Skip to content

Running an LRAUV vehicle simulator



Work on the "dockerized" LRAUV simulator is still under testing.

Please let us know of any questions or suggestions.


0. Login to Docker Hub

On your target machine, login with an account having access to the mbari/lrauv repository at Docker Hub:

docker login

1. Create a directory for the LRAUV simulator

Create a directory under which to run the LRAUV simulator. We will assume such directory designation has been captured in the MYLRAUVDIR environment variable.

2. Create a subdirectory for configuration

Create a subdirectory simConfig under $MYLRAUVDIR. This subdirectory will contain files used to overwrite default "sim" vehicle settings.

mkdir simConfig

In particular, create and edit simConfig/secure.cfg to specify the TethysDash backend (IP or hostname, port, etc.) that the LRAUV simulator will be interacting with. For example:

Vehicle.dashIP          = "";    // or a name, e.g., ""
Vehicle.dashPort        = "8080";
Vehicle.dashPath        = "/TethysDash";
Vehicle.dashSSL         = 0 bool;
Vehicle.imei            = "mylrauvsim"
Vehicle.imeiPassword    = "mypw";
Vehicle.keyText         = "mykeytext";
  • dashIP indicates the host of the TethysDash application. This can be an IP address or a name, e.g., "" or "".

  • dashPort indicates the port of the TethysDash application on the host indicated above.

  • dashPath is the TethysDash application context on the host, typically "/TethysDash".

  • dashSSL indicates whether the server should be accessed securely (1 bool) or not (0 bool).

  • For a vehicle simulator, imei, imeiPassword, and keyText can be any arbitrary strings. Only requirement is that imei be unique with respect to all vehicles handled by the target TethysDash instance. (imei must be unique per vehicle since it is used by TethysDash to identify the source of incoming data.)

Also, create and edit simConfig/Sensor.cfg with the following contents:

DataOverHttps.loadAtStartup = 1 bool;

At this point the contents of ${MYLRAUVDIR} should look like this:

└── simConfig
   ├── secure.cfg
   └── Sensor.cfg

3. Get the LRAUV Simulator image

Visit Docker Hub to select the latest version of the LRAUV image. In what follows we assume the image name is captured in the LRAUV_IMAGE environment variable, for example:

export LRAUV_IMAGE="mbari/lrauv:2021-01-14_b32928ff"

Example with the latest available version:

export LRAUV_IMAGE="mbari/lrauv:latest"

4. Create "lrauv" container

Note, we first create the container (so it is ready to be used multiple times), and then run it whenever needed.

The following will pull the image from Docker Hub and create the container (additional details about some docker commands are provided below):


docker create --name lrauv \
              --volume $PWD/simConfig:/opt/lrauv-application/Config/sim/root \
              --volume $PWD/LRAUV_Logs:/opt/lrauv-application/Logs \
              --volume $PWD/LRAUV_Data:/opt/lrauv-application/Data \
              --interactive --tty \
              --net=host \

5. Run the "lrauv" container

With the "lrauv" container created, you can run it whenever needed:

$ docker start -ai lrauv

___ Running process_nav... ___
Opening Config file at: Config/regressionTests/Navigation.cfg
NavChartDb.charts = "US1WC07M,US2WC11M,US3CA52M,US4CA60M,US5CA50M,US5CA61M,US5CA62M,US5CA83M"
2019-11-01T21:05:21.985Z,1572642321.985 [NavChartDb](INFO): Looking for Electronic Nav Chart file at: Resources/ElectronicNavigationCharts/US1WC07M.000
2019-11-01T21:05:21.986Z,1572642321.986 [NavChartDb](IMPORTANT): Will load Electronic Nav Chart data from US1WC07M.000
2019-11-01T21:05:21.986Z,1572642321.986 [NavChartDb](INFO): Looking for Electronic Nav Chart file at: Resources/ElectronicNavigationCharts/US2WC11M.000
2019-11-01T21:13:33.482Z,1572642813.482 [NavChartDb](INFO): Creating index for 3474p7
2019-11-01T21:13:33.504Z,1572642813.504 [NavChartDb](INFO): Creating index for 3657p6

___ Launching SimDaemon... ___
SimDaemon waiting to accept a connection!

___ Running simulator: bin/LRAUV
Writer for level Courier will be LZMA encoded.
Writer for level Express will be LZMA encoded.
Writer for level Priority will not be LZMA encoded.
Writer for level Normal will not be LZMA encoded.
2019-11-01T21:13:34.554Z,1572642814.554 [SyncHandler](INFO): Protected caller Thread ID is 10

  • Only on very first execution, a number of indexes are created (Running process_nav...); this may take a few minutes.

  • You then should get the LRAUV prompt shown as lrauv> above (but the string before the > may be different). This prompt indicates that the "sim" vehicle is ready to interact with TethysDash. You can also enter commands directly at the prompt.

  • Logs are generated under $PWD/LRAUV_Logs/.

  • When done, enter quit at the prompt to terminate the simulator.

About the docker create/start commands

  • Inside the container, the LRAUV application is located under /opt/lrauv-application/.

  • The use of the --volume option allows to specify the following directory mappings:

    Host Container
    $PWD/simConfig /opt/lrauv-application/Config/sim/root
    $PWD/LRAUV_Logs /opt/lrauv-application/Logs
    $PWD/LRAUV_Data /opt/lrauv-application/Data
  • --interactive, --tty, and -ai indicate that we want to run the container in interactive mode (so commands can also be entered directly).

  • --host=net puts the containerized simulator on your host network stack. In particular, this makes it simpler to allow interaction with TethysDash.

Upgrading to a new image

To use a new image of the LRAUV simulator:

  • Exit the currently running "lrauv" instance if any:
    • if running in interactive mode, enter quit at the prompt;
    • otherwise (but also applicable in general), run docker stop lrauv in another terminal.
  • Remove the container: docker rm lrauv
  • Optionally, remove the old image:
    • Run docker images to identify the ID of the image to be removed;
    • Run docker rmi <ID> to remove it.
  • Follow the instructions above starting with the updated new image tag specification for the docker create command.