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Packaging ROS with homebrew

asked 2014-02-17 23:58:36 -0500

demmeln gravatar image

updated 2014-07-08 04:16:26 -0500

Are there plans or have there been attempts to package ROS as homebrew formulas in a similar way to the debs on Ubuntu?

Edit: For future reference: With pointers from William a proof of concept has been created, but there are a few issues that need to be addressed:

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answered 2014-02-19 07:33:43 -0500

William gravatar image

I have looked to do it for a long time now, but I have never had the time to setup everything. For now, all the time I can afford to spend on it is to keep it building from source on OS X.

From my perspective, the main challenges to getting this working are as follows:

  • Generating Homebrew formulae for packages using bloom
  • Setting up a CI system on OS X which has a clean starting point for each build
  • Building bottles, pushing them to some storage (like, and updating the formula which uses the bottle

I think that generating Formulae for packages is the only sustainable way to approach this problem. There are nearly 800 packages in Hydro and 200+ in desktop-full. Packaging them by hand is error prone and unmaintainable. So coming up with a bloom generator for the formulae would be crucial. I started that work, but didn't get very far at all:

The CI system for OS X has also been a challenge. I spent some time trying to setup a diskimage with COW for OS X which would behave like chroot/pbuilder for linux but ran into a lot of issues. The other thing I tried was using a VM and snapshots through a Python API, but that required Parallels which is not free and was slow. The Homebrew guys just clear /usr/local with git clean -fdx between builds for their "homebrew brewbot" system ( ). I believe we (OSRF) are setting up a similar setup using jenkins on our build farms:

If that is successful, I might try to use it for packaging ROS.

Finally, for bottle support (which would be awesome), we would need to also build each formula with the --build-bottle option, create the bottle, upload it somewhere (like and then update the formula again, probably pushing the formula to

So I have looked into it before, but as always progress on this is subject to my free time, which is in pretty low supply at the moment.

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As always thanks for the comprehensive answer. At least the current state of affairs is out there now. I don't think I will manage to do it just now, but maybe me or otgera can work towards it in the future. I fully agree that automatic bottle creation is a must. I can wounder if we can get support

demmeln gravatar image demmeln  ( 2014-02-19 09:25:25 -0500 )edit

from the homebrew guys for things like CI and bottle creation. However they might not be happy about 800+ incoming formulae. In any case publishing at least the core packages of a base install would be a gigantic leap for OSX support.

demmeln gravatar image demmeln  ( 2014-02-19 09:27:22 -0500 )edit

Upstream ticket to track progress on this:

demmeln gravatar image demmeln  ( 2014-03-09 14:47:50 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2014-02-17 23:58:36 -0500

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Last updated: Jul 08 '14