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 via Debian Packages

Debian packages for ROS 2 Crystal (the latest release) and ROS 2 Bouncy are available for Ubuntu Bionic; packages for ROS 2 Ardent are available for Ubuntu Xenial.


Setup Locale

Make sure you have a locale which supports UTF-8. If you are in a minimal environment, such as a docker container, the locale may be something minimal like POSIX. We test with the following settings. It should be fine if you’re using a different UTF-8 supported locale.

sudo locale-gen en_US en_US.UTF-8
sudo update-locale LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8 LANG=en_US.UTF-8
export LANG=en_US.UTF-8

Setup Sources

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 https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ros/rosdistro/master/ros.asc | sudo apt-key add -

And then add the repository to your sources list:

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

Install ROS 2 packages

First set an environment variable for the ROS 2 release you want to install so it can be used in other commands.

export CHOOSE_ROS_DISTRO=crystal  # or bouncy or ardent
sudo apt update

Desktop Install (Recommended): ROS, RViz, demos, tutorials.

sudo apt install ros-$CHOOSE_ROS_DISTRO-desktop

ROS-Base Install (Bare Bones): Communication libraries, message packages, command line tools. No GUI tools.

sudo apt install ros-$CHOOSE_ROS_DISTRO-ros-base

See specific sections below for how to also install the ros1_bridge, TurtleBot packages, or alternative RMW packages.

Environment setup

Sourcing the setup script

Set up your environment by sourcing the following file.

source /opt/ros/crystal/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, set up the ROS 2 environment as described above and then run a C++ talker:

ros2 run demo_nodes_cpp talker

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

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.

Install additional RMW implementations (optional)

By default the RMW implementation Fast RTPS is used. If using Ardent OpenSplice is also installed.

To install support for OpenSplice or RTI Connext on Bouncy:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install ros-$CHOOSE_ROS_DISTRO-rmw-opensplice-cpp # for OpenSplice
sudo apt install ros-$CHOOSE_ROS_DISTRO-rmw-connext-cpp # for RTI Connext (requires license agreement)

By setting the environment variable RMW_IMPLEMENTATION=rmw_opensplice_cpp you can switch to use OpenSplice instead. For ROS 2 releases Bouncy and newer, RMW_IMPLEMENTATION=rmw_connext_cpp can also be selected to use RTI Connext.

You can also install the Connext DDS-Security plugins or use the University, purchase or evaluation options for RTI Connext.

Install additional packages using ROS 1 packages

The ros1_bridge as well as the TurtleBot demos are using ROS 1 packages. To be able to install them please start by adding the ROS 1 sources as documented here.

If you’re using Docker for isolation you can start with the image ros:melodic or osrf/ros:melodic-desktop (or Kinetic if using Ardent). This will also avoid the need to setup the ROS sources as they will already be integrated.

Now you can install the remaining packages:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install ros-$CHOOSE_ROS_DISTRO-ros1-bridge

The turtlebot2 packages are available in Bouncy but not Crystal.

sudo apt install ros-$CHOOSE_ROS_DISTRO-turtlebot2-*

Build your own packages

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


If you need to uninstall ROS 2 or switch to a source-based install once you have already installed from binaries, run the following command:

sudo apt remove ros-crystal-* && sudo apt autoremove