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Building GEAR from source

This page describes how to build GEAR from source.


Ubuntu Bionic

GEAR requires a machine running Ubuntu Bionic (18.04). If you're running Ubuntu, but not sure which version then run the following command to find out.

cat /etc/os-release

You should see 18.04 Bionic Beaver in that file.

Install ROS and Gazebo

GEAR uses ROS Melodic and Gazebo 9 to simulate the environment Follow these instructions to install ROS Melodic. Follow these instructions to install Gazebo 9.

Note, if you see a crash complaining about missing a symbol in an ignition library, run this to fix it

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade libignition-math4

Install Catkin Command Line Tools and Create a Catkin Workspace

The Catkin Command Line Tools (catkin_tools) will be used to build the software.

Follow these instructions to install catkin_tools. If you followed the instructions to install ROS above, it should be as simple as

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python-catkin-tools

Create a catkin workspace

A catkin workspace is a place to build ROS packages. You will need to create one to have a place to build the GEAR packages. Run these commands to create a workspace ariac_ws in your home folder.

source /opt/ros/melodic/setup.bash
mkdir -p ~/ariac_ws/src
cd ~/ariac_ws
catkin init

Download source code

The source code for GEAR is located in the osrf/gear repository on bitbucket. GEAR also uses a custom version of gazebo_ros_pkgs. Follow these instructions to put the for both of these into the catkin workspace.

cd ~/ariac_ws/src
git clone
git clone -b ariac-network-melodic

Install GEAR dependencies

The cloned software has its own dependencies that need to be installed. The tool rosdep can do this automatically. If you have not used rosdep before, then it must be initialized before running the command above. Run this if you have not used rosdep before:

sudo rosdep init
rosdep update

Once rosdep has been initialized, use it to install dependencies:

cd ~/ariac_ws
rosdep install --from-paths ./src --ignore-packages-from-source -y

Building GEAR

The command catkin from the Catkin Command Line Tools is used to build the software. All of these commands must be run from the root of the workspace. Use cd to get there in a terminal.

cd ~/ariac_ws

For more information see the documentation for catkin build.

Building all packages in the workspace

Run this to build all of the packages in the workspace.

catkin build

Once all packages have been built once, you can rebuild them individually as needed.

Building a single package in the workspace

The command to build a single package by name is:

catkin build --no-deps PACKAGE_NAME

For example, run this to build just the main GEAR package:

catkin build --no-deps osrf_gear

Building Release versus Debug builds

To build packages in debug mode with debug symbols, add cmake args specifying the build type.

For example, to rebuild all package in debug mode use:

catkin build --cmake-args -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug

To build in release use:

catkin build --cmake-args -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release

For more info see the documentation on CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE.

Testing GEAR

Run this command to run both unit and integration tests to make sure GEAR is working correctly.

catkin test --no-deps osrf_gear test_ariac

The above command says to run tests for the osrf_gear and test_ariac package. Unit tests (shorter, but less coverage) are in osrf_gear. Long running integration tests are in test_ariac.

Running gear

After building all packages, the workspace must be sourced before building. Always source the workspace in a new terminal. Never source the workspace in a terminal where you run catkin build.

To source the workspace:

source ~/ariac_ws/devel/setup.bash

Make sure it works by running the ARIAC sample environment.

roslaunch osrf_gear sample_environment.launch

Note the very first launch may take a while because Gazebo downloads models from the model database the first time it runs.