Backing up your robot’s data

It is always a good idea to keep any customized configuration files or project source code backed up. This is especially true when upgrading your robot from ROS Kinetic to Melodic, as this process will wipe the robot’s internal storage.

Backup script

Clearpath provides a simple shell script you can use to create a backup of most of your robot’s important data. You can download a copy of this script by running the following command on your computer:

git clone

Follow the instructions in the robot-backup/ file to ensure you have all of the prerequisites installed.

Running the backup

Ensure that the robot is turned on and that you can SSH into it from your computer. Then run the following from your computer:

cd robot-backup
bash <backup-name> <hostname|IP address of the robot>

For example, if your robot’s IP address is, you would run something like

bash kinetic-final-backup

This will produce a backup file called kinetic-final-backup.tar.gz. Keep this file for when you need to restore your backed-up data.

By default all Clearpath robots use the username “administrator” and the password “clearpath”. The script will use these credentials by default, but you can override them easily.

For example, if your robot has been modified to use an Nvidia Jetston TX2, the username and password will both be “nvidia”. In this case, you should run

bash kinetic-final-backup nvidia@ nvidia

What gets backed up

The backup script will copy the following data:

  • the contents of the user’s home folder: /home/administrator by default

  • specified user’s groups

  • udev rules: /etc/udev/rules.d/*

  • networking configuration: /etc/network/interfaces, /etc/hostname, /etc/hosts, /etc/iptables

  • ROS bringup: /etc/ros/setup.bash, /etc/ros/kinetic/ros.d/*, /usr/sbin/*start, /usr/sbin/*stop

  • rosdep sources: /etc/ros/rosdep/*

  • rclocal: /etc/rc.local

  • systemd settings: /etc/systemd/system

  • apt sources: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/*

  • manually-installed apt packages

  • pip packages

Backing up non-standard installations

The script assumes that your robot is in a roughly-standard configuration; it uses a single user account and no files within /opt/ros/kinetic have been modified.

If this is not the case, it is the responsibility of the user to ensure that any modified files and files in other users’ home folders is backed up correctly.

A common example of this might be if you have created customized URDF files to be loaded via environment variables (e.g. JACKAL_URDF_EXTRAS) and have stored them outside any of the folders specified above, you must back these up yourself; will not do this for you.