From: Thomas C. Bishop (
Date: Wed Mar 20 2013 - 12:52:17 CDT

Here's info on how to get the PHANTOM omni devidce setup under linux.
Thought I'd post it while I have it

Haven't gotten to point of it w/ VMD yet but the PHantom Demos work.

The Sensable manual I downnloaded is a bit out of date
as the linux kernel does not have raw1394 modules.

The trick is to spoof raw1394 module s.t. the sensable drivers think
they are loaded. Here's a work around from

If there are better solutions I'd love to know.


It is a rather ugly fix, but as I cannot modify "Open"Haptics it will
have to do in my case. I've looked quite a lot around the web as well,
and I can't find any other solution.

After installing "Open"Haptics and the device drivers which SensAble
provides (using dpkg) you will have to work your way around the
dependency of raw1394. I am not really sure which steps ultimately made
it work for me, but the following steps are necessary.

1. Spoof the /dev/raw1394 device
2. Create a dummy kernel node

1. To spoof the /dev/raw1394 device, simply use ln and hard link the
/dev/fw0 (or some other fwX) by typing the following commands:

sudo ln /dev/fw0 /dev/raw1394
sudo chmod 0777 /dev/raw1394

2. As I believe "Open"Haptics checks if the raw1394 module is present
during launch (using lsmod or similar), I created a kernel module that
doesn't do anything at all called raw1394. This can be done by making
two files: Makefile and raw1394.c
These should be stored in the same folder and compiled using "make".
When this is done, you will have a file called raw1394.ko which can be
loaded using insmod.


obj-m += raw1394.o
make -C /lib/modules/$(shell uname -r)/build M=$(PWD) modules
make -C /lib/modules/$(shell uname -r)/build M=$(PWD) clean


#include <linux/module.h>
#include <linux/kernel.h>

int init_module(void)
printk(KERN_INFO "Loaded dummy raw1394 module\n");
return 0;

Commands to compile and load module:

sudo insmod raw1394.ko

On 03/19/2013 11:28 AM, Thomas C. Bishop wrote:
> Dear VMD and Will Ray,
> are there any updates/developments w/r/to VMD and a Phantom Omni?
> Instead of having an actual dedicated windows machine does anyone have
> experience with a Windows machine w/in VirtualBox inside the same server?
> I'm using Opensuse 12.4
> TOm
> From: John Stone (
> Date: Sat Dec 01 2012 - 23:20:06 CST
> Next message: John Stone: "Re: cant open .car file"
> Previous message: John Stone: "Re: unable to load cartoon
> represention of my peptide"
> In reply to: Ray, William: "Setting up a Phantom Omni for use with
> VMD on CentOS 6"
> Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] [
> attachment ]
> Hi,
> We've never had the firewire drivers working well enough
> under Linux to run the Phantom devices natively on a Linux
> machine. Up to now, we have always run the Phantom devices
> off of a Windows machine. We would then setup a VRPN server on
> the Windows machine, and connect to it over the network from
> our Linux/Windows/MacOS machines as needed. This wastes a windows
> laptop on running the phantom, but it was very expedient and trouble
> free for the most part. I don't have any particular advice about
> getting the Phantom drivers working on Linux, from your description
> it sounds like the Sensable people aren't working very hard on the
> Linux support, so you might be better off just using a Windows machine,
> unless the Sensable people know for sure that there's some particular
> version of Linux that their current drivers have been tested on recently.
> Cheers,
> John Stone
> On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 06:22:23PM +0000, Ray, William wrote:
> > Hello,
> >
> > We are working on setting up a Phantom Omni to use with VMD on a
> CentOS 6 machine. We have confirmed that the Phantom Omni itself works
> on Windows 7. We are still early in the set up process for CentOS, and
> were wondering if anyone has any tips on setting it up?
> >
> > So far we have the PDD installed, and when we run
> PHANToMConfiguration, the device's serial number is found. When we run
> PHANToMTest, however, the application comes up, but we are not able to
> do anything. Since the support at Sensable is fairly minimal for CentOS,
> we have decided to move on to installing cmake and trying to set up
> VRPN. Does anyone have any tips on anything to watch out for with the
> VRPN set up, or on whether we should pursue getting PHANToMTest to
> actually work?
> >
> > Thanks for any thoughts anyone might have on this!
> > Will Ray