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Build PTAM on Fedora 20 the Easy Way - 10 Minutes Tutorial

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It’s been a while since the last post PTAM Compilation on Linux-HowTo about playing with PTAM. And now Isis Innovation has released the source code under GPLv3 and put it on Github.

Last time, we demostrate detailed instructions on how to get PTAM running on Debian derived systems(Linux Mint 15 and Ubuntu 12.04), now I want talk about building the source code on Fedora 20. It won’t be long, since I just want to talk about the key components, thus the mandatory dependencies(TooN, libCVD, Gvars3, OpenGL, libjpeg, libpng, libtiff, etc).

As the PTAM source code use the GNU autoconf tools, so the typical way to install is ./configure && make && sudo make install, however, to make sure that certain third libs are correctly configured and can found when running configure, you may want to have a look at the output after configure and install any key dependency which is missed.

Whenever you are not sure, see the Official Website for sure!!!

Install Dependencies


TooN is a numerics library used by libCVD. Since they are just a bundle of header files, installation is trivial.

sudo yum install liblapack-devel
sudo yum install libblas-devel

./configure && make && sudo make install


libCVD is a very portable and high performance C++ library for computer vision, image, and video processing.

This is the key component for building PTAM, thus should be careful. Make sure you installed OpenGL correctly, also for the video source, if you are using a UVC webcam, check if v4l2 is working. Or if you are using a IEEE1394 camera, get libxx1394 series libs installed which can drive your camera. For Image I/O, always have libjpeg, libpng and libtiff.

See the output after running configure and ensure all the options related are OK.

sudo yum install freeglut-devel



sudo make install


GVars3 is a configuration library which integrates well with TooN. Not much to worry when buiding.

./configure && make && sudo make install

Build PTAM

Run ldconfig

The libs built above may reside in /usr/local/lib when using the default directorys in their Makefiles, to make the system aware of the newly installed libs.

sudo vi /etc/ld.so.conf
add /usr/local/lib to the file
sudo ldconfig

Prepare for Makefile

cd the_PTAM_Directory
cp Build/Linux/* .
vi Makefile
add -lGLU -lGL -llapack to the linker commands

Fix usleep declaration

vi Tracker.cc
add #include <unistd.h> to the first line



If nothing wrong, you are done!


Simply invoke CameraCalibrator to calibrate your camera. Then invoke PTAM for real fun.

If you use UVC webcam using v4l2, you may want to install:

sudo yum install v4l-utils

Use v4l2-ctl to play with your camera.

Trouble Shooting

As the orinigal README.txt says, PTAM works well with Nvidia display card, I got Segmentation Fault as soon as ... got video source as I’m using a display card shipped with an Intel motherboard.

However, I think the root cause is that the display card driver does not know how to handle the color space coming from the webcam, so I’m planning to deep into the mechanism and try to find out why. George Klein says that a nvidia display card and driver combo works fine after all.