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You need the pySerial package. You can install it by running the following command:

sudo apt-get install python-serial

A good way to install system dependencies for ROS packages is the rosdep command. To see how to install rosdep take a look at You can then run something like:

rosdep install rosserial

Unfortunately, rosserial_python does not list python-serial as a dependency, so the second option won't work right now. I'll report this bug to the developers shortly.