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Can I install multiple ROS version on the same machine?

asked 2014-07-23 08:13:23 -0500

exclaiber gravatar image

updated 2014-07-23 10:54:39 -0500

I currently have ROS Hydro Medusa running on Ubuntu 12.04. Now ROS Indigo Igloo has been released.

Can I install Indigo Igloo alongside of Hydro Medusa and run both as needed?

Thank you.


Since I already have Hydro running, so to install Indigo I basically follow - . , correct?


Ok, I shall definitely keep in mind your note regarding .bashrc files. Thanks again Demmeln.

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answered 2014-07-23 09:20:45 -0500

demmeln gravatar image

updated 2014-07-23 17:37:43 -0500

Yes, you can install both from apt very easily. (Not true, as Indigo is not supported on 12.04. Thanks @ahendrix. See Edit2 below.) You select which you are using by sourcing the appropriate setup.bash file. Note that when you switch between ros distros, it is probably best not to put the source .../setup.bash in your .bashrc.

There is even some level of interoperability between the distros (i.e. running hydro and indigo nodes together with the same roscore), as long as the messages involved have not changed. Most notably the diagnostic messages have changed and thus anything involing robot dashboards will not work across distro.

Note that everything I wrote in the previous paragraph does not affect your ability to run hydro and indigo systems alongside each other with separate ros cores even on the same machine.


Yes, you can follow the instructions at to install indigo on a machine where you have hydro installed.

Some steps are unnecessary since you did them already for your hydro install (e.g. "1.1 Configure your Ubuntu repositories", "1.3 Set up your keys", sudo rosdep init). Be careful in "1.6 Environment setup". You don't want to source both indigo and hydro setup files in your .bashrc. As noted above, it is probably best to not source either in your .bashrc but rather source them manually on each shell when needed. You might want to define your own bash aliases like source_hydro to make this more convenient.

EDIT2: as @ahendrix has rightfully pointed out, my answer is somewhat misleading since Indigo is in fact not officially supported on Ubuntu 12.04 and therefore has no debs to install from apt (see Target Platforms ). The gist of the answer -- that multiple versions of ROS can be installed and used on the same system -- remains true. Of course the prerequisite is that each of the version is installable separately on that system in the first place. E.g. on OS X I have both hydro and indigo installed (from source). You might achieve the same on Ubuntu 12.04 by installing hydro from apt and indigo from source ( ).

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Indigo and Hydro don't support overlapping versions of Ubuntu, so it isn't possible to install them side-by-side on any version of Ubuntu.

ahendrix gravatar image ahendrix  ( 2014-07-23 14:31:01 -0500 )edit

Oh, you have point there, although installation from source should be possible, no? The point of the answer remains, that two ROS distros can be installed alongside one another on the same system without problem (if they can be installed separately on that system).

demmeln gravatar image demmeln  ( 2014-07-23 17:04:48 -0500 )edit

answered 2014-07-23 12:19:55 -0500

arennuit gravatar image

updated 2014-07-23 12:20:35 -0500

Short version for what demmeln just said (his answer is all good):

Install the several ros versions as usual and change version using:

source /opt/ros/hydro/setup.bash

source /opt/ros/fuerte/setup.bash


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answered 2014-07-23 14:30:04 -0500

ahendrix gravatar image

Unfortunately, because Indigo does not support Ubuntu 12.04, you cannot install it from debs alongside Hydro.

You may be able to install Indigo on 12.04 by following the Indigo source install instructions, but it isn't supported.

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Asked: 2014-07-23 08:13:23 -0500

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Last updated: Jul 23 '14