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Migration guide

In ROS Fuerte, includes and library exports were cleaned up. This cleanup may cause regressions in your builds due to missing linker calls that were being accidentally inherited, or missing includes.

ROS Fuerte also rosdep 2, which no longer processes <stack>/rosdep.yaml files. Please see:

Common errors

There are two categories of errors in general:

  1. Code depends on deprecated libraries/functions that were removed in Fuerte (e.g. Eigen, tinyxml, yaml_cpp). These deprecations were already noted on the relevant package/stack wiki pages, so please check there first for migration guides.
  2. New ROS core libraries are less promiscuous exporting compiler flags.

For both of these categories, any changes you make to your code are backwards-compatible with Electric.

Removed packages:

Likely to be removed:

Stacks with removed dependencies:

Bullet Datatypes Changed

If you are using tf or bullet datatypes please read the Bullet Fuerte Migration Guide

Eigen can't be found

If you're using Eigen directly in your code

Starting with Fuerte, the new pattern to find Eigen in a CMakeLists.txt file is:

find_package(Eigen REQUIRED)

This code relies on Eigen .cmake files that are distributed with catkin (specifically, /opt/ros/fuerte/share/catkin/cmake/Modules/eigen-*).

If you're exporting headers that use Eigen to others

If you provide headers included by code in other packages, and those headers use Eigen, then you must also export the flags to find Eigen. Do that by adding `pkg-config --cflags eigen3` to the exported cflags in your manifest.xml. E.g., your manifest.xml might contain something like this:

    <cpp cflags="`pkg-config --cflags eigen3` -I${prefix}/include `rosboost-cfg --cflags`" 
         lflags="-Wl,-rpath,${prefix}/lib -L${prefix}/lib -lplanning_models"/>

Error 'ROS_WARN' was not declared in this scope (or 'ROS_INFO' or 'ROS_DEBUG')

Source code needs:

   #include <ros/console.h>

Error 'ROS_ASSERT' was not declared in this scope

Source code needs:

   #include <ros/assert.h>


Source code needs:

   #include <ros/static_assert.h>

Errors linking boost (e.g. with Boost signals or thread)

If you see something like this:

/usr/bin/ld: note: 'boost::signals::trackable::~trackable()' is defined in DSO /usr/lib/libboost_signals.so.1.46.1 so try adding it to the linker command line

then in your CMakeLists.txt, you need to explicitly link to the Boost libraries you use, e.g.:

   # Put this line before the executable or library:
   # Existing code:
   rosbuild_add_executable(my_target my_srcs....)
   # Put this line after the executable or library:
   rosbuild_link_boost(my_target signals)

The two most commonly missing Boost libraries are signals and thread. Note that this error will only occur on systems with relatively strict linkers; in particular you will see it on Oneiric but not Lucid.


Errors linking log4cxx

Add to your CMakeLists.txt:

   find_library(LOG4CXX_LIBRARY log4cxx)
   target_link_libraries(my_target ${LOG4CXX_LIBRARY})

Errors linking -lros

Do not link against -lros directly. It doesn't exist in Fuerte, and anything in Electric that linked against it directly was doing so incorrectly.

ERROR: Stack's declared dependencies are missing calculated dependencies: actionlib

Edit your stack.xml to add:

  <depend stack="actionlib" />

You should also remove the <depend stack="common" /> line that is probably there as well.

error: XXX has no member named 'set_YYY_size' (or 'get_YYY_size')

This is a long-deprecated and now removed part of the C++ message API. Switch to using the standard vector API:

  // Change from this:
  // my_msg.set_foo_size(42);
  // To this:

  // Change from this:
  // sz = my_msg.get_foo_size(42);
  // To this:
  sz = my_msg.foo.size();

In sed:


Errors about roslib::Header (includes, symbol references)

Replace this:

#include <roslib/Header.h>

with this:

#include <std_msgs/Header.h>

And replace references to:




Errors with roslaunch <machine> tag

The <machine> tag in roslaunch was changed to accomodate environment setup differences caused by migrating to a FHS layout in /opt/ros/fuerte. These changes are not backwards-compatible.

Environment variables are now set via an env-loader script. You can no longer set ros-root and ros-package-path attributes, or assign <env> tags to a <machine>. Instead, the env-loader script on the remote machine does all environment configuration.

Example (note env-loader property):

<machine name="..." address="..." env-loader="/opt/ros/fuerte/env.sh" />

If the env-loader property is not present, it will be inferred from the local environment.

No more roscreate-stack

roscreate-stack is no longer available as it cannot work correctly with low-level dependencies. You will have to manually maintain stack.xml dependencies. More info on the ros-users mailing list.

Errors switching between Fuerte and other ROS releases

Some things were moved around in Fuerte, and some environment variables are being set that weren't being set before. So if you switch your environment between Fuerte and something else (e.g., Electric), you might have trouble.

Current best practice: Don't switch environments. Always start with a fresh shell.

We're working on fixes for each problem that comes up. Known issues include:

Errors releasing into Fuerte

First of all, be sure that you're following the Fuerte release instructions, which prescribe the use of a new release script: rosrelease-legacy. Second, stay up-to-date with that release script:

sudo pip install -U rosrelease

Important fixes are being made quickly.

If you see this:

ERROR: stack depends on [pcl], which is not in a stack

then update rosrelease (see above).

Errors finding rosemacs

rosemacs is now distributed separately from the core ROS codebase. This will enable your Emacs experience to improve regardless of which version of ROS you are using.

Stack-fixing quickstart

How to get the stuff you need to reproduce and fix bugs. Let's say you want to debug a broken stack called STACK.

  1. If possible, work on an Oneiric machine. The linker is much stricter there than on Lucid, and many problems are linker-related.
  2. Update your list of debs:

    sudo apt-get update
  3. Upgrade your debs (just in case you have an old install lying around):

    sudo apt-get upgrade
  4. Install the dependencies of STACK. Usually, the dependencies are already available in deb form, in which case you should install the ros-fuerte- debs that STACK requires. If you don't know the requirements set, you can try installing everything: sudo apt-get install 'ros-fuerte-*'. Sometimes, you may need to pull dependencies from source. See below for more on this.

  5. Source the fuerte configuration file:

    source /opt/ros/fuerte/setup.sh
  6. Create a workspace to debug in:

    mkdir work
    cd work
  7. Checkout the broken stack from source:

    rosco --distro=unstable --dev STACK

    . At this point, if you need other stacks from source (because they're not available in deb form, or because you need a newer version than what's available in the debs), use rosco in a similar manner to get them into work.

  8. Add your workspace to ROS_PACKAGE_PATH:

  9. Double-check that STACK's dependencies are satisfied:

    rosstack deps STACK

    If you see errors, you need to install more stacks, via apt-get and/or rosco.

  10. Try to build your stack:

    rosmake STACK
  11. Fix what is broken.
  12. Do a new release of STACK into fuerte. The old release/create.py script doesn't work atop fuerte, so you'll need to follow the new release/Releasing/fuerte instructions.

Errors on non-Ubuntu platforms

Errors linking PCL, swig-wx, and opencv

ROS uses a modified version of PCL and swig-wx. Most system dependencies are equivalent, but PCL shares message data structures and thus requires alternate build flags to be compatible with ROS. Similarly, the swig-wx contains necessary patches; swig-wx will disappear in Groovy and so is a transitional issue.

The current workaround is the build and install from the trees that ROS uses here:


Note: make sure to install into /opt/ros/fuerte (CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX), enable ROS (e.g. in pcl using the ccmake option USE_ROS), and remove the --install-layout=deb configuration option (SETUPTOOLS_ARG_EXTRA)

OpenCV should be compatible with normal OpenCV packaging, though ROS packages that explicitly depend on 'opencv2' may need this dependency to be removed (this is a deprecation/migration issue).

2019-11-16 12:50