[ros-users] Archlinux dependencies handling

Erwin José Lopez Pulgarin erwinkendo at gmail.com
Thu Mar 15 20:58:22 UTC 2012

I want to comment on this subject.

*So it makes sense to me that automatically installing AUR packages*
*should NOT be done by ROS.  Thoughts?*

I agree with this as well. I will comment my experience and after that
propose my solution.

When I installed ROS in my Archlinux pc, I had several troubles with python
and gcc dependencies and the instructions in ArchWiki weren't complete.
After some internet search and struggling, I completed the installation and
added the process to ArchWiki.

Currently one of the main problems is around GCC support, being gcc 4.6 the
stable release in Archlinux, but some packages in ROS don't compile with
this version; to fix this, you must install gcc 4.5 or less from AUR (but
this at the same time posses troubles because from AUR, only an extra gcc
installation can be installed, when installing a third gcc, for example
gcc4.3 for Matlab MEX support, an error occurs). Also for python2
bindings, although AUR provides the packages, it troubles in the
final implementation for the global variables and linkers, you have to fix
this always manually.

The solution at the long time, that doesn't involve changing to Ubuntu, is
work with the Arch community, first to create a package that install ROS
and handles its dependencies internally, and latter take this to an
official community package.

If this decision is made, and enough people is willing to cooperate, we can
achieve this. For this an any contribution to ROS, you can count me in, I
am relatively new to ROS, I am using it in my undergraduate thesis (waiting
for the robotino api2 drivers), but I have experience working in open
source projects and I'm always happy to help.


Erwin José López Pulgarín
Coordinador General Grupo CEIMTUN
Ingeniería Mecatrónica
Universidad Nacional de Colombia
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