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Looks like setup.py was a red herring. I initially created the package with:

ros2 pkg create rviz2_basics

which created package.xml and CMakeLists.txt.

Then added dependencies to package.xml <exec_depend>robot_state_publisher</exec_depend> <exec_depend>joint_state_publisher</exec_depend>

Added launch files installation in the CMakeLists.txt

# (Always add before ament_package() line)
# Install launch files
install(DIRECTORY
  launch
  DESTINATION share/${PROJECT_NAME}/

but did not at that time understand I also needed:

# Install urdf files
install(DIRECTORY
  urdf
  DESTINATION share/${PROJECT_NAME}/

and started following the urdf-tutorial which creates a setup.py to satisfy the urdf, but it turned out all my efforts with setup.py were not actually being used.

Solution was to edit the CMakeLists.txt and add the urdf files installation.

Looks like setup.py was a red herring. I initially created the package with:

ros2 pkg create rviz2_basics

which created package.xml and CMakeLists.txt.

Then added dependencies to package.xml
<exec_depend>robot_state_publisher</exec_depend> <exec_depend>robot_state_publisher</exec_depend> <exec_depend>joint_state_publisher</exec_depend><exec_depend>joint_state_publisher</exec_depend>

Added launch files installation in the CMakeLists.txt

# (Always add before ament_package() line)
# Install launch files
install(DIRECTORY
  launch
  DESTINATION share/${PROJECT_NAME}/

but did not at that time understand I also needed:

# Install urdf files
install(DIRECTORY
  urdf
  DESTINATION share/${PROJECT_NAME}/

and started following the urdf-tutorial which creates a setup.py to satisfy the urdf, but it turned out all my efforts with setup.py were not actually being used.

Solution was to edit the CMakeLists.txt and add the urdf files installation.