Getting DonkeyCar working on a Mac

I have been playing with a #selfdriving car for a while, and that is super exciting. From a #AI and #ML perspective it is small scale, but allows one to exploit all aspects of the tech stack and also appreciate the limitations of not only the software, but also the hardware.

With this You run a NN on a raspberry pi that uses TensorFlow, and Keras and runs inference on the edge. The pi doesn’t have enough power to train, so you need to do that on a beefier machine and then deploy the model back to run this.

Now, I didn’t have any issues in getting this running on Windows, but to get it on a Mac was a different story. The documentation is there that outlines all the steps, and even if you follow it to the T, it breaks right in the end.

When I tried to create a car, using a createcar command (this essentially creates the buckets, where you would save the training images, and the model, and the configuration of the car when you connect to it from your machine). The actual file paths would probably be different for you but, essentially it is the same thing.

(donkey) AMAC02XN1T9JGH5:donkeycar amit.bahree$ donkey createcar ~/mycar
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages/setuptools-27.2.0-py3.6.egg/pkg_resources/", line 660, in _build_master
  File "/anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages/setuptools-27.2.0-py3.6.egg/pkg_resources/", line 968, in require
  File "/anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages/setuptools-27.2.0-py3.6.egg/pkg_resources/", line 859, in resolve
pkg_resources.ContextualVersionConflict: (imageio 2.4.1 (/anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages), Requirement.parse('imageio<3.0,>=2.5'), {'moviepy'})

During handling of the above exception, another exception occurred:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/anaconda3/envs/donkey/bin/donkey", line 6, in <module>
    from pkg_resources import load_entry_point
  File "<frozen importlib._bootstrap>", line 961, in _find_and_load
  File "<frozen importlib._bootstrap>", line 950, in _find_and_load_unlocked
  File "<frozen importlib._bootstrap>", line 646, in _load_unlocked
  File "<frozen importlib._bootstrap>", line 616, in _load_backward_compatible
  File "/anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages/setuptools-27.2.0-py3.6.egg/pkg_resources/", line 2985, in <module>
  File "/anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages/setuptools-27.2.0-py3.6.egg/pkg_resources/", line 2971, in _call_aside
  File "/anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages/setuptools-27.2.0-py3.6.egg/pkg_resources/", line 2998, in _initialize_master_working_set
  File "/anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages/setuptools-27.2.0-py3.6.egg/pkg_resources/", line 662, in _build_master
  File "/anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages/setuptools-27.2.0-py3.6.egg/pkg_resources/", line 675, in _build_from_requirements
  File "/anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages/setuptools-27.2.0-py3.6.egg/pkg_resources/", line 854, in resolve
pkg_resources.DistributionNotFound: The 'imageio<3.0,>=2.5' distribution was not found and is required by moviepy

The key here to focus is on the last lines on both of those blocks of code – the main thing causing the issue is MoviePy (see highlighted lines above).

MoviePy is a Python library for video editing: cutting, concatenations, title insertions, video compositing (a.k.a. non-linear editing), video processing, and creation of custom effects.

It seems like when you go through the steps – clone the repo, setup anaconda, install tensorflow and get the car configured – there is a mismatch in the MoviePy dependencies which it doesn’t like. The way to fix the issue is outlined below.

Skip MoviePy

MoviePy is something you don’t need to use right away but later when trying to make a movie (using the makemovie command – which allows you to create a movie file from the images in a Tub.); this is not essential. To do this, the easiest way is to remove (or my suggestion it to comment) out the moviepy dependency from the file.

This should be line 33 in the file that you will find in the same folder where you cloned the git repo. As an example the updated file is below, where the moviepy dependency is commented out (see highlighted). And once you save this and go about creating the car, it should work. Of course you cannot use the makemovie option later.

from setuptools import setup, find_packages

import os

with open("", "r") as fh:
    long_description =

      description='Self driving library for python.',
      author='Will Roscoe',
          'console_scripts': [

                      'tf': ['tensorflow>=1.9.0'],
                      'tf_gpu': ['tensorflow-gpu>=1.9.0'],
                      'pi': [
                      'dev': [
                      'ci': ['codecov']


          # How mature is this project? Common values are
          #   3 - Alpha
          #   4 - Beta
          #   5 - Production/Stable
          'Development Status :: 3 - Alpha',

          # Indicate who your project is intended for
          'Intended Audience :: Developers',
          'Topic :: Scientific/Engineering :: Artificial Intelligence',

          # Pick your license as you wish (should match "license" above)
          'License :: OSI Approved :: MIT License',

          # Specify the Python versions you support here. In particular, ensure
          # that you indicate whether you support Python 2, Python 3 or both.

          'Programming Language :: Python :: 3.5',
          'Programming Language :: Python :: 3.6',
      keywords='selfdriving cars donkeycar diyrobocars',

      packages=find_packages(exclude=(['tests', 'docs', 'site', 'env'])),

Once you have saved the file, you need to run the installation again with the following command and then run the create car command. Both of these are outlined below.

pip install -e .
donkey createcar ~/mycar

Once you run these, then you should see the successful installation as shown by the output below. Note – your output might be a little different depending on the conda state of packages

(donkey) AMAC02XN1T9JGH5:donkeycar amit.bahree$ pip install -e .
Obtaining file:///Users/amit.bahree/CloudStation/Documents/Code/donkeycar
Requirement already satisfied: numpy in /anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from donkeycar==2.5.7) (1.14.5)
Requirement already satisfied: pillow in /anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from donkeycar==2.5.7) (4.2.1)
Requirement already satisfied: docopt in /anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from donkeycar==2.5.7) (0.6.2)
Collecting tornado==4.5.3 (from donkeycar==2.5.7)
Requirement already satisfied: requests in /anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from donkeycar==2.5.7) (2.18.4)
Requirement already satisfied: h5py in /anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from donkeycar==2.5.7) (2.7.1)
Collecting python-socketio (from donkeycar==2.5.7)
  Using cached
Collecting flask (from donkeycar==2.5.7)
  Using cached
Collecting eventlet (from donkeycar==2.5.7)
  Using cached
Collecting pandas (from donkeycar==2.5.7)
  Using cached
Requirement already satisfied: olefile in /anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from pillow->donkeycar==2.5.7) (0.44)
Requirement already satisfied: chardet<3.1.0,>=3.0.2 in /anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from requests->donkeycar==2.5.7) (3.0.4)
Requirement already satisfied: certifi>=2017.4.17 in /anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from requests->donkeycar==2.5.7) (2017.7.27.1)
Requirement already satisfied: idna<2.7,>=2.5 in /anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from requests->donkeycar==2.5.7) (2.6)
Requirement already satisfied: urllib3<1.23,>=1.21.1 in /anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from requests->donkeycar==2.5.7) (1.22)
Requirement already satisfied: six in /anaconda3/envs/donkey/lib/python3.6/site-packages (from h5py->donkeycar==2.5.7) (1.10.0)
Collecting python-engineio>=3.2.0 (from python-socketio->donkeycar==2.5.7)
  Using cached
Collecting click>=5.1 (from flask->donkeycar==2.5.7)
  Using cached
Collecting itsdangerous>=0.24 (from flask->donkeycar==2.5.7)
  Using cached
Collecting Werkzeug>=0.14 (from flask->donkeycar==2.5.7)
  Using cached
Collecting Jinja2>=2.10 (from flask->donkeycar==2.5.7)
  Using cached
Collecting monotonic>=1.4 (from eventlet->donkeycar==2.5.7)
  Using cached
Collecting greenlet>=0.3 (from eventlet->donkeycar==2.5.7)
Collecting dnspython>=1.15.0 (from eventlet->donkeycar==2.5.7)
  Using cached
Collecting pytz>=2011k (from pandas->donkeycar==2.5.7)
  Using cached
Collecting python-dateutil>=2.5.0 (from pandas->donkeycar==2.5.7)
  Using cached
Collecting MarkupSafe>=0.23 (from Jinja2>=2.10->flask->donkeycar==2.5.7)
  Using cached
Installing collected packages: tornado, python-engineio, python-socketio, click, itsdangerous, Werkzeug, MarkupSafe, Jinja2, flask, monotonic, greenlet, dnspython, eventlet, pytz, python-dateutil, pandas, donkeycar
  Found existing installation: tornado 4.5.1
    Uninstalling tornado-4.5.1:
      Successfully uninstalled tornado-4.5.1
  Found existing installation: Werkzeug 0.12.2
    Uninstalling Werkzeug-0.12.2:
      Successfully uninstalled Werkzeug-0.12.2
  Running develop for donkeycar
Successfully installed Jinja2-2.10 MarkupSafe-1.1.1 Werkzeug-0.14.1 click-7.0 dnspython-1.16.0 donkeycar eventlet-0.24.1 flask-1.0.2 greenlet-0.4.15 itsdangerous-1.1.0 monotonic-1.5 pandas-0.24.1 python-dateutil-2.8.0 python-engineio-3.4.3 python-socketio-4.0.0 pytz-2018.9 tornado-4.5.3

And when I run the createcar, you can see it worked as expected. In my case creating the ‘mycar’ folder in my home directory. Of course you can choose this wherever you prefer.

(donkey) AMAC02XN1T9JGH5:donkeycar amit.bahree$ donkey createcar ~/mycar
using donkey version: 2.5.7 ...
Creating car folder: /Users/amit.bahree/mycar
making dir  /Users/amit.bahree/mycar
Creating data &amp; model folders.
making dir  /Users/amit.bahree/mycar/models
making dir  /Users/amit.bahree/mycar/data
making dir  /Users/amit.bahree/mycar/logs
Copying car application template: donkey2
Copying car config defaults. Adjust these before starting your car.
Donkey setup complete.

It is interesting to see this is more stable on Windows, than on a Mac. Also, one last thing to leave you with – when I first ran the installation, the hint that someone was wrong was in the output, but I didn’t pay too much attention to it. See the red line highlighted in the output below.

moviepy failure - donkeycar installation
moviepy failure – donkeycar installation

Don’t know at this time on what the solution for moviepy is to get this sorted – luckily its not a big deal at the moment.

Certificate error with git and Donkey Car

If you were trying to pull the latest source code on your Raspberry Pi for donkeycar, and get the following error, then probably your clock is off (and I guess some nonce is failing). This can happen if your pi had been powered off for a while (as in my case), and it’s clock is off (clock drift is a real thing) :).

fatal: unable to access '': server certificate verification failed. CAfile: /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt CRLfile: none

To fix this, the following commands works. It seems the Raspberry Pi 3, by default has NTP disabled and this would enable it. I also had to check the result status with the second command, and force it with the third one.

sudo timedatectl set-ntp True
timedatectl status
sudo timedatectl set-local-rtc true 

And that should do it; you might need to reboot the pi just to get it back on and then you should be able to pull the code off git and deploy your autonomous car.