Ubuntu (source) System requirements

The current Debian-based target platforms for Iron Irwini are:

  • Tier 1: Ubuntu Linux - Jammy (22.04) 64-bit

  • Tier 3: Debian Linux - Bullseye (11) 64-bit

As defined in REP 2000. System setup

Set locale

Make sure you have a locale which supports UTF-8. If you are in a minimal environment (such as a docker container), the locale may be something minimal like POSIX. We test with the following settings. However, it should be fine if you’re using a different UTF-8 supported locale.

locale  # check for UTF-8

sudo apt update && sudo apt install locales
sudo locale-gen en_US en_US.UTF-8
sudo update-locale LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8 LANG=en_US.UTF-8
export LANG=en_US.UTF-8

locale  # verify settings

Enable required repositories

You will need to add the ROS 2 apt repository to your system.

First ensure that the Ubuntu Universe repository is enabled.

sudo apt install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository universe

Now add the ROS 2 GPG key with apt.

sudo apt update && sudo apt install curl -y
sudo curl -sSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ros/rosdistro/master/ros.key -o /usr/share/keyrings/ros-archive-keyring.gpg

Then add the repository to your sources list.

echo "deb [arch=$(dpkg --print-architecture) signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/ros-archive-keyring.gpg] http://packages.ros.org/ros2/ubuntu $(. /etc/os-release && echo $UBUNTU_CODENAME) main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ros2.list > /dev/null

Install development tools

sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y \
  python3-flake8-docstrings \
  python3-pip \
  python3-pytest-cov \
  python3-flake8-blind-except \
  python3-flake8-builtins \
  python3-flake8-class-newline \
  python3-flake8-comprehensions \
  python3-flake8-deprecated \
  python3-flake8-import-order \
  python3-flake8-quotes \
  python3-pytest-repeat \
  python3-pytest-rerunfailures \
  ros-dev-tools Build ROS 2

Get ROS 2 code

Create a workspace and clone all repos:

mkdir -p ~/ros2_iron/src
cd ~/ros2_iron
vcs import --input https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ros2/ros2/iron/ros2.repos src

Install dependencies using rosdep

ROS 2 packages are built on frequently updated Ubuntu systems. It is always recommended that you ensure your system is up to date before installing new packages.

sudo apt upgrade
sudo rosdep init
rosdep update
rosdep install --from-paths src --ignore-src -y --skip-keys "fastcdr rti-connext-dds-6.0.1 urdfdom_headers"

Note: If you’re using a distribution that is based on Ubuntu (like Linux Mint) but does not identify itself as such, you’ll get an error message like Unsupported OS [mint]. In this case append --os=ubuntu:jammy to the above command.

Install additional RMW implementations (optional)

The default middleware that ROS 2 uses is Fast DDS, but the middleware (RMW) can be replaced at build or runtime. See the guide on how to work with multiple RMWs.

Build the code in the workspace

If you have already installed ROS 2 another way (either via Debians or the binary distribution), make sure that you run the below commands in a fresh environment that does not have those other installations sourced. Also ensure that you do not have source /opt/ros/${ROS_DISTRO}/setup.bash in your .bashrc. You can make sure that ROS 2 is not sourced with the command printenv | grep -i ROS. The output should be empty.

More info on working with a ROS workspace can be found in this tutorial.

cd ~/ros2_iron/
colcon build --symlink-install


If you are having trouble compiling all examples and this is preventing you from completing a successful build, you can use the --packages-skip colcon flag to ignore the package that is causing problems. For instance, if you don’t want to install the large OpenCV library, you could skip building the packages that depend on it using the command:

colcon build --symlink-install --packages-skip image_tools intra_process_demo Setup environment

Set up your environment by sourcing the following file.

# Replace ".bash" with your shell if you're not using bash
# Possible values are: setup.bash, setup.sh, setup.zsh
. ~/ros2_iron/install/local_setup.bash Try some examples

In one terminal, source the setup file and then run a C++ talker:

. ~/ros2_iron/install/local_setup.bash
ros2 run demo_nodes_cpp talker

In another terminal source the setup file and then run a Python listener:

. ~/ros2_iron/install/local_setup.bash
ros2 run demo_nodes_py listener

You should see the talker saying that it’s Publishing messages and the listener saying I heard those messages. This verifies both the C++ and Python APIs are working properly. Hooray! Next steps

Continue with the tutorials and demos to configure your environment, create your own workspace and packages, and learn ROS 2 core concepts. Use the ROS 1 bridge (optional)

The ROS 1 bridge can connect topics from ROS 1 to ROS 2 and vice-versa. See the dedicated document on how to build and use the ROS 1 bridge. Alternate compilers

Using a different compiler besides gcc to compile ROS 2 is easy. If you set the environment variables CC and CXX to executables for a working C and C++ compiler, respectively, and retrigger CMake configuration (by using --force-cmake-config or by deleting the packages you want to be affected), CMake will reconfigure and use the different compiler.


To configure CMake to detect and use Clang:

sudo apt install clang
export CC=clang
export CXX=clang++
colcon build --cmake-force-configure Stay up to date

See Maintain source checkout to periodically refresh your source installation. Troubleshoot

Troubleshooting techniques can be found here. Uninstall

  1. If you installed your workspace with colcon as instructed above, “uninstalling” could be just a matter of opening a new terminal and not sourcing the workspace’s setup file. This way, your environment will behave as though there is no Iron install on your system.

  2. If you’re also trying to free up space, you can delete the entire workspace directory with:

    rm -rf ~/ros2_iron