[ros-users] ROS packaging for other distros

Rich Mattes richmattes at gmail.com
Sat Jun 16 01:46:09 UTC 2012

Hi all,

I'm interested in making it easier to package ROS for other distributions,
and I have a few questions about the ROS release process.  Right now ROS is
supported on Ubuntu via PPAs, but ROS is equally useful on other linux
distributions.  Fuerte has made great strides towards being FHS compliant,
and it's finally possible to start to incoporate ROS packages within
distributions with FHS-based packaging guidelines.  There has been some
previous discussion[1] on the issue, but I have some things I'd like to
clarify based on initial efforts with creating packages for Fedora.  If
this isn't the right place to ask, I'd appreciate a nudge in the right

1) Right now, we're shooting for including everything in the "bare-bones"
ros-underlay, and the higher level stacks that are part of the desktop
install.  We've been able to grab tarballs for most of the higher level
stacks from code.ros.org[2], but stacks included in the ros-underlay seem
to be pretty out of date with respect to the versions grabbed by rosinstall
(which come from the wg-debs repos on github.)  Are there any plans to
release the stacks from github as tarballs (either separately or in one big
combined tarball,) or is rosinstall the only supported method of obtaining
the latest copies?

2) Is there any sort of announcement process or list for when new stack
versions are created?  The download page at [2] contains the latest version
of each stack as a tarball, but I can't find any indication of when a new
release is made other than manually checking for new stack versions.

3) Is there any plan to include library ABI/versioning information in the
ROS libraries?  Right now none of them set a version or soversion, so
programs/libraries that are built against them may or may not work after
ROS updates (i.e. if a change breaks ABI without incrementing the
soversion, a user-compiled binary will still try to run but fail

4) The <prefix>/stacks installation directory isn't compliant with the FHS,
our initial efforts have us placing stacks in /usr/share/ros-stacks.  But
/usr/share can't have binaries or libraries per the FHS either, so we've
been moving them to /usr/bin and /usr/lib{,64} and symlinking the new
locations back into the stack trees.  Admittely this is pretty kludgy, am I
correct in gathering from REP 122[3] that future versions of ROS will
install stack binaries to bin/ and lib/?



[1] http://answers.ros.org/question/28134/whats-the-best-way-to-package-ros/
[2] https://code.ros.org/svn/release/download/stacks/
[3] http://ros.org/reps/rep-0122.html
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