You're reading the documentation for a version of ROS 2 that has reached its EOL (end-of-life), and is no longer officially supported. If you want up-to-date information, please have a look at Jazzy.

Installing ROS 2 on Linux

This page explains how to install ROS 2 on Linux from a pre-built binary package.

There are also Debian packages available.

System Requirements

We support Ubuntu Linux Bionic Beaver (18.04) and Ubuntu Xenial Xerus (16.04) on 64-bit x86 and 64-bit ARM.

Note: Ardent and beta versions supported Ubuntu Xenial Xerus 16.04.

Add the ROS 2 apt repository

You will need to add the ROS 2 apt repositories to your system. To do so, first authorize our GPG key with apt like this:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install curl gnupg2 lsb-release
curl -s | sudo apt-key add -

And then add the repository to your sources list:

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=$(dpkg --print-architecture)] $(lsb_release -cs) main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ros2-latest.list'

Downloading ROS 2

  • Go the releases page

  • Download the latest package for Linux; let’s assume that it ends up at ~/Downloads/ros2-crystal-linux-x86_64.tar.bz2.

    • Note: there may be more than one binary download option which might cause the file name to differ.

  • Unpack it:

    mkdir -p ~/ros2_crystal
    cd ~/ros2_crystal
    tar xf ~/Downloads/ros2-crystal-linux-x86_64.tar.bz2

Installing and initializing rosdep

sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y python-rosdep
sudo rosdep init # if already initialized you may continue
rosdep update

Installing the missing dependencies

Set your rosdistro according to the release you downloaded.

CHOOSE_ROS_DISTRO=crystal # or bouncy
rosdep install --from-paths ros2-linux/share --ignore-src --rosdistro $CHOOSE_ROS_DISTRO -y --skip-keys "console_bridge fastcdr fastrtps libopensplice67 libopensplice69 osrf_testing_tools_cpp poco_vendor rmw_connext_cpp rosidl_typesupport_connext_c rosidl_typesupport_connext_cpp rti-connext-dds-5.3.1 tinyxml_vendor tinyxml2_vendor urdfdom urdfdom_headers"
  1. Optional: if you want to use the ROS 1<->2 bridge, then you must also install ROS 1. Follow the normal install instructions:

Installing the python3 libraries

sudo apt install -y libpython3-dev

Install additional DDS implementations (optional)

If you would like to use another DDS or RTPS vendor besides the default, eProsima’s Fast RTPS, you can find instructions here.

Environment setup

Sourcing the setup script

Set up your environment by sourcing the following file.

. ~/ros2_crystal/ros2-linux/setup.bash

Install argcomplete (optional)

ROS 2 command line tools use argcomplete to autocompletion. So if you want autocompletion, installing argcomplete is necessary.

Ubuntu 18.04

sudo apt install python3-argcomplete

Ubuntu 16.04 (argcomplete >= 0.8.5)

To install argcomplete on Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial), you’ll need to use pip, because the version available through apt will not work due to a bug in that version of argcomplete:

sudo apt install python3-pip
sudo pip3 install argcomplete

Try some examples

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

. ~/ros2_crystal/ros2-linux/setup.bash
ros2 run demo_nodes_cpp talker

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

. ~/ros2_crystal/ros2-linux/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!

See the tutorials and demos for other things to try.

Using the ROS 1 bridge

If you have ROS 1 installed, you can try the ROS 1 bridge, by first sourcing your ROS 1 setup file. We’ll assume that it is /opt/ros/melodic/setup.bash in the following.

If you haven’t already, start a roscore:

. /opt/ros/melodic/setup.bash

In another terminal, start the bridge:

. /opt/ros/melodic/setup.bash
. ~/ros2_crystal/ros2-linux/setup.bash
ros2 run ros1_bridge dynamic_bridge

For more information on the bridge, read the tutorial.

Build your own packages

If you would like to build your own packages, refer to the tutorial "Using Colcon to build packages".


  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 Crystal 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_crystal