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ROS newbie and questions about adding to ROS_PACKAGE_PATH

asked 2012-10-22 10:17:25 -0500

joe.s gravatar image

I am new to ROS (and Unix environments) and am trying to go through some of the tutorials. I realize this is probably a basic question.

I'm currently reading through this tutorial and am running in to a snag.

(I have already already added the stack sudo apt-get install ros-fuerte-dynamixel-motor)

In the first step, the tutorial states that my current directory is on the ROS path. (I am currently using a turtlebot) I have attempted to add this path to the directory

export ROS_PACKAGE_PATH=/home/turtlebot/ros/ros-pkg ...

Then, when running this command roscreate-pkg dynamixel_tutorials dynamixel_controllers

I receive this error: ERROR: dependency [dynamixel_controllers] cannot be found

Any ideas? I'm very confused.

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3 Answers

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answered 2012-10-22 21:14:00 -0500

Lorenz gravatar image

Managing ROS_PACKAGE_PATH manually is not recommended. It just leads to a messed up environment to easily. Instead, you should follow the install page and the tutorials and use rosws to set up an overlay. Have a look at this page and this tutorial.

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answered 2012-10-22 10:23:13 -0500

kszonek gravatar image


export ROS_PACKAGE_PATH=$ROS_PACKAGE_PATH:/home/turtlebot/ros/ros-pkg

Otherwise it will remove previous paths.

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answered 2012-10-22 10:28:44 -0500

joe.s gravatar image

kszonek: That's interesting...

After running this command export ROS_PACKAGE_PATH=$ROS_PACKAGE_PATH:/home/turtlebot/ros/ros-pkg

I ran this command roscreate-pkg dynamixel_tutorials dynamixel_controllers

I got back a warning saying that the current working directory is not on the ROS_PACKAGE_PATH... and I need to edit the dynamixel_tutorials/manifest.xml and mainpage.dox...

Does that mean that the path /home/turtlebot/ros/ros-pkg is not correct?

Also, what would need to be edited in the .xml and .dox files?

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You shouldnt post an anwer to ask question - it is not a forum, use comments. Where do you create this ne package? In this directory added to ROS path? It should work then, without need to edit manifest.

kszonek gravatar image kszonek  ( 2012-10-22 10:35:36 -0500 )edit

How do I know where the new package is created? Like I said, I'm very new to ROS and the tutorials I've read so far are vague at best and assume I know things I don't... How do I know if the directory is added to the ROS path? Is there a file that this is written to?

joe.s gravatar image joe.s  ( 2012-10-22 10:37:43 -0500 )edit

I see you are new to Linux too. echo $ROS_PACKAGE_PATH lists you all paths. Try cd /home/turtlebot/ros/ros-pkg and then create your package.

kszonek gravatar image kszonek  ( 2012-10-22 10:39:42 -0500 )edit

That's also something that's weird... the ros folder is empty. There is no ros-pkg in that folder. It's like the ros-pkg was never created. Or am I thinking of this incorrectly?

When running the echo command, I get /opt/ros/fuerte/stacks:/home/turtlebot/ros/ros-pkg

So, it looks like /home/turtle

joe.s gravatar image joe.s  ( 2012-10-22 10:41:55 -0500 )edit

/home/turtlebot/ros/ros-pkg was, in fact added to the path. Why would I be getting the above error then?

joe.s gravatar image joe.s  ( 2012-10-22 10:44:04 -0500 )edit

Your path needs to include all the directories with ROS packages on your system. So every time you create a new package, you'll need to add it to the ROS_PACKAGE_PATH unless the enclosing folder is in the path already. See here

thebyohazard gravatar image thebyohazard  ( 2012-10-22 10:45:24 -0500 )edit

Run pwd in directory you created package in and add it to ROS_PACKAGE_PATH. I strongly advise you to learn more about software development under Linux. Since you have problems at the very begining, I cant imagine what will happen later.

kszonek gravatar image kszonek  ( 2012-10-22 10:46:09 -0500 )edit

@joe.sanford I agree with what the other people are saying here. I think its less of a ROS issue and more of a lack of linux experience (It is hard when starting out. That is not a negative towards you). Keep with it though (its worth it).

PerkinsJames gravatar image PerkinsJames  ( 2012-10-22 11:24:58 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2012-10-22 10:17:25 -0500

Seen: 1,201 times

Last updated: Oct 22 '12