Yes, unfortunately I've not had time to split out parts of #196 or fix it up to merge it as is. I think for the bug Jon Binney is referring to is particularly heinous and we should try to get a short term fix in place. We can discuss that on the catkin_tools issue referenced above.

I'll just reiterate that catkin_tools is still in beta (long time I know), and that there are still systemic issues which need to be addressed before I'd be willing to recommend it over catkin_make_isolated. Those are captured in As Jonathan mentioned, many things are addressed in his pr #196, but I've yet to find a large enough block of time to get it through to master.

On Sun, Nov 8, 2015 at 6:18 AM, Jonathan Bohren via ros-users <> wrote:

Yeah, there are a numerous bugs and missing features in catkin_tools which have been resolved in this PR:

Unfortunately, I haven't had time to work on the ROS build tools recently due to other responsibilities, and before that PR can be merged, there are a few small outstanding issues that need to be resolved. I don't know when I'll have time to fix these issues so that the PR can be merged, since they are not critical to my own work.


On Sun, Nov 8, 2015 at 4:37 AM Jon Binney via ros-users <> wrote:
Jonathan, thanks for taking the time to write an awesome tool. The feature set is great.

I'd like to point out, though, that a lot of people seem to have adopted catkin tools already, even though it is still in a fairly "beta" state. There's a list of some of the problems here:

The most serious bug that I run into regularly is that catkin tools can create a corrupted ROS_PACKAGE_PATH, causing ROS commands to fail to find some packages that you compiled:

This happens randomly (it is a concurrency issue with running multiple catkin processes with the same devel space). I'd suggest that people stick with catkin_make for now unless they have a good understanding of the limitations and bugs in catkin tools.


On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 3:56 AM, Jit Ray Chowdhury via ros-users <> wrote:
I checked it out, and it is awesome. I still miss autocompletion of package names catking build pkg_name...(auto_complete)

Jit Ray Chowdhury
Co-Founder | AuRo Robotics |

On Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 10:26 PM, Jonathan Bohren <> wrote:

This is what they built:

Quick summary:
- `catkin_tools` is an improved toolchain for building catkin workspaces
- this toolchain is ready for beta testing, and we want your feedback
- the CLI command is simply called `catkin`
- the build sub-command is `catkin build`
- it builds packages with isolated build directories (no CMake crosstalk)
- it builds packages in parallel
- it builds "pure" CMake packages that don't use Catkin macros
- it lets you build selected packages in a workspace
- it lets you build packages without cd'ing to the workspace root
- it needs to be tested more before being recommended over `catkin_make`
- the documentation for all the additional features can be found here:

Install it now (from the ROS debian repos):
sudo apt-get install python-catkin-tools

Or install it now (from PIP):
sudo pip install -U catkin_tools

Take a look at the cheat sheet:

Give it a try and report issues or feature requests here:

For some background and the relationship to the current top-level `catkin_make` command:

Many thanks to Contributors:
William Woodall
Jonathan Bohren
Nikolaus Demmel
Dave Coleman
Felix Ruess
Dirk Thomas
Kartik Mohta
Thibault Kruse
Ian McMahon
Kei Okada

Those of us who've put time into this project over the last year hope that `catkin build` makes your lives less stressful and helps you build robotic systems faster. 

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