Running Dreamview (Apollo 3.0) for pre-Haswell processors

Problem overview

The Apollo docker includes a version of PCL which was built with the FMA instruction set (fused multiply-add). For any Intel processor older than Haswell (and perhaps even some Broadwell processors), this causes an illegal instruction and prevents Dreaview from starting. In previous version of Apollo, this was difficult to problem solve since no error details were provided – in fact, Dreamview would be reported to be running but localhost:8888 could not be accessed. Since 3.0, however, Dreamview reports the following:
dreamview: ERROR (spawn error)
Note: this can probably be caused by many other issues. However, if you are running Haswell or earlier, the solution provided here is likely to work. You can use gdb to troubleshoot spawn errors.

The solution

You have to build PCL within the docker to overcome this problem.

cd /apollo
git clone
git checkout -b pcl-custom

Now you need to add the following to /apollo/pcl/CMakeLists.txt:

  • Below the line set(CMAKE_CONFIGURATION_TYPES "Debug;Release" CACHE STRING "possible configurations" FORCE), add the following:
    set (CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS "${CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS} -std=gnu++11")
    message("Build with c++11 support")
else ()
endif ()

Build PCL with the default options.

cd /apollo/pcl
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..

Replace the current PCL libraries with the new ones you just made (you can backup first).

sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/lib/pcl.backup
sudo mv /usr/local/lib/libpcl* /usr/local/lib/pcl.backup
sudo cp -a lib/* /usr/local/lib/
sudo ldconfig

Now you have to re-build Apollo.

cd /apollo
./ clean
./ build_gpu

And hopfully you can now start and access Dreamview with the usual ./scripts/