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Pre-release Testing

Many ROS packages are provided as pre-built binaries. Usually, you will get the released version of binaries when following Installation. There are also pre-released versions of binaries that are useful for testing before making an official release. This article describes several options if you would like to try out pre-released versions of ROS binaries.

Debian testing repository

For Debian-based operating systems, you can install binary packages from the ros-testing repository.

  1. Make sure you have a working ROS 2 installation from Debian packages (see Installation).

  2. Edit (with sudo) the file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ros2-latest.list and change ros2 with ros2-testing. For example, on Ubuntu Focal the contents should look like the following:

    # deb http://packages.ros.org/ros2/ubuntu focal main
    deb http://packages.ros.org/ros2-testing/ubuntu focal main
    
  3. Update the apt index:

    sudo apt update
    
  4. You can now install individual packages from the testing repository, for example:

    sudo apt install ros-foxy-my-just-released-package
    
  5. Alternatively, you can move your entire ROS 2 installation to the testing repository:

    sudo apt dist-upgrade
    
  6. Once you are finished testing, you can switch back to the normal repository by changing back the contents of /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ros2-latest.list:

    deb http://packages.ros.org/ros2/ubuntu focal main
    # deb http://packages.ros.org/ros2-testing/ubuntu focal main
    

    and doing an update and upgrade:

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt dist-upgrade
    

Fat binaries

For core packages, we run nightly packaging jobs for Linux, macOS, and Windows. These packaging jobs produce archives with pre-built binaries that can be downloaded and extracted to your filesystem.

  1. Make sure you have all dependencies installed according to the latest development setup for your platform.

  2. Go to https://ci.ros2.org/view/packaging/ and select a packaging job from the list corresponding to your platform.

  3. Under the heading “Last Successful Artifacts” you should see a download link (e.g. for Windows, ros2-package-windows-AMD64.zip).

  4. Download and extract the archive to your file system.

  5. To use the fat binary installation, source the setup.* file that can be found in the root of the archive.

    source path/to/extracted/archive/setup.bash
    
    source path/to/extracted/archive/setup.bash
    
    call path\to\extracted\archive\setup.bat
    

Docker

For Linux, there is also a nightly Docker image based on the nightly fat archive.

  1. Pull the Docker image:

    docker pull osrf/ros2:nightly
    
  2. Start an interactive container:

    docker run -it osrf/ros2:nightly
    

For support on running GUI applications in Docker, take a look at the tutorial User GUI’s with Docker or the tool rocker.