System Installation

The laptop used as a Scout Server must be dedicated to running the Scout application only. The following setup steps are required when installing Scout:

  • Make sure that the laptop is connected to a fast and stable internet connection. Software download is required during this process, and some of the downloaded components may be > 2 GB.
  • Obtain a thumbdrive (8GB minimum) to store downloaded files for the Ubuntu operating system


This includes wiping the server of existing content and installing the Ubuntu Linux operating system.

Download Ubuntu Desktop Operating System Image

Installing the Ubuntu Desktop operating system (OS) is the first step in installing Scout. Ubuntu should be installed as the only OS on the laptop, and only version 20.04. Dual boot configurations are not supported.

  1. On a separate computer, open a web browser to:
  2. Download the ISO Desktop image:
  3. Follow the tutorial here:

Note: The Ubuntu Desktop ISO should be downloaded on a USB thumbdrive at the end of these steps.

Install Ubuntu OS Image from USB





To install Ubuntu Linux as the operating system on the Scout Server laptop:

  1. On a separate computer, open this link on a web browser for Ubuntu installation: (Note: This reference URL provides additional instructions.)
  2. Plug the thumbdrive with the downloaded ISO image into the Scout Server laptop.
  3. Restart the laptop.
  4. On restart, press the F12 key for the boot menu.
  5. Select the USB drive and boot to the USB.
  6. From the reference URL above:
    1. Skip Steps 1-3 and go to Step 4
    2. Select Normal Installation and check both of the following:
      • Download updates while installing Ubuntu
      • Install third-party software for graphics and Wi-Fi hardware and additional media formats
    3. Select “Erase disk and install Ubuntu”
  7. Wait for the installation to complete.
  8. Restart the computer when prompted and remove the USB.

First-time Ubuntu configuration

After the Ubuntu Linux boots for the first time (as the laptop’s OS), select the following options during its initial configuration questions:

  1. Click Next on Livepatch to skip setup.
  2. When prompted with Help improve Ubuntu, select “no” before clicking Next.
  3. Allow Location Services, then click Next.
  4. Click Next on Privacy.
  5. Search for Software Updater via the app menu on the bottom corner of your window, and it will check for updates and apply them. Update Ubuntu for all suggested options.



Note: The steps you just followed will make Ubuntu your laptop’s default OS from now on. {}

Install Chrome Web Browser

Currently, Chrome is the only web browser supported for Scout. Follow these steps to install Chrome on your new Ubuntu desktop:

  1. Open the Ubuntu command-line terminal either by using the Ctrl+Alt+Tkeyboard shortcut or by launching Terminal.
  2. Use wget to download the latest Google Chrome .deb package : wget
  3. Install Google Chrome from the Terminal command line: sudo apt install ./google-chrome-stable\_current\_amd64.deb
  4. When prompted, enter your user password, and the installation will start. At this point, you have Chrome installed on your Ubuntu system and can use it from the Desktop.
  5. In the Activities search bar on your Ubuntu Desktop, now type Google Chrome and click on the icon to launch the application.

Update CUDA Toolkit

Upgrade the CUDA Toolkit to ensure the Scout Server can properly use its GPU for machine learning. Here’s what you need to do get the required version of the CUDA toolkit:

  1. Open the following URL in Chrome: The URL pre-selects the required options for the Ubuntu CUDA toolkit.
  2. In the Terminal previously opened, follow the command line instructions above the Base Installer section.
  3. In the Terminal, execute the command: nano ~/.profile
  4. Followed by: export PATH=/usr/local/cuda/bin:$PATH export CUDA\_HOME=/usr/local/cuda
  5. Press the Ctrl-X keys.
  6. Select Yes to save these file changes.
  7. Reboot your laptop to ensure that all the changes are saved.

Installing Docker

After rebooting your Scout Server, it’s time to install Docker. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Navigate to the URL:
  3. Follow the instructions to install Docker on Ubuntu via the Ubuntu Terminal app.
  4. After installing Docker, add your username to the docker group to ensure you have the proper permissions: sudo usermod -aG docker $USER

Installing NVIDIA Docker

Install NVIDIA Docker for the Scout’s Docker to to run on the NVIDIA GPU on the laptop. Follow these steps to download and install NVIDIA Docker:

  1. Go to the URL:
  2. Follow the instructions for installing on Ubuntu. Wait for the confirmation that the NVIDIA Docker is successfully running.
  3. Reboot your laptop to ensure that all the changes are saved.

Setting Up the Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Scout is designed to process large volumes of aerial survey imagery, which may come in terabytes. With that volume, a NAS device is needed to hold the images. Here are the steps to follow in mounting the NAS to Ubuntu:

Note: If you’re using a different device, the process of mounting may be different.

  1. Connect the NAS to the Scout Server laptop via the fastest available connector.
  2. Open Disks on the Ubuntu desktop to view the attached disks. Your new NAS device should be listed.
  3. Divide the newly attached disk with GPT.
  4. Create one partition on the NAS device with format EXT4.
  5. Mount the new drive at /nas.
  6. In the Ubuntu desktop, navigate to /nas and create a subfolder, such as /nas/images to store images to be added to Scout. (Note: Subsequent instructions in this documentation reference /nas/images when referencing this subfolder.) However, you can set up a different subdirectory name. This folder is used to hold unprocessed aerial survey images that Scout starts importing as soon as it is installed and running.
  7. As soon as this subfolder is created, you can begin copying survey images into it.

Scout uses the new disk as:

  1. A staging point from which to access new aerial survey images.
  2. A location for long-term storage of images already ingested by Scout Server.
NAS disconnection and reconnection (post-install maintenance)
  1. If you need to disconnect and reconnect the NAS while Scout is running and are unable to start or restart Scout, delete this file from the Ubuntu Terminal and then start Scout again:\~/tmp/config/settings.json.
  2. In Terminal, the command would be rm rm \~/tmp/config/settings.json. Another option is on the Files utility, go to the home directory and look for the folder tmp/config, then manually delete (Move to Trash) the settings.json file.
  3. This settings file, which is stored in the home directory, is where Scout keeps its installation configuration. Deleting it will force Scout to request install information again on its next restart.
  4. Re-enter the same NAS path (e.g., /nas) and image ingestion folder (e.g., /nas/images) as previously specified to ensure Scout reconnects to the same data previously ingested.

Verify hardware

As the final step, you need to verify the correct setup and operation of the Ubuntu server in preparation for Scout installation. Search for Terminal via the app menu on the bottom of the screen and click to open it. {}

  • sudo apt update
  • sudo apt upgrade
  • sudo apt install htop top
  • htop
    • Verify that you see the number of cores, memory, and SWAP at the top of the display
    • Press CTRL-C to stop htop.
  • nvtop
    • verify that you see information about the laptop nvidia card, signaling correct GPU access
    • Press CTRL-C to stop nvtop.
  • df -h
    • Verify that you see the NAS mounted at the correct location (recommendation: /nas)
    • Press CTRL-C to stop df -h

Verify GPU compute with ScoutBot demo

From the Terminal, you can test the GPU execution on the laptop by executing some of Scout’s GPU-enabled ML capabilities.

  1. Run the following command: docker run -it --rm --gpus all -p 5000:7860 wildme/scoutbot:main python3
  2. Open a separate Terminal window to watch GPU performance.
  3. Press CTRL-Cto end the test.