL 6 / Fedora 17

Users of rpm based distributions can install them with yum (protobuf*, libmicrohttpd* and libftdi* are in the EPEL repository):

 sudo yum install flex bison protobuf protobuf-devel uuid-devel cppunit-devel protobuf-python libmicrohttpd-devel libusb-devel libftdi-devel libuuid-devel openslp-devel

(The remaining libs already come with the OS installation)

Other Distributions

Install using your package manager, or build everything by hand

If you installed things by hand (rather than using your package manager), you need to run ldconfig as root to pick up the new libraries

 sudo  ldconfig

Checkout or Download an Archive

You can either download a tarball, or pull the latest version from the git repo


Download the most recent tarball from Extract using

 tar -zxf ola-0.X.Y.tar.gz
 cd ola-0.X.Y


If you don't have git yet, you'll need to install it with your distro's package manager. On Debian / Ubuntu run:

 sudo apt-get install git

Check out the git repo with the following command:

 git clone ola
 cd ola

Run autoreconf

If this is the first time run with -i to install the missing files

autoreconf -i

Do the usual build steps

You can pass additional options to ./configure . Run

 ./configure --help

to see all options. The most popular option is --enable-python-libs to build the Python Client Module. If you want to use the RDM responder tests add --enable-rdm-tests.

Once you've decided on the options, it's time to build OLA. If you have a multi-core machine, you can speed up the build by using make -j N. A good value of N is the number of cores on your machine. On a MacBook Pro (4 core) using -j 4 reduced the build time from 5 minutes to 2.5 minutes.

./configure --enable-rdm-tests
make check
sudo make install

Finally run ldconfig so you can use the new libraries.

 sudo ldconfig

Device drivers

Note that, for some devices, it is necessary to install drivers for OLA to work with them. For example, the Open DMX USB device needs an additional kernel module that could be built using the instuctions on LLA_and_Q_Light_Controller_Ubuntu_Tutorial. For other devices, refer to the corresponding device page on this wiki.

Known Issues

If you get an error like the following:

/bin/sh ./libtool --tag=CC   --mode=compile gcc -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I.   -I/opt/local/var/macports/software/protobuf-cpp/2.0.3_0/opt/local/include/  -g -O2 -c -o ltdl.lo ltdl.c
./libtool: line 464: CDPATH: command not found
/Users/simonn/lighting/lla/libltdl/libtool: line 464: CDPATH: command not found
/Users/simonn/lighting/lla/libltdl/libtool: line 1142: func_opt_split: command not found
libtool: Version mismatch error.  This is libtool 2.2.6, but the
libtool: definition of this LT_INIT comes from an older release.
libtool: You should recreate aclocal.m4 with macros from libtool 2.2.6
libtool: and run autoconf again.

Your system uses a different version of libtool. Run:

 libtoolize --ltdl -c -f

and then start from the autoreconf step again.

If you should get the following error try to fix it with one of two available solutions: In copy constructor 'ola::rpc::RpcMessage::RpcMessage(const ola::rpc::RpcMessage&)': error: base class 'class google::protobuf::Message' should be explicitly initialized in the copy constructor 

You should be able to prevent this by editing ./src/, removing -Werror and then start from the autoreconfig step again.


Doxygen Documentation

There is also an option to build the doxygen documentation! To do so you will need to install doxygen.

Once you have installed Doxygen you may need to run ./configure in your ola directory, so that it can generate the correct make file. To build the docs just use:

 make doxygen-doc

You'll have to run a webserver to get the experience. A simple way to do this is to navigate to open-lighting/html and run:

 python -m SimpleHTTPServer

This opens a web server at your local IP address on port 8000. I can be accessed through on your local machine as well.