Shortcuts about ROS in Debian


Robot Operating System (ROS or ros) is an open-source robotics middleware suite. Although ROS is not an operating system but a collection of software frameworks for robot software development, it provides services designed for a heterogeneous computer cluster such as hardware abstraction, low-level device control, implementation of commonly used functionality, message-passing between processes, and package management ?Wikipedia. ROS has two main versions: ROS1 and ROS2.

ROS is released as distributions, also called “distros”, with more than one ROS distribution supported at a time. Check upstream web for more information. This framework consists of about 1600 packages or projects that give a myriad of benefits for those of us who work in the field of robotics.

ROS1 installation

The official ROS page shows that the platforms supported are:

The rest of the platforms are experimental. In case you are running Bullseye or Testing/Unstable you cannot use Upstream packages.

The packages they provide are self-generated and do not feet most the rules of the Debian project. Each package, for example, contains a package.xml file that among other things, it contains what its dependencies are for, to build and to run the package. Upstream provides a tool python3-bloom , that it is in the archive which generates a debian directory with necessary files to run debuild from that debian directory. It's a rudimentary package that for example, provides the *.pyc files!!.

There are another options?

Yes!! A big yes. The answer depend on the number of packages that you need of ROS1. For the majority of the users, that only needs the core libraries and some applications you can use your Debian distro without any other stuff. The necessary packages are the Debian native packages and you can obtain more information here. They began to appear in the archive since Debian Stretch.

Your versions in Stable are outdated

Yes, if you are here you know how Debian works. However, you can use Debian for Robotics packages that has backported versions of Unstable and some plus to use in Debian Stable.

But, I need ros-foo that is wonderful and it is no packaged

You have several options. For instance, if you are running Debian Buster/Bullseye/Testing/Unstable) you can use the native packages and complete the rest. Here there is an example of how to do it.

If you are running Debian Bullseye, with the Debian for Robotics packages you can use ros4debian to have an almost complete installation.

Or, simply, build the sources of what you need