Basic Console Usage

Install maplab and make sure to compile the console:

cd ~/maplab_ws
catkin build maplab

Make sure that your development environment is correctly sourced:

source ~/maplab_ws/devel/setup.bash

You can now launch the maplab console with

rosrun maplab_console maplab_console

This command requires a running roscore for visualization. If the program gets stuck looking for the roscore, you can abort the search with Ctrl-C. (You can start a roscore with with roscore&.)

If you want to start maplab in a ros-free environment, you can use the ros_free flag:

rosrun maplab_console maplab_console --ros_free

You should now be greeted with the maplab console prompt:

Console Prompt

The console supports tab completion and a command history, which can be accessed with the arrow keys or Ctrl-P and Ctrl-N.

Getting Help

To get information about the available commands, you can use the help command. When no argument is provided, help will list all installed plugins and tell you how to get more help.


  • Use help --all to get a description of all available commands.

  • Use help --plugin <plugin_name> to get a description of the commands provided by the plugin plugin_name. E.g., type help --plugin console to see the commands provided by the console plugin:

    Help for Plugin

  • Use help --command_filter <search_term> to search all command names and descriptions for search_term. You can optionally add the plugin flag to limit the search to commands provied by a given plugin.

Exiting maplab

To exit maplab, you can type q or exit.