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Creating a workspace for catkin

Description: This tutorial covers how to setup a catkin workspace in which one or more catkin packages can be built.

Keywords: catkin workspace

Tutorial Level: BEGINNER

Next Tutorial: Creating catkin packages

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Contents

  1. Prerequisites

Prerequisites

This tutorial assumes that you have installed catkin and sourced your environment. If you installed catkin via apt-get for ROS $ROS_DISTRO, your command would look like this:

$ source /opt/ros/$ROS_DISTRO/setup.bash

Let's create and build a catkin workspace:

$ mkdir -p ~/catkin_ws/src
$ cd ~/catkin_ws/
$ catkin_make

The catkin_make command is a convenience tool for working with catkin workspaces. Running it the first time in your workspace, it will create a CMakeLists.txt link in your 'src' folder. Note, for Arch Linux users, the first catkin_make command in a clean catkin workspace must be:

$ catkin_make -DPYTHON_EXECUTABLE=/usr/bin/python3 -DPYTHON_INCLUDE_DIR=/usr/include/python3.7m -DPYTHON_LIBRARY=/usr/lib/libpython3.7m.so

This will configure catkin_make with Python 3. You may then proceed to use just catkin_make for subsequent builds.

Additionally, if you look in your current directory you should now have a 'build' and 'devel' folder. Inside the 'devel' folder you can see that there are now several setup.*sh files. Sourcing any of these files will overlay this workspace on top of your environment. To understand more about this see the general catkin documentation: catkin. Before continuing source your new setup.*sh file:

$ source devel/setup.bash

To make sure your workspace is properly overlayed by the setup script, make sure ROS_PACKAGE_PATH environment variable includes the directory you're in.

$ echo $ROS_PACKAGE_PATH
/home/youruser/catkin_ws/src:/opt/ros/kinetic/share

Next you should go ahead and learn how to use the workspace.

If you are following the ROS tutorials series instead of the catkin tutorials, please continue with Creating a ROS Package.


2019-10-12 12:29