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Raspberry Pi 2: ROSBerryPi vs UbuntuARM

asked 2015-12-20 19:25:44 -0600

tommytwoeyes gravatar image

updated 2015-12-20 19:26:45 -0600

I just got a Raspberry Pi 2 for my birthday. I have a current robot project involving a Wild Thumper chassis and recently asked a question here regarding installing ROS on a Radxa Rock Pro.

Unfortunately, my Radxa board is experiencing some network problems (i.e. no network), and because I have limited time before the next semester in college begins, and of course, because I got this new Raspberry Pi model 2, I've decided instead to use it for the robot and for running ROS.

I've been doing initial research, reading through questions & answers here, as well as in the wiki. It's my current understanding that the two most popular ways for running ROS on a Raspberry Pi 2 include

  1. UbuntuARM
  2. ROSBerryPi

Both appear to be quite popular and well-documented. Can anyone advise me as to which is better, if there is such a qualitative distinction between the two methods?

What are the pros and cons of using each?

I know Raspbian is the official Raspberry Pi distro and is designed to work best with the Pi, but Ubuntu is the official ROS distro, and the UbuntuARM method has been around longer (please correct me if I'm mistaken). Also, again if I'm not mistaken, the ROSBerryPi method requires installing from source, right?

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6 Answers

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answered 2015-12-21 03:21:04 -0600

If you need to use the gpio on the raspberry pi then there is more documentation and examples of doing that using raspbian, the tradeoff is you have to build ROS rather than installing packages.

Installing Ubuntu makes the install of ROS easier, but getting at gpio harder.

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I asked about differences in the tutorials for Raspberry Pi Model B+ vs Raspberry Pi 2 on the Adafruit forums, and one of their support guys said that the Model 2 is now using Device Tree Overlays. Wouldn't this make GPIO access easier, regardless of OS?

tommytwoeyes gravatar image tommytwoeyes  ( 2015-12-21 15:23:38 -0600 )edit

should do, but the its still pretty fiddly for now - if you use raspbian there are multiple libraries, latest release has access without sudo enabled by default making it much easier to make ROS nodes that use gpio directly

nickw gravatar image nickw  ( 2015-12-21 16:09:31 -0600 )edit

answered 2015-12-22 15:39:02 -0600

jordan gravatar image

Ubuntu ARM worked better for me (I tried both). There we're compile problems related to PCL with ROSBerryPi (because if can't find 'flann', then flann won't build, etc). Currently running ROS Navigation (works quite well), and experimenting with frontier_exploration on the Pi2.

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answered 2015-12-20 21:58:03 -0600

YingHua gravatar image

updated 2015-12-20 21:59:12 -0600

I have been installed both ways(Raspbian and Ubuntu Arm). It seems ROS is not support on the ARM platform completely. especially the rviz tool(always shows segmentation fault error). For me,I were choose Ubuntu Arm. Because I used to that. :P

And yes , the ROSBerryPi method requires installing from source.

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RViz segmentation fault on Ubuntu for armhf architecture has been solved recently.

dchang0 gravatar image dchang0  ( 2015-12-25 01:35:07 -0600 )edit

answered 2015-12-20 21:30:28 -0600

Having only tried Raspbian/source install myself, in the future, I'd opt for Ubuntu. Not having to compile everything from source is nice.

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answered 2015-12-21 15:25:37 -0600

tommytwoeyes gravatar image

Wow, thanks - everyone gave good advice based on experience; just what I was hoping for.

I went with Ubuntu ARM like most of you suggested, although I have a second microSD card that is currently used for school. I think I will wipe it though, and maybe try ROSBerryPi on that.

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answered 2015-12-21 02:02:20 -0600

I haven't tried the Raspbian approach, but using Ubuntu ARM and being able to use the existing package infrastructure worked really well (and out of the box) for me, so another vote for Ubuntu ARM here.

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Asked: 2015-12-20 19:25:44 -0600

Seen: 756 times

Last updated: Dec 22 '15