Why Gazebo?

Robot simulation is an essential tool in every roboticist's toolbox. A well-designed simulator makes it possible to rapidly test algorithms, design robots, perform regression testing, and train AI system using realistic scenarios. Gazebo offers the ability to accurately and efficiently simulate populations of robots in complex indoor and outdoor environments. At your fingertips is a robust physics engine, high-quality graphics, and convenient programmatic and graphical interfaces. Best of all, Gazebo is free with a vibrant community.

The Latest

Gazebo 8.0.0 Release


Download (8.0.0)

Changelog | Migration Guide | Roadmap

End-of-life Notice

Gazebo 6.x and 5.x have reached the end of their lives. We will continue to answer questions about these versions, but we will stop fixing bugs.

Highlights for 8.0.0

  • Plotting Utility
  • Video Recording
  • QT5 support
  • Visual markers
  • Improved quadcopter simulation
  • Import OBJ files
  • Generalization of Actor animations
  • Migration to Ignition-math

We are proud to announce the release of Gazebo 8. This version of Gazebo has short term support with an end-of-life on January 15, 2019.

A major API change comes with Gazebo8. This API change centers around the transition from Gazebo's internal math library to Ignition Math. Please refer to the changelog and migration guide to help your transition.

The ability to dynamically and programmatically add visual elements to Gazebo has been added through a visual marker interface. Visual markers can consist of simple shapes, lines, triangles, and text. Additional features associated with visual markers can be found through the gz marker -h command line tool. A C++ example demonstrates how to manipulate visual markers from a stand-alone application.

We continually strive to improve Gazebo's user experience and offer features that benefit a wide audience. To this end, a feature rich plotting utility has been integrated with Gazebo. This utility supports plotting data from topics, models, and simulation parameters. Multiple plots can be created, and data can be exported to CSV or PDF files. Try inserting a model, such as the Double Pendulum, and press ctrl-p.

Following the same rationale as the plotting utility, we are pleased to announce the integration of video recording in Gazebo 8. Simply select the camera icon on the right hand side of the tool bar to start recording into an MP4, AVI, or OGV file. Select the icon again to stop recording and save the video file.

Enjoy the new release, and thanks for all the contributions,

  OSRF Development Team

Useful Links




Dynamics Simulation

Dynamics Simulation

Access multiple high-performance physics engines including ODE, Bullet, Simbody, and DART.

Advanced 3D Graphics

Advanced 3D Graphics

Utilizing OGRE, Gazebo provides realistic rendering of environments including high-quality lighting, shadows, and textures.

Sensors and Noise

Sensors and Noise

Generate sensor data, optionally with noise, from laser range finders, 2D/3D cameras, Kinect style sensors, contact sensors, force-torque, and more.



Develop custom plugins for robot, sensor, and environmental control. Plugins provide direct access to Gazebo's API.

Robot Models

Robot Models

Many robots are provided including PR2, Pioneer2 DX, iRobot Create, and TurtleBot. Or build your own using SDF.

TCP/IP Transport

TCP/IP Transport

Run simulation on remote servers, and interface to Gazebo through socket-based message passing using Google Protobufs.

Cloud Simulation

Cloud Simulation

Use CloudSim to run Gazebo on Amazon, Softlayer, or your own OpenStack instance.

Command Line Tools

Command Line Tools

Extensive command line tools facilitate simulation introspection and control.


Get Started

Get your feet wet

  1. Quick Start

    A simple set of steps to get Gazebo up and running rapidly.

  2. GUI Hotkeys

    Description of Gazebo's hotkeys and mouse interactions.

  3. Tutorials

    The best way to start using Gazebo is to run through the tutorials. These tutorials cover both basic and simple concepts through a series of exercises.

  4. Examples

    Check out the example worlds and programs that are in the source code.

  5. answers.gazebosim.org

    If you can't find what you are looking for, try our askbot help forum located at answers.gazebosim.org.

  6. Mailing list

    Still need help? Send a message to the gazebosim mailing list.

Information Sources

  1. Gazebo Overview

    A high-level description of Gazebo and its various components.

  2. Gazebo API

    Doxygen generated documentation for the Gazebo libraries.

  3. Protobuf Messages

    A complete list of all the protobuf messages used by Gazebo

  4. SDFormat Specification

    SDFormat is an XML file format that defines environments and models. This specification defines all the XML elements for describing world and models.


Project Status

Gazebo 9.0 Progress

Jan 25 2017
Feature freeze
Code freeze
Jan 25 2018

Jan 25 2017
Jan 4 2018
Jan 18 2018

Release Schedule and Roadmap

Gazebo will release a new major version once a year on the last week of January. Even numbered releases will have a life-span of two years, and odd five years.

The following roadmap is a best guess at the available features for each version. At the time of release more or fewer features may be available.

Refer documentation in downstream applications, such as ROS, for version compatiblilty.

Gazebo 1.9 2013-07-24 EOL 2015-07-27

  • Split out SDFormat into a separate package
  • Improved ROS support
  • Added Sonar, Force-torque, and pressure sensors
  • Allow user camera to follow objects
  • Basic OS X support

Gazebo 2.2 2013-11-07 EOL 2016-01-25

  • Improved shadow maps
  • Breakable walls
  • Visualize moment of inertia
  • Graphically resize simple shapes
  • Wireless transceiver sensor models
  • OpenAL audio support
  • Terrain paging

Gazebo 3.0 2014-04-11 EOL 2015-07-27

  • Unified command line tool
  • Lightmaps for improved rendering realism
  • Destructable simple shapes
  • Import DEM
  • Split in Debian packages, moving to Debian inclusion of Gazebo
  • Beta OSX support
  • Bullet support

Gazebo 4.0 2014-07-28 EOL 2016-01-25

  • Vehicle suspension models
  • More tutorials and documentation
  • Oculus Rift support
  • Razer Hydra support
  • Copy and paste models via GUI
  • Custom road textures
  • Support DART 4.1
  • New extruded polyline geometry
  • Fixed actor animations
  • Added KMeans class

Gazebo 5.0 2015-01-26 EOL 2017-01-25

  • C++11 integration
  • GUI overlay support
  • Clone running simulations
  • Improved building editor
  • Javascript interface

Gazebo 7.1 2016-01-25 EOL 2021-01-25

Gazebo 8.0 2017-01-25 EOL 2019-01-25

  • GUI plotting utility and system instrospection
  • GUI model editor
  • Generalization of Actor animations
  • QT 5 support
  • Import OBJ files
  • Support for Wind
  • Quadcopter simulation
  • Built-in video recording

Gazebo 9.0 2018-01-25 EOL 2023-01-25

  • Reference geometries for link alignment with kinematic constraints
  • GUI console (display server messages)
  • Graphically resize inertias
  • Change physics engine via the GUI
  • Improve performance and support for laptops
  • Integrate network simulation(ns-3 or EMANE)
  • Deformable shapes
  • Rewind and replay simulation
  • Wind simulation
  • Scripting interfaces
  • Improve SDF/URDF support
  • Break-out command line tools to Ignition Tools
  • Visualize plugin state
  • Save plugin state to log files
  • Support integration of quadcopter controllers with simulation
  • OSX binary installation
  • Windows binary installation
  • Graphical tool to aid in validating physics
  • Break out rendering library to Ignition Rendering
  • Break out common library to Ignition Common
  • Update Cloudsim
  • Propshop integration
  • Ignition Transport integration

Gazebo 10.0 2019-01-24 EOL 2021-01-24

  • GUI movie maker
  • Terrain GUI editor
  • Physics plugin API
  • Hydrax integration for improved water simulation
  • Photo-realistic rendering pipeline

Gazebo 11.0 2020-01-29 EOL 2025-01-29

  • In GUI tutorials
  • Global and local navigation for mobile robots
  • Integration of MoveIt and/or Reflexxes
  • Constructive Solid Geometry support in the model editor


Gazebo uses semantic versioning, a package numbering scheme that specifies ABI/API compatibility between releases. A version consists of three numbers separated by decimal points: MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH:
  • MAJOR version changed when incompatible ABI/API changes are made
  • MINOR version changed when functionality has been added in a backwards-compatible manne
  • PATCH version changed when backwards-compatible bug fixes are released

Tick-tock Release Cycle

A tick-tock release cycle allows easy migration to new software versions. Obsolete Gazebo code is marked as deprecated for one major release. Deprecated code produces compile-time warnings. These warning serve as notification to users that their code should be upgraded. The next major release will remove the deprecated code.

Example where function foo is deprecated and replaced by function bar:

Gazebo v1.0 Gazebo v2.0 Gazebo v3.0
void foo();
// Deprecated, see void bar()
void foo() GAZEBO_DEPRECATED(2.0);
void bar();
void bar();


Measurement v1.9 v2.2 v3.0 v4.0 v5.0 v6.0 v7.0
Lines of code 186k 197k 214k 217k 231k 266k 298k
Lines of comments 57k 63k 68k 69k 75k 89k 99k
Test function coverage 45.7% 47.1% 41.3% 40.6% 48.7% 47.9% 52.9%
Test branch coverage 32.2% 35.5% 29.2% 27.6% 38.0% 39.1% 44.5%
Tests 168 376 524 542 743 901 1222


  • cppcheck Static code checker
  • cpplint Code style checker
  • gtest & qtest Test systems
  • Jenkins Continuous integration
  • Pre-commit, 2 reviewers Code review
  • Doxygen API Documentation
  • ABI Compliance Checker (ACC) API/ABI compliance

Physics Engine Support

Gazebo 3.0+ supports the ODE, Bullet, Simbody and DART physics engines. By default Gazebo is compiled with support for ODE. In order to use the other engines, first make sure they are installed and then compile Gazebo from source.

Physics Engine Gazebo Version Availability Notes
ODE 1.9+ Binary,Source Default engine
Bullet 3.0+ Source Gazebo requires libbullet2.82, available in the OSRF repository and to be included in Ubuntu Utopic.
Simbody 3.0+ Source Simbody packages are hosted in the OSRF repository. Expected to appear in Ubuntu Utopic official repositories.
DART 3.0+ Source DART packages are hosted in dartsim PPA. DART is in the process of moving toward inclusion in Ubuntu.
We are developing a physics plugin framework to resolve dependency issues. Each physics engine will interface to Gazebo through a plugin, avoiding the need to compile Gazebo with support for each engine.



Gazebo development began in the fall of 2002 at the University of Southern California. The original creators were Dr. Andrew Howard and his student Nate Koenig. The concept of a high-fidelity simulator stemmed from the need to simulate robots in outdoor environments under various conditions. As a complementary simulator to Stage, the name Gazebo was chosen as the closest structure to an outdoor stage. The name has stuck despite the fact that most users of Gazebo simulate indoor environments.

Over the years, Nate continued development of Gazebo while completing his PhD. In 2009, John Hsu, a Senior Research Engineer at Willow, integrated ROS and the PR2 into Gazebo, which has since become one the primary tools used in the ROS community. A few years later in the Spring of 2011, Willow Garage started providing financial support for the development of Gazebo. In 2012, Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) spun out of Willow Garage and became the steward of the Gazebo project. After significant development effort by a team of talented individuals, OSRF used Gazebo to run the Virtual Robotics Challenge, a component in the DARPA Robotics Challenge, in July of 2013.

OSRF continues development of Gazebo with support from a diverse and active community. Stay tuned for more exciting developments related to robot simulation.