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Is ROS Melodic developed enough to learn ROS as a beginner?

asked 2019-05-26 10:12:17 -0500

RoboNerd gravatar image

updated 2019-05-26 10:14:15 -0500

I started ROS in Indigo, learned with different youtube videos, books and an Introductory course on EDX. So now as indigo is no longer in support I thought of migrating to a more supporting version like Melodic Morenia or Kinetic kame. So which version should I migrate to for exploring everything ROS has to offer like Moveit !, rviz, gazebo. I only know about these 3 and still at the beginner level. Melodic was newly released when I started learning ROS and during installation, I read in a few forums that melodic was not developed enough to start learning ROS with, So is Melodic Morenia preferable now or should I install Kinetic kame ?

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answered 2019-05-26 10:27:12 -0500

gvdhoorn gravatar image

updated 2019-05-26 12:55:08 -0500

Either will be fine. Especially if you're just starting out (so don't have any real dependencies on specific packages supporting specific hardware).

The biggest factor here will probably be which OS you are currently using.

Considering just Ubuntu versions: ROS Kinetic is only supported on Ubuntu Xenial (16.04), while Melodic is only suppored on Ubuntu Bionic (18.04). There is no overlap.

Please note also that whatever you learned "in Indigo" should translate almost 100% to newer versions as all of the base concepts, tools, utilities and higher-level components have pretty much stayed exactly the same. The main differences will be in the OS supported, specific versions of dependencies supported (ie: PCL versions, OpenCV versions, etc) and state of bugs (ie: old ones fix, probably some new ones introduced).

@etorobot wrote:

there were a few compatibility issues when i installed 18.04 and ros-melodic that led to replacing melodic with kinetic because no support for some packages

"no support for some packages" is a bit vague, but if you're referring to no binary releases being available of some packages it would seem to not be too difficult to build things in a Catkin workspace. Especially between Kinetic and Melodic the changes are few and minor, so that typically tends to work.

@RoboNerd wrote:

Is there like a list of packages that are supported by melodic.

A general overview of what has been released into Melodic may be found here:

To compare the state of Indigo to that of Kinetic and Melodic (wrt packages released), see:

Note the filter input box at the top of the page, making it easy to filter for specific packages.

Note also: as I wrote above (in reply to @etorobot): if you find some package not released for the ROS version you'd like to use / are using, it may be that building it in a Catkin workspace is relatively straightforward. Personally I would always try that, but YMMV.

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there were a few compatibility issues when i installed 18.04 and ros-melodic that led to replacing melodic with kinetic because no support for some packages, and eventually, downgrading to 16.04 for the same reasons.

etorobot gravatar image etorobot  ( 2019-05-26 11:18:41 -0500 )edit

Thank you so much for giving your time to answer my question, And Yes I am aware of the ROS-ubuntu version combo, presently I have dual booted ubuntu 14.04 and running ROS indigo, The Ubuntu version is not an issue for me because I am going to use Linux for ROS only, actually this was the reason I asked this question in the first place because I was gonna go with Melodic as it has longer support than kinetic but as it is new I was not sure that it offers everything that the older ROS versions offered.

So is it ok if I go with Melodic? And which version would you prefer?

RoboNerd gravatar image RoboNerd  ( 2019-05-26 11:22:53 -0500 )edit

Not absolutely right, I have compiled melodic version on my ubuntu 16.04 without any error, but it doesn't mean I recommend you to try this on your computer, I did that unconsciously, my intention is to compile kinetic version, but when clone from the github, I have forgoten to choose the version, due to I have installed all dendencies on my computer, then while compiling melodic version, there is no any error, and what's more, I have deployed it to our machine, it does can control our machine to move.

xinwf gravatar image xinwf  ( 2020-03-27 00:17:05 -0500 )edit

I was looking for this answer for 10 minimum and finally found Best Answer.

@rpit gravatar image @rpit  ( 2021-07-15 20:05:32 -0500 )edit

answered 2019-05-29 02:26:27 -0500

KrishKannan_007 gravatar image

kinetic is there for more days and, if u buy any sensor, it will have the package in ros-wiki. u can directly install and use. and if u go and see many of the packages fully documented in ros kinetic distro.

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answered 2019-05-26 11:14:22 -0500

achmad_fathoni gravatar image

If exploring package is your priority then you should stay with Kinetic since Melodic has fewer package. In term of learning difficulties both release is identical. I never look back to Kinetic because Melodic's Gazebo9 is faster and has more feature than Kinetic's Gazebo7.

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Thank you for answering, Is there like a list of packages that are supported by melodic.

RoboNerd gravatar image RoboNerd  ( 2019-05-26 11:35:52 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2019-05-26 09:06:39 -0500

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Last updated: May 29 '19