Colcon in-container can now generate a Debian and runs on Linux, macOS and Windows

Hello everyone,

A little less than a year ago, we announced the project: colcon in-container. At that time, it was a colcon verb extension to run colcon commands inside a fresh and isolated ROS environment. With this extension, developers can build ROS packages for any ROS 2 distributions directly from colcon independently of the host.

In the last weeks, at Canonical, we have developed two new features:

The project is available on GitHub at canonical/colcon-in-container, alongside all the instructions to install and run it.

For example, simply run colcon release-in-container --ros-distro jazzy to generate the Debian of your ROS 2 package in a fresh Ubuntu 24.04 environment!

We are eager to collect some feedback from the community. Particularly about using the project on Windows and macOS, as we couldn’t test it as thoroughly. Please feel free to leave your feedback, comments as a message in this post or as an issue on GH. We’ll be monitoring and responding to your questions, so we can improve the tool based on your feedback.