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How to install single packages in a workspace?

In our project we have certain packages that are custom and required to run our system, but which do not need to be rebuilt during everyday development. I would like to designate them to be "installed", so that they are built from source, but catkin clean does not remove them.

I know that you can call make install in the build directory of your workspace (and in single packages) as described in the tutorial to create packages in the install directory, but as it is also deleted by catkin clean, I don't see the use.

I found this and this answer, but they seem to deal with building from source, not with "installing" in the sense that I mean it. There are also other questions like this, but they seem to either not apply or be outdated.

  • Can single packages in a workspace be installed so that catkin clean does not remove them? If yes, how is it done using the catkin tools?
  • If it is not possible, what is the canonical way to deal with this? Build the packages to be installed in an intermediate workspace, and then extend another workspace? Build them in /opt/ros/melodic/?

Thanks in advance.