Life is a game, take it seriously

xtion kinect on Ubuntu 12.04

In Computer Vision, Point Cloud Library on September 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm

by Gooly (Li Yang Ku)

 (3/9/2014 Update: OpenNI released OpenNI2 last year. I still use the old OpenNI for most of my ROS applications but you can learn how to use OpenNI2 in my newer post. You can still download the old OpenNI under 

After upgrading to Ubuntu 12.04 I ran into some problems with kinect and xtion. (I used to have the stable version working on Ubuntu 11, see link) After trying several different driver combinations, I had some progress but could only have one kind of sensor working at a time.

(Update: the version number below doesn’t exist anymore, please download OpenNI SDK v1.5.7.10, OpenNI-Compliant Sensor Driver v5.1.6.6, NiTE v1.5.2.23 instead)

For Kinect to work:

  1. Install OpenNI (unstable version v from
  2. Install hardware binaries from ps-engine. Install it with “apt-get install” or through synaptics. The order is important, always install OpenNI first.
  3. If it’s not working, check and make sure XnSensorServer is not running. Kill it if it is.

For xtion to work:

  1. Install OpenNI (unstable version v from
  2. Install hardware binaries (stable version v 5.1.041) from . The order is important, always install OpenNI first.

I check the results with NiViewer and pcl OpenNIGrabber; try to switch usb ports if you still have problem. I actually have one computer to work on both sensors the same time, but my other computer doesn’t. Let me know if you have the same result if possible. Thanks.

  1. Tx for sharing this! I’m a complete n00b to the use of kinect/xtion for 3d measurements (I work with terrestrial laser scanning for such purposes). What would be your hardware of choice in an Ubuntu environment: xtion or kinect? Cheers, Rob

  2. […] this sensor can only work with OpenNI 2.2 I am forced to come out of my OpenNI 1 comfort zone and do the upgrade on my Ubuntu machine. ( I am still using ROS fuerte though, life is full of […]

  3. […] sure you have OpenNI installed. I use the old version OpenNI instead of OpenNI2. See my previous post about installing OpenNI on Ubuntu if you […]

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