Common Use Cases

One of the goals of ouster-cli is to easily allow the most common sensor and recorded data interactions. We cover some common use cases here, listed alphabetically. Please note that wherever <SENSOR_HOSTNAME> is used, you are expected to substitute in your sensor’s hostname or IP, e.g., os1-991913000010.local.


To help users obtain performance metrics for the Ouster SDK, we provide a benchmarking utility which will download 8 seconds of OS2 data, gather system info, time various data operations, and generate a report which you can share with others. Give it a try!

$ ouster-cli util benchmark

This will generate a report in a directory named ouster-bench, which will be located in the current working directory.

Discovering sensors on local network

Sensors announce their presence on the network using Multicast Domain Name Service (mDNS). Use helper utility command discover to list names and IPs of all available sensors on the local network:

$ ouster-cli discover

Collecting Metadata

Sensor metadata, necessary for interpreting and parsing the pcap data, can be collected from sensors using:

$ ouster-cli source <SENSOR_HOSTNAME> info > <SENSOR_HOSTNAME>.json

This will generate a .json file named <SENSOR_HOSTNAME>.json with the metadata inside. To output it to a differently named file, simply change <SENSOR_HOSNTAME>.json to <FILL_IN_ALTERNATE_NAME>.json. You can also print the metadata to screen by removing > and everything after it in the command.

Configuring Your Sensor

ouster-cli provides utilities for configuring your sensor with configuration parameters such as lidar_mode and azimuth_window.

To quickly auto-configure a sensor with with standard ports, azimuth window, operating mode, and auto udp dest:

$ ouster-cli source <SENSOR_HOSTNAME> config

But what if you want to specify the ports and lidar_mode? You can use the sensor config command thusly:

$ ouster-cli source <SENSOR_HOSTNAME> config lidar_mode 1024x10 udp_port_lidar 29847


Multiple <PARAM> <VALUE> pairs can be passed this way!

You may have a configuration that you want to use repeatedly. Typing these in at the command line every time would be annoying. You can instead save your config to a json, named CONFIG_JSON, here, and run:

$ ouster-cli source <SENSOR_HOSTNAME> config -c <CONFIG JSON>

And finally, you may wish to save a configuration after setting your sensor up perfectly. To do so:

$ ouster-cli source <SENSOR_HOSTNAME> config -d

That will print your json to stdout. Use > to redirect it to a file!

Recording Pcaps

To record data from a udp port (7502 by default) to a pcap file in the current directory and write the metadata to a json file with the same name, simply use:

$ ouster-cli source <SENSOR_HOSTNAME> record

This will record until you keyboard interrupt, i.e., use CTRL+C. You can also set it to record a specific length or number of packets, or to use different ports for lidar and IMU data. As always with ouster-cli, use --help to discover how those options work.

Visualizing Lidar Data

The following visualizes lidar data arriving on a udp port. Note that you may have to use ouster-cli source <SENSOR_HOSTNAME> config first to configure your sensor properly.

$ ouster-cli source <SENSOR_HOSTNAME> viz

The following replays lidar data saved in a pcap file and visualizes the output. It will looks for a metadata json file with the same name as PCAP FILE by default, but you can specify a file using -m <METADATA JSON>.

$ ouster-cli source <PCAP FILE> viz