How to install OpenNI + NiTE and make it work with kinect

If you want to use the kinect with skeleton tracking you’ll need NiTE, the natural interaction middleware for OpenNI by Primesense.

There are lots of packages, versions and authors, so there may also be different ways to install this, but here is how it worked for me (on Ubuntu 11.10):

I mainly followed the install instructions of SensorKinect, in short:

  1. Download unstable OpenNI from the download page (for me, it was “OpenNI-Bin-Dev-Linux-x86-v1.5.2.7”) and install with
    $ sudo ./install.sh
  2. Download and install SensorKinect.
    Note: There are pre-compiled packages in the /Bin folder, just execute the install.sh.
  3. Download and install unstable NiTE (same way as OpenNI, I used “nite-bin-linux-x86-v1.5.2.7”)

Thats it. To test everything worked fine, you can run the samples that come with OpenNI and NiTE packages. A detailed list what they do, what you should do and what you should see can be found here at keyboardmods (the install instructions there are a bit out of date).