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Debug Autoware#

This page provides some methods for debugging Autoware.

The essential thing for debug is to print the program information clearly, which can quickly judge the program operation and locate the problem. Autoware uses ROS 2 logging tool to print debug messages, how to design console logging refer to tutorial Console logging.

Using ROS tools debug Autoware#

Using command line tools#

ROS 2 includes a suite of command-line tools for introspecting a ROS 2 system. The main entry point for the tools is the command ros2, which itself has various sub-commands for introspecting and working with nodes, topics, services, and more. How to use the ROS 2 command line tool refer to tutorial CLI tools.

Using rviz2#

Rviz2 is a port of Rviz to ROS 2. It provides a graphical interface for users to view their robot, sensor data, maps, and more. You can run Rviz2 tool easily by:


When Autoware launch the simulators, the Rviz2 tool is opened by default to visualize the autopilot graphic information.

Using rqt tools#

RQt is a graphical user interface framework that implements various tools and interfaces in the form of plugins. You can run any RQt tools/plugins easily by:


This GUI allows you to choose any available plugins on your system. You can also run plugins in standalone windows. For example, RQt Console:

ros2 run rqt_console rqt_console

Common RQt tools#

  1. rqt_graph: view node interaction

    In complex applications, it may be helpful to get a visual representation of the ROS node interactions.

    ros2 run rqt_graph rqt_graph
  2. rqt_console: view messages

    rqt_console is a great gui for viewing ROS topics.

    ros2 run rqt_console rqt_console
  3. rqt_plot: view data plots

    rqt_plot is an easy way to plot ROS data in real time.

    ros2 run rqt_plot rqt_plot

Using ros2_graph#

ros2_graph can be used to generate mermaid description of ROS 2 graphs to add on your markdown files.

It can also be used as a colorful alternative to rqt_graph even though it would require some tool to render the generated mermaid diagram.

It can be installed with:

pip install ros2-graph

Then you can generate a mermaid description of the graph with:

ros2_graph your_node

# or like with an output file
ros2_graph /turtlesim -o

# or multiple nodes
ros2_graph /turtlesim /teleop_turtle

You can then visualize these graphs with:

Using ros2doctor#

When your ROS 2 setup is not running as expected, you can check its settings with the ros2doctor tool.

ros2doctor checks all aspects of ROS 2, including platform, version, network, environment, running systems and more, and warns you about possible errors and reasons for issues.

It's as simple as just running ros2 doctor in your terminal.

It has the ability to list "Subscribers without publishers" for all topics in the system.

And this information can help you find if a necessary node isn't running.

For more details, see the following official documentation for Using ros2doctor to identify issues.

Using a debugger with breakpoints#

Many IDE(e.g. Visual Studio Code, CLion) supports debugging C/C++ executable with GBD on linux platform. The following lists some references for using the debugger: