There is a driver project established to run Kinect on Linux. See here: https://github.com/OpenKinect/libfreenect

Will this work with an RPi? What are the constraints/obstacles likely to be?

I'm thinking this would be a real help for an ambitious robotics project, eg, setup an RPi as an onboard controller, with the Kinect as the "eyes" for object avoidance etc (or more).


3 Answers 3


I have just installed this library successfully in Arch Linux. I can't see any reason why it wouldn't install in any distro. It's important to note that I do not have a Kinect, so I cannot verify that the library works, only that it compiles and installs successfully.

Here are the steps I took:

Install dependencies

These packages are dependencies of the Kinect Library or the build process, and thus need installing first:

  • cmake

  • git

  • libusb

  • freeglut

  • libxmu

  • libxi

You should be able to find these using your basic package manager.

Check out the repository

git clone git://github.com/OpenKinect/libfreenect.git
cd libfreenect && git pull origin

Build the source

sudo make install

Set the udev rules (so that the Kinect is detected when plugged in):

sudo install -Dm644 platform/linux/udev/51-kinect.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/51-kinect.rules
  • Do you reckon the RPi has the grunt to process the output from a Kinect any meaningful way? Jun 29, 2012 at 8:18
  • @JonEgerton: I would suggest it would not. But this you can only find out by experimentation.
    – Jivings
    Jul 2, 2012 at 19:07
  • 2
    Kudos for compiling drivers whilst not having a device. Feb 4, 2013 at 22:59

It's possible...video

I doubt it will be very practical to see anything, but if you just used data collection/processing, it might work. Side note: the Kinect eats up a HUGE amount of RAM to run all the visual stuff. So you could run a pared back version. Good luck :)


Kinect works on Pi after some tweaks. Here is an example.

  • 3
    No it doesn't work ... read the entire example: "Jon Macey 13 November 2012 01:31, As far as I know nobody has had any luck with video or depth, I'm considering getting the new 512M version of the pi and giving it another go but think it is unlikely y to work as the bottleneck seems to be in the USB drivers".
    – kevin
    Dec 1, 2012 at 4:08

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