Appendix 3: Living with Windows

Vector runs on a variant of the Android Operating System which in turn is based on Linux. Because of this the entire toolchain assumes that the developer is also running a Unix based system. Most Vector Developers use Macs which run Unix under the hood, and our build systems run Ubuntu 16.04. Because of this all the documentation assumes that you are on a Unix system. This can cause problems for people using Windows-based computers. Here are some tips to help out.

PuTTY - A good SSH shell for Windows

If you’re only interested in connecting to Vector and working from there you can use PuTTY to easily connect to Vector and then work from there. It is widely used and there is plenty of documentation available on the web.

One complication is that PuTTY uses a different key format than the one provided by Vector when you download its SSH key. To convert the SSH key in the robot logs you downloaded to the format used by PuTTY:

  1. Install PuTTY from the link above. Open PuTTYgen.

  2. Click Conversions -> Import and select id_rsa file from the Vector logs inside the /data/ssh folder id_rsa_Victor-X1Y1

  3. Go to File -> Save private key to save the PuTTY version of the key.

Full Linux Environment

As we release the OSKR source code you will need a full Linux environment to compile the code. There are a few options here.

WSL - Windows Subsystem for Linux

If you simply want a command line interface and can work from that WSL is a tool provided by Microsoft that allows you to run Ubuntu natively. This is the best way to run things if you want to use your normal Windows environment as much as possible.

Instructions for installing are located at We currently recommend using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS as the Linux distribution to install.

VirtualBox - Virtual Linux

VirtualBox is a free program that allows you to run entire operating systems within your existing operating system. If you want a full version of Linux with its own desktop and tools you will want to install VirtualBox and install Ubuntu 20.04 LTS . Refer to the VirtualBox User Manual for more details.