Setup Developer Environment

Linux - Setting up your BOW developer environment

The Systray

The first step in setting up BOW development on your Ubuntu/Debian workstation is to install the System Tray Application. This application is not only where you can control which robots you are connected to but also provides shortcuts to installing the BOW SDKs and simulator.

Download and Install

  1. Visit (opens in a new tab) and login to access your dashboard. If you don't already have an account, now is the time to create one.
  2. Once logged in, you will see the "SDK" menu item on the left-hand side; this will take you to our downloads page.
Downloads Page
  1. Select the "Linux Ubuntu / Debian" option and press the "Download Now" button.
Select OS
  1. Read and agree to the license agreement (there'll be a test) to begin the download of the .deb file.
  2. Once the download has completed, navigate to the directory where the .deb file is located. To begin the installation, you can either double-click the file, open it with the "Software Install" application, or use the terminal command:
sudo apt-get install ./BOWSystray*.deb
install deb


  1. To run the Systray, use the command bow_systray in the terminal. The BOW Icon will appear in your system tray (top right for Ubuntu users).
Run Systray
  1. Click the Icon to reveal a drop-down menu; here you will see options to login, a list of your available robots, and options to install SDKs for various programming languages.
Systray Dropdown
  1. Now let's log in. Click the "Login" button, and you will be taken to a page where you can enter your BOW-associated email address and password to log in to your account. Once complete, you can close this browser window.
  1. We recommend checking the "Run at startup" option; this means you can avoid having to start the program manually. The app is very lightweight and simply monitors the robots associated with your account to check if they are available.
  2. Next, let's install the simulator. Click the "Install Webots Sim" button; you may need to enter your sudo password. The button will change to read "Installing…". Wait for confirmation that the install has completed; this could take quite a while as it downloads the program.
Install sim


  1. Once installed, the button will change to read "Launch Webots Simulator." Click this button or use the command bow-webots in a terminal, and you will be presented with some setup steps for the Webots sim. Complete these to your liking.
  2. Now let's open your first BOW-enabled (simulated) robot. In Webots, select File -> Open Sample World.
Open Webots world
  1. In the menu that appears, navigate to BOW -> pal_robotics -> tiago++ -> tiago++.wbt and click OK.
  2. That's it; your simulated Tiago++ is up and running the BOW driver. The robot will now appear in the "My Robots" section of the BOW Systray menu and in your dashboard on the BOW user portal.
Systray My Robots
  1. Make robot go brrrrrrrrr……….. (Check out our other tutorials for how to do this)