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It is possible to build a significant amount of ROS 2 on CentOS 7. The biggest hurdle is the compiler version - the default gcc that is distributed in CentOS 7 doesn't support the necessary features to build ROS 2. To work around this, you can install the RedHat Developer Toolset Software Collection.

Here is a good starting point for setting up a CentOS 7 machine to build ROS 2: https://github.com/ros2/ci/blob/7de5c36f0e77f604a1046f9bf82f8b8e66a5e189/linux_docker_resources/Dockerfile-CentOS

You won't be able to build the image_tools package or packages downstream from it due to the old version of OpenCV in CentOS 7, but everything else should be fairly easy to compile.