[ros-users] Submitting ROS software to Debian?

Leopold Palomo-Avellaneda leo at alaxarxa.net
Mon May 13 11:28:11 UTC 2013

A Dilluns, 13 de maig de 2013, Thomas Moulard va escriure:
> Hello there,
> in the latest ROS releases, a lot of effort have been done to enhance
> the way ROS is installed/distributed. However, I never heard of any
> undergoing effort to submit the software to Debian directly. Is there
> some discussion with Debian to see how it can be achieved?

I have tried it in the past, and some mails have been written in this list and 
the ros-sig-buildsystem at googlegroups.com

> In practice, I am trying to figure out currently whether the
> stand-alone projects
> (PCL, Ecto and Gazebo) could be included into Debian in an official way.
> A bit of polishing is still needed to achieve this (man page redaction,
> multiarch support, etc.) but I think this is definitively within reach.

perfect!!! great news.

> The main issue being that as long as ROS is not available officially,
> it will not be possible to compile the ROS bindings for these packages
> and include
> them in the official repositories.
> See the following bug reports for more information:
> - Gazebo: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=705440
> - PCL: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=703579
> IMHO it is a good time for the ROS community and ros-science to start
> discussing on how to make this happen. Especially knowing that some
> preliminary work
> is needed to ensure all 3rd party dependencies are available. I.e.
> bullet have only be
> migrated to Debian Testing last week (!).
> What do you think? Any people interested in this?

My opinion is that packaging ros for debian is a nightmare. Ros developers 
have made a lot of afford to make it work on ubuntu, and have develop a 
sophisticated system around cmake (catkin), custom software (bloom) and they 
have their own infrastructure, so IMHO, for them to have it in debian it's not 
necessary. Maybe ARM arch could change it....

One first approach is to provide a debian target for bloom, and from there 
polish the package generated, but I don't know.

I have tried to make a big source package with all ROS packages and then 
create a bunch of binary packages, but it's a big amount of work. I have to 
admit that I have spend a lot of afford to make something installable on my 
boxes but I'm a bit frustrated.

For example, PCL. You have packaged PCL, Jochen Sprickerhof did it also, and 
seems to be a good packages. However, if you want a PCL version packaged, you 
need ROS, if not, the ROS code doesn't compile because need some parts. It's 
not completely isolated :-(. So, if you package PCL alone, without ROS, you 
will need another version of PCL to compile the ROS stuff that need PCL.

FHS, the ros developers thought that the best way to install their software 
was to put it in /opt/ros/ros-distro. Then, all the users that want to use ROS 
must to load the env vars with the includes, paths, libs, etc in the setup 
files. Change it it's not easy ...

Also, the amount of work. About of 170 +- packages a desktop full. Although 
many of them could be small, there are a lot !!!

But, if there's some critical mass, it could be done by some team.

Just my 2 ct..



Linux User 152692

More information about the ros-users mailing list