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mac os x install

asked 2012-08-26 11:10:07 -0600

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Ok, my question is very simple - is there any chance, that there will appear some "working" setup for mac os x? I've read many quite similar instructions, how to install ROS Fuerte on mac, however all of them have some bugs and it is really annoying to fix all the issues manually...

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answered 2012-08-28 18:53:03 -0600

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So, this is mostly my fault, but there are several things at play which have contributed to the general neglect of ROS on OS X.

First off, I got a lot of things working in Diamondback and Electric while I was in graduate school. During the Fuerte release my involvement decreased due to my thesis work. So, that has contributed to the neglect of more recent ROS releases in OS X.

Additionally, Homebrew and Apple have been shaking things up. In the last year we have seen the default compiler change (gcc to clang), the packaging of Xcode change (moving the command line tools to an external installation), X11 for OS X ownership change, a new version of Homebrew (0.9), and bunch of other smaller things in the Homebrew/Apple world that have basically introduced all kinds of small problems. These are mostly easy to fix, but there are a lot of them and they are understandably annoying when end users run into them.

Finally, ROS is currently transitioning to a new build system called catkin. This is going to make supporting non-debian systems much easier, but it is still not stable, but should be with in the next three weeks (groovy api freeze). Along with catkin is a rework of the release system, which should again make it simpler to support OS X and other platforms moving forward. I have held off working on making OS X a "first" class ROS OS because I don't want to have to rework things when these new systems land, instead I have been trying to keep up-to-date with them and make sure that the end product is something that lends itself to OS X support.

Currently, the only way to install ROS on OS X is via the "source" install where you download, build, and install the code manually. The quality of these source install instructions have declined for Fuerte and even the once stable Electric instructions. I would appreciate any help maintaining these instructions from the community, as I don't have time to constantly install ROS from scratch on OS X to find new problems. For all the faults in the Fuerte source install instructions, I have successfully built and run rviz and rqt_gui for example, so it is possible, just not polished.

The bigger goal than having good source install instructions is having easier installation methods. With the new systems (catkin and bloom) all ROS stacks/packages (even third party ones) will generate Homebrew formulae in parallel with debian src packages. This will allow you to do things like brew install ros/fuerte/desktop-full and get everything downloaded, built, and installed via Homebrew. This will remove some of the burden from the OS X community and encourage package/stack maintainers to maintain their code for OS X.

Taking that a step further, once the formulae are auto generated, we can put the formulae into the build farm, where they can be built and tested. Failing builds and ... (more)

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Do not apologize ... you have been a key figure keeping the whole OSX ROS thing going. You are awesome ... even though you are an Auburn guy :) We just need several more uber experts like yourself to help out.

Kevin gravatar imageKevin ( 2012-08-29 01:46:55 -0600 )edit

Would you say the easiest way for a beginner to get started with ROS on OSX now is an Ubuntu VM?

obvio171 gravatar imageobvio171 ( 2013-05-05 11:51:24 -0600 )edit

No, these instructions work for me as recently as last week: http://www.ros.org/wiki/groovy/Installation/OSX/Homebrew/Source Most things work like rviz and most rqt plugins

William gravatar imageWilliam ( 2013-05-05 14:12:15 -0600 )edit
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answered 2012-08-28 17:02:05 -0600

Kevin gravatar image

I agree, OSX needs much more love than it has been getting. No real support/testing goes into the pre-release of a ROS version and most of the work gets done after the release to fix things as much as we can.

suggest you follow the install instructions. This will give you the commandline stuff (most of it) and the graphical stuff is still very much a work in progress. Good luck!

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Asked: 2012-08-26 11:10:07 -0600

Seen: 1,107 times

Last updated: Aug 28 '12