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ROS Melodic on Debian 10 (Buster)

Forgive me if this is the wrong place to post this.

I am wondering if there are plans to release ROS Melodic on Debian 10. When looking at the installation: https://wiki.ros.org/action/logout/melodic/Installation/Debian?action=logout&logout=logout, Melodic is not supported on Debian 10. I can compile from source, (ahhhhhhh), or use the upstream packages, (not sure if they are reliable enough), but I would rather prefer to use the Melodic packages provided by OSRF. Are their plans to release Melodic on Debian 10, if so when? Is there a place tracking this information?

Thank you!

Every ROS Distribution has a set of targeted platforms. You can see the list here: https://www.ros.org/reps/rep-0003.html

Melodic specifically targeted Stretch. It is not unexpected for things to compile from source on more platforms than are officially supported if they are close enough. Users can choose to take advantage of this for their own specific purposes. However we don’t plan to change targeted platforms during the lifespan of a ROS distro.

It turns out that doing a forward port of all the packages is approximately the same amount of effort as creating a whole new ROS Distro. But it has the drawback that the maintainers have to go in and change things and actually makes it less stable for the users on the originally supported platforms while patches to support the new platform are added.

So the direct answer to your question is that there are no plans to make a new version of Melodic targeting Debian 10 Buster.

However in good news for you. I mentioned that it’s just as much work to make a new release. And along those lines we are starting to prepare for the next ROS release, Noetic, and it’s targeting Buster. The PR for the REP is here:

It’s very early in the pre-release cycle but we have bootstrapped up to over 100 packages already in our testing repository The release is targeted for World Turtle Day in May.

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Thanks for your detailed response, I should have looked at the REPs, I know I have come across that one before.

Sweet all the more excited for Noetic to come out now!

You have also the option to run ROS Melodic inside a Docker container. I’m doing this for quite a while now. The only extra step you then need to get used to is to start the container before executing any ROS command.