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What is the recommended ROS distribution to use in 2019?

asked 2019-03-04 06:46:53 -0500

fluxable gravatar image

updated 2019-03-04 06:58:56 -0500

This is the first time I'm doing something with ROS, so excuse my lack of knowledge.

Paragraph "5. Which distribution to use" at the distribution page has been last updated almost 2 years ago so I am wondering which ROS distribution is the preferred one. I know Melodic Morenia is the last ROS distribution, I tried installing that on Ubuntu 18.04 but I couldn't do sudo apt install ros-melodic-desktop-full because it can't find install all packages. Because of this I have to use a shadowrepository, says the tutorial. This made me doubt the stability of ROS distribution Melodic Morenia. I need the full installation because I will need to use 3D simulation software (Gazebo).

I will need to use ROS nodes other people have made last year in the project I'll be doing, those ROS nodes have been made on Ubuntu 16.04 with ROS distribution Kinetic Kame. Can I use those nodes in Melodic Morenia without too much hassle?

Thanks for answering my question(s) and I hope I'm not asking something which is asked every week.

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In order to avoid answering an xy-problem, please add the error message that shows apt not being able to install ros-melodic-desktop-full. Your problem seems to be an installation issue, and not directly tied to what the recommended version of ROS is.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2019-03-04 07:20:02 -0500 )edit

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answered 2019-03-04 06:52:52 -0500

gvdhoorn gravatar image

updated 2019-03-04 07:17:43 -0500

Paragraph "5. Which distribution to use" at the distribution page has been last updated almost 2 years ago so I am wondering which ROS distribution is the preferred one. I know Melodic Morenia is the last ROS distribution [..]

and it's even an LTS (Long Term Support) which means it gets 5 years of support and development.

Section 5 does indeed look like it could use an update, but section 2 List of Distributions does state that Melodic is the Recommended ROS release as of this date.

I tried installing that on Ubuntu 18.04 but I couldn't do sudo apt install ros-melodic-desktop-full because I have to use a shadowrepository. This made me doubt the stability of ROS distribution Melodic Morenia.

I'm not entirely sure I understand what you're saying here.

What does "I have to use a shadownrepository" mean? And why do you (believe) you have to use it?

I will need to use ROS nodes other people have made last year in the project I'll be doing, those ROS nodes have been made on Ubuntu 16.04 with ROS distribution Kinetic Kame. Can I use those nodes in Melodic Morenia without too much hassle?

That will depend on how those nodes (packages) have been written, and how they are distributed / deployed.

Are they all packages for which you have the sources available? If so, there is a high chance that building them in a Melodic workspace will work. There might be a couple of things you may have to fix or update, but how much is going to be difficult to estimate as it would entirely depend on what these nodes actually do and what their dependencies are.

If you only have binaries (ie: compiled workspaces or .debs) then that will most likely not work (reliably).


Edit:

In the installation tutorial for Ubuntu it states that the recommended install command is sudo apt install ros-melodic-desktop-full which doesn't work for me, it can't find all packages. It says that I have to use shadowpackages if that's the case

Please copy-paste the exact message that you get from apt into your original question.

Using the shadow repository should not be done unless necessary, and from your description I doubt it is.

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In the installation tutorial for Ubuntu it states that the recommended install command is sudo apt install ros-melodic-desktop-full which doesn't work for me, it can't find all packages. It says that I have to use shadowpackages if that's the case

fluxable gravatar image fluxable  ( 2019-03-04 06:57:42 -0500 )edit

So I just executed sudo apt install ros-melodic-desktop-full and it seems like it is fully installing Melodic. How odd.. So in the end you would recommend to use Melodic Morenia on ubuntu 18.04 anyway?

fluxable gravatar image fluxable  ( 2019-03-04 07:58:37 -0500 )edit

For 18.04 you have no other choice, as only Melodic is supported.

See also REP 3.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2019-03-04 08:53:09 -0500 )edit

Thanks, I will try to compile the old packages made in the Kinetic distribution because I saw your comment ( https://answers.ros.org/question/2426... ). If that doesn't work I will switch back to Ubuntu 16.04 and ROS Kinetic.

fluxable gravatar image fluxable  ( 2019-03-04 08:59:34 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2019-03-04 06:46:53 -0500

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Last updated: Mar 04 '19