View Full Version : ROS: Yet another failed install attempt

07-05-2015, 01:34 PM
Again, I'm trying to learn ROS rather than going with my own implementation of the basics (IPC, name space, pub/sub, etc.)

Again, I'm thwarted.

The main problem is that I'm using Arch, and I don't have the disk space or inclination to instead use Ubuntu. (There's a reason I moved away from it!)

The "install from source" instructions for ros-jade are not complete at all; even if I can follow the instructions, there are a bunch of packages that are actually dependencies, but aren't called out: empy, console_bridge, poco, and more.

Maybe I'll get a bigger disk, and stick ubuntu inside a container, and try to install there. With the draw-back that I may not be able to do graphics from in there, which removes most of the reason I want it -- the tools for describing/simulating articulated assemblies are nice and not something I want to re-invent on my own.

07-05-2015, 03:38 PM
How tiny is your hard drive? Cheapo ADATA 32GB SSD in Zbox is enough for Xubuntu 14.04 + ROS Indigo Desktop + favored accessories (gedit, nautilus, evince, eog, gnome system monitor, etc.), but not too many sensor/data dumps to local disk. Spare 250GB spinny-disk for Zbox/netbook mostly unused since purchase couple years ago, but still has plenty of space left after Xubuntu 12.04 + ROS Hydro Desktop + accessories.

AMD C-60 + 4GB RAM netbook with original 500GB spinny-disk has Xubuntu 12.04 + Home folders + ROS Hydro Full Desktop + way too many mostly unused libraries (mostly i386, x64, but some avr, arm-none-eabi, and arm-linux-gnueabihf) and binaries in one of two ~50GiB OS partitions used for ~3 years yet still has >20GiB remaining. It has been up ~644 hours and configured for 20 workspaces with 10 currently in use for: firefox (two windows; ~250 tabs total), 3 instances of vlc (one playing movies in the background; others with music stopped), 10 instances of gedit scattered across 8 workspaces (~45 documents), multiple evince instances for pdf datasheets, 9 instances of nautilus with multiple tabs each, several terminals for git and gcc/make, and arduino-1.6.4.

No hiccups. No lag. No Unity. Also removed the Ubuntu gui package/upgrade crap to stick with aptitude plus very rarely used synaptic. Can get even lower disk requirements (and less crap cleanup) by using server install then adding only the window manager and accessories you want; always remember to disable 'auto-select/install' of recommended packages in apt/aptitude to cut down on more crap.

07-05-2015, 05:27 PM
It's a combination of limitations:
1) It's a mini-ITX box running a Core i5-2400, so it doesn't have a lot of space
2) It uses a 120 Watt "micro-PSU" that is fed by battery, and this only has one drive power plug (which needs an adaptor for SATA)
3) It's a 30 GB SSD, that also runs a bunch of other stuff (my main Linux workstation)
4) It's all mounted underneath a shebang of robot peripherals, so it's really hard to get it, should I even have the upgrade drive

I actually do have an upgrade drive. It's been sitting on the desk beside the 'bot for a year, because of 4)...

Speaking of which, I actually have a Zbox I'm not using. Perhaps I should be ... (It's kind-of low-powered, though, with a dual 1.8 GHz CPU.)

I hear you on starting with "server" and going lxde or whatever from there, but even so, I've had bad luck with Ubuntu :-(

I feel like a container really would be the best option.

07-05-2015, 08:11 PM
AMD C-60 is dual-core 1.0GHz/1.33GHz, which is enough to learn if ROS is worth the effort of upgrading hardware. C-60 running Xubuntu 12.04 with open drivers, ROS Diamondback or Fuerte, and Rviz had trouble handling kinect depth stream at more than ~5 fps, but that was a few years ago when both the kinect and netbook were 'new'. Xubuntu 14.04 is easy enough to install on a Zbox via thumbdrive to re-test Ubuntu and ROS with a non-resource hog desktop (might want to disable Xfce compositing in the settings manager). Have more issues with ubuntu, and can just wipe the spare drive again and put the Zbox back into storage.

For me, the worst part of Ubuntu right now is that I can no longer get wine to play one of my older windows games since upgrading from the original 12.04 kernel (crashes before menu finishes loading on both 12.04 and 14.04). Still not sure if it is kernel or library issue.

07-06-2015, 01:46 AM

Ubuntu (or Xubuntu) is the easiest way to use ROS but I remember installing ROS Indigo on Arch via the AUR packages from bchretien : https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/ros-indigo-desktop-full/ and it worked well (for the first tutorials, I then switched to Ubuntu).

But every package needs to be built so it took some time.
That's why I am now using a Ubuntu machine, even if I prefer Arch.

07-06-2015, 10:19 AM
I remember installing ROS Indigo on Arch via the AUR packages from bchretien : https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/r...-desktop-full/

I actually tried that first, and some recent update to makepgk made it break packer -- each AUR package I try to build gives an error "unknown parameter --asroot"
The internets haven't yet figured this one out.

Meanwhile, a couple of hours of ODE and OpenGL will get me where I need to go.

07-12-2015, 07:56 AM
I don't know your exact reasons for moving away from Ubuntu, but have you considered Linux Mint? It's based on Ubuntu, but has a classic-Gnome-style desktop environment (recent version 17 actually uses an entirely new Cinnamon desktop) and not the most recent Ubuntu abominations. Most Ubuntu software has been repackaged so you'll find almost everything you would on Ubuntu. I have ROS Indigo with various packages (RViz, MoveIt, Gazebo etc.) installed and running without any issues.

07-12-2015, 04:11 PM
Well, one problem with Ubuntu is that it's already way behind the times, because it's based on Debian stable, which is kind-of conservative already. Mint adds another step in that chain, not improving things :-)
I actually generally use xubuntu when I have to use it at all.
I find Arch to be a pretty good trade-off between "bleeding edge" and "reasonable stable." (I previously tried things like Gentoo, but those "fun"rolled loops just aren't living up to their names :-)

Aaanyway. Yes, a couple of hours of C++ and OpenGL and the ODE library did actually get me where I wanted to go for simple physical simulation. Onwards and upwards.