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catkin_create_pkg needs to know what ROS distribution you're using. If you have sourced a ROS setup script, it can detect it automatically. If you haven't sourced a setup script, you need to pass it in as a command line argument. You have two options:

  1. Source the setup script before you try to run catkin_create_pkg:

    source /opt/ros/indigo/setup.bash
    catkin_create_pkg firstpackage std_msgs rospy roscpp
    
  2. Pass the rosdistro into the catkin_create_pkg command with the flag:

    catkin_create_pkg firstpackage std_msgs rospy roscpp
    

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