Preparing ROS 2 Rolling for the transition to Ubuntu 22.04

When we initially created the Rolling distribution one of the highlighted differences from our stable distributions is that we expect Rolling to change target platforms as new platforms become available and as we prepare the upcoming stable distributions targeting new platforms. With the upcoming release of Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish in April it’s time for the first of these transitions.

As documented in the upcoming PR targeting REP-2000 the next stable release of ROS 2, Humble Hawksbill, will target the Linux platforms Debian Bullseye, RHEL 8, and Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish. In previous years these bootstrapping efforts would be performed “from scratch” but as with the release of Galactic we now have the Rolling distribution available to streamline the production of ROS 2 Humble.

The full checklist for this transition is in this issue on GitHub:

Broadly speaking the work involves setting up the initial infrastructure, making it possible to run builds using the new target platforms, resolving issues due to platform changes, and then throwing the big switch changing the default platforms in CI. Once the switch is thrown we’ll also use the rosdistro migration tools to automatically re-release Rolling packages for 22.04 and reconfigure the build farm to build the new 22.04-based binaries.

We are beginning the transition this month but we won’t know until we have the first builds running how much work is going to be required to bring up ROS 2 on Ubuntu Jammy. My objective is to have the transition completed before the end of January.

Once Rolling has transitioned to 22.04 new Rolling packages will no longer be produced for Ubuntu 20.04.