zenoh_bridge_dds repository

Repository Summary

Checkout URI https://github.com/eclipse-zenoh/zenoh-plugin-dds.git
VCS Type git
VCS Version master
Last Updated 2022-01-21
CI status No Continuous Integration
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Name Version
zenoh_bridge_dds 0.5.0


CI License License

DDS plugin for Eclipse zenoh


The Data Distribution Service (DDS) is a standard for data-centric publish subscribe. Whilst DDS has been around for quite some time and has a long history of deployments in various industries, it has recently gained quite a bit of attentions thanks to its adoption by the Robotic Operating System (ROS2) -- where it is used for communication between ROS2 nodes.

:point_right: Download stable versions: https://download.eclipse.org/zenoh/zenoh-plugin-dds/

:point_right: Docker image: see below

:point_right: Build "master" branch: see below

Robot Swarms and Edge Robotics

As mentioned above, ROS2 has adopted DDS as the mechanism to exchange data between nodes within and potentially across a robot. That said, due to some of the very core assumptions at the foundations of the DDS wire-protocol, beside the fact that it leverages UDP/IP multicast for communication, it is not so straightforward to scale DDS communication over a WAN or across multiple LANs. Zenoh, on the other hand was designed since its inception to operate at Internet Scale.


Thus, the main motivations to have a zenoh bridge for DDS are:

  • Facilitate the interconnection of robot swarms.
  • Support use cases of edge robotics.
  • Give the possibility to use zenoh's geo-distributed storage and query system to better manage robot's data.

How to build it

In order to build the zenoh bridge for DDS you need first to install the following dependencies:

  • Rust
  • On Linux, make sure the llvm and clang development packages are installed:
    • on Debians do: sudo apt install llvm-dev libclang-dev
    • on CentOS or RHEL do: sudo yum install llvm-devel clang-devel
    • on Alpine do: apk install llvm11-dev clang-dev
  • CMake (to build CycloneDDS which is a native dependency)

Once these dependencies are in place, you may clone the repository on your machine:

$ git clone https://github.com/eclipse-zenoh/zenoh-plugin-dds.git
$ cd zenoh-plugin-dds

You can then choose between building the zenoh bridge for DDS: - as a plugin library that can be dynamically loaded by the zenoh router (zenohd):

$ cargo build --release -p zplugin-dds

The plugin shared library (*.so on Linux, *.dylib on Mac OS, *.dll on Windows) will be generated in the target/release subdirectory.

  • or as a standalone executable binary:
$ cargo build --release -p zenoh-bridge-dds

The zenoh-bridge-dds binary will be generated in the target/release sub-directory.

ROS2 package

If you're a ROS2 user, you can also build zenoh-bridge-dds as a ROS package running:

rosdep install --from-paths . --ignore-src -r -y
colcon build --packages-select zenoh-bridge-dds --cmake-args -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release

The rosdep command will automatically install Rust and clang as build dependencies.

Docker image

The zenoh-bridge-dds standalone executable is also available as a Docker images for both amd64 and arm64. To get it, do: - docker pull eclipse/zenoh-bridge-dds:master for the master branch version

:warning: However, notice that it's usage is limited to Docker on Linux and using the --net host option.
The cause being that DDS uses UDP multicast and Docker doesn't support UDP multicast between a container and its host (see cases moby/moby#23659, moby/libnetwork#2397 or moby/libnetwork#552). The only known way to make it work is to use the --net host option that is only supported on Linux hosts.

Usage: docker run --init --net host eclipse/zenoh-bridge-dds
It supports the same command line arguments than the zenoh-bridge-dds (see below or check with -h argument).

For a quick test with ROS2 turtlesim

Prerequisites: - A ROS2 environment (no matter the DDS implementation as soon as it implements the standard DDSI protocol - the default Eclipse CycloneDDS being just fine) - The turtlesim package

1 host, 2 ROS domains

For a quick test on a single host, you can run the turtlesim_node and the turtle_teleop_key on distinct ROS domains. As soon as you run 2 zenoh-bridge-dds (1 per domain) the turtle_teleop_key can drive the turtlesim_node.
Here are the commands to run: - ROS_DOMAIN_ID=1 ros2 run turtlesim turtlesim_node - ROS_DOMAIN_ID=2 ros2 run turtlesim turtle_teleop_key - ./target/release/zenoh-bridge-dds -d 1 - ./target/release/zenoh-bridge-dds -d 2

Notice that by default the 2 bridges will discover each other using UDP multicast.

2 hosts, avoiding UDP multicast communication

By default DDS (and thus ROS2) uses UDP multicast for discovery and publications. But on some networks, UDP multicast is not or badly supported.
In such cases, deploying the zenoh-bridge-dds on both hosts will make it to: - limit the DDS discovery traffic, as detailled in this blog - route all the DDS publications made on UDP multicast by each node through the zenoh protocol that by default uses TCP.

Here are the commands to test this configuration with turtlesim: - on host 1: - ROS_DOMAIN_ID=1 ros2 run turtlesim turtlesim_node - ./target/release/zenoh-bridge-dds -d 1 - on host 2: - ROS_DOMAIN_ID=2 ros2 run turtlesim turtle_teleop_key - ./target/release/zenoh-bridge-dds -d 2 -e tcp/<host-1-ip>:7447 - where <host-1-ip> is the IP of host 1

Notice that to avoid unwanted direct DDS communication, 2 disctinct ROS domains are still used.

2 hosts, with an intermediate zenoh router in the cloud

In case your 2 hosts can't have a point-to-point communication, you could leverage a zenoh router deployed in a cloud instance (any Linux VM will do the job). You just need to configure your cloud instanse with a public IP and authorize the TCP port 7447.

:warning: the zenoh protocol is still under development leading to possible incompatibilities between the bridge and the router if their zenoh version differ. Please make sure you use a zenoh router built from a recent commit id from its master branch.

Here are the commands to test this configuration with turtlesim: - on cloud VM: - zenohd - on host 1: - ros2 run turtlesim turtlesim_node - ./target/release/zenoh-bridge-dds -e tcp/<cloud-ip>:7447
where <cloud-ip> is the IP of your cloud instance - on host 2: - ros2 run turtlesim turtle_teleop_key - ./target/release/zenoh-bridge-dds -e tcp/<cloud-ip>:7447
where <cloud-ip> is the IP of your cloud instance

Notice that there is no need to use distinct ROS domain here, since the 2 hosts are not supposed to directly communicate with each other.

More advanced usage for ROS2

Full support of ROS graph and topic lists via the forward discovery mode

By default the bridge doesn't route throught zenoh the DDS discovery traffic to the remote bridges.
Meaning that, in case you use 2 zenoh-bridge-dds to interconnect 2 DDS domains, the DDS entities discovered in one domain won't be advertised in the other domain. Thus, the DDS data will be routed between the 2 domains only if matching readers and writers are declared in the 2 domains independently.

This default behaviour has an impact on ROS2 behaviour: on one side of the bridge the ROS graph might not reflect all the nodes from the other side of the bridge. The ros2 topic list command might not list all the topics declared on the other side. And the ROS graph is limited to the nodes in each domain.

But using the --fwd-discovery (or -f) option for all bridges make them behave differently: - each bridge will forward via zenoh the local DDS discovery data to the remote bridges (in a more compact way than the original DDS discovery traffic) - each bridge receiving DDS discovery data via zenoh will create a replica of the DDS reader or writer, with similar QoS. Those replicas will serve the route to/from zenoh, and will be discovered by the ROS2 nodes. - each bridge will forward the ros_discovery_info data (in a less intensive way than the original publications) to the remote bridges. On reception, the remote bridges will convert the original entities' GIDs into the GIDs of the corresponding replicas, and re-publish on DDS the ros_discovery_info. The full ROS graph can then be discovered by the ROS2 nodes on each host.

Limiting the ROS2 topics, services, parameters or actions to be routed

By default 2 zenoh bridges will route all ROS2 topics and services for which they detect a Writer on one side and a Reader on the other side. But you might want to avoid some topics and services to be routed by the bridge.

Starting zenoh-bridge-dds you can use the --allow argument to specify the subset of topics and services that will be routed by the bridge. This argument accepts a string wich is a regular expression that must match a substring of an allowed zenoh resource (see details of mapping of ROS2 names to zenoh resources).

Here are some examples of usage: | --allow value | allowed ROS2 communication | | :-- | :-- | | /rosout | /rosout| | /rosout\|/turtle1/cmd_vel\|/turtle1/rotate_absolute | /rosout
/turtle1/rotate_absolute | | /rosout\|/turtle1/ | /rosout and all /turtle1 topics, services, parameters and actions | | /turtle1/.* | all topics and services with name containing /turtle1/ | | /turtle1/ | same: all topics, services, parameters and actions with name containing /turtle1/ | | /rt/turtle1 | all topics with name containing /turtle1 (no services, parameters or actions) | | /rq/turtle1\|/rr/turtle1 | all services and parameters with name containing /turtle1 (no topics or actions) | | /rq/turtlesim/.*parameter\|/rr/turtlesim/.*parameter | all parameters with name containing /turtlesim (no topics, services or actions) | | /rq/turtle1/.*/_action\|/rr/turtle1/.*/_action | all actions with name containing /turtle1 (no topics, services or parameters) |

Running several robots without changing the ROS2 configuration

If you run similar robots in the same network, they will by default all us the same DDS topics, leading to interferences in their operations.
A simple way to address this issue using the zenoh bridge is to: - deploy 1 zenoh bridge per robot - have each bridge started with the --scope "/<id>" argument, each robot having its own id. - make sure each robot cannot directly communicate via DDS with another robot by setting a distinct domain per robot, or configuring its network interface to not route UDP multicast outside the host.

Using the --scope option, a prefix is added to each zenoh resource published/subscribed by the bridge (more details in mapping of ROS2 names to zenoh resources). To interact with a robot, a remote ROS2 application must use a zenoh bridge configured with the same scope than the robot.

Closer integration of ROS2 with zenoh

As you understood, using the zenoh bridge, each ROS2 publications and subscriptions are mapped to a zenoh resource. Therefore, its relatively easy to develop an application using one of the zenoh APIs to interact with one or more robot at the same time.

See in details how to achieve that in this blog.


zenoh-bridge-dds can be configured via a JSON5 file passed via the -cargument. You can see a commented example of such configuration file: EXAMPLE_CONFIG.json5.

The "dds" part of this configuration file can also be used in the configuration file for the zenoh router (within its "plugins" part). The router will automatically try to load the plugin library (zplugin_dds) at startup and apply its configuration.

zenoh-bridge-dds also accepts the following arguments. If set, each argument will override the similar setting from the configuration file: * zenoh-related arguments: - -c, --config <FILE> : a config file - -m, --mode <MODE> : The zenoh session mode. Default: peer Possible values: peer or client.
See zenoh documentation for more details. - -l, --listener <LOCATOR> : The locators the bridge will listen on for zenoh protocol. Can be specified multiple times. Example of locator: tcp/localhost:7447. - -e, --peer <LOCATOR> : zenoh peers locators the bridge will try to connect to (typically another bridge or a zenoh router). Example of locator: tcp/<ip-address>:7447. - --no-multicast-scouting : disable the zenoh scouting protocol that allows automatic discovery of zenoh peers and routers. - -i, --id <hex_string> : The identifier (as an hexadecimal string - e.g.: 0A0B23...) that the zenoh bridge must use. WARNING: this identifier must be unique in the system! If not set, a random UUIDv4 will be used. - --group-member-id <ID> : The bridges are supervising each other via a group membership algorithm implemented over zenoh. This option allows to set a custom identifier for the bridge, that will be used in group membership algorithm (if not specified, the zenoh UUID is used). - --group-lease <Duration> : The lease duration (in seconds) used in group membership algorithm (default: 3 seconds) - --rest-plugin : activate the zenoh REST API, available by default on port 8000. - --rest-http-port <rest-http-port> : set the REST API http port (default: 8000) * DDS-related arguments: - -d, --domain <ID> : The DDS Domain ID (if using with ROS this should be the same as ROS_DOMAIN_ID) - -f, --fwd-discovery : When set, rather than creating a local route when discovering a local DDS entity, this discovery info is forwarded to the remote plugins/bridges. Those will create the routes, including a replica of the discovered entity. More details here - -s, --scope <String> : A string used as prefix to scope DDS traffic when mapped to zenoh resources. - -a, --allow <String> : A regular expression matching the set of 'partition/topic-name' that must be routed via zenoh. By default, all partitions and topics are allowed.
If both 'allow' and 'deny' are set a partition and/or topic will be allowed if it matches only the 'allow' expression.
Examples of expressions: - .*/TopicA will allow only the TopicA to be routed, whatever the partition. - PartitionX/.* will allow all the topics to be routed, but only on PartitionX. - cmd_vel|rosout will allow only the topics containing cmd_vel or rosout in their name or partition name to be routed. - --deny <String> : A regular expression matching the set of 'partition/topic-name' that must NOT be routed via zenoh. By default, no partitions and no topics are denied.
If both 'allow' and 'deny' are set a partition and/or topic will be allowed if it matches only the 'allow' expression.
- --dds-max-frequency <String>... : specifies a maximum frequency of data routing over zenoh per-topic. The string must have the format "regex=float" where: - "regex" is a regular expression matching the set of 'partition/topic-name' for which the data (per DDS instance) must be routedat no higher rate than associated max frequency (same syntax than --allow option). - "float" is the maximum frequency in Hertz; if publication rate is higher, downsampling will occur when routing.

   (usable multiple times)
  • -w, --generalise-pub <String> : A list of key expressions to use for generalising the declaration of the zenoh publications, and thus minimizing the discovery traffic (usable multiple times). See this blog for more details.
  • -r, --generalise-sub <String> : A list of key expressions to use for generalising the declaration of the zenoh subscriptions, and thus minimizing the discovery traffic (usable multiple times). See this blog for more details.

Admin space

The zenoh bridge for DDS exposes and administration space allowing to browse the DDS entities that have been discovered (with their QoS), and the routes that have been established between DDS and zenoh. This administration space is accessible via any zenoh API, including the REST API that you can activate at zenoh-bridge-dds startup using the --rest-plugin argument.

The zenoh-bridge-dds exposes this administration space with paths prefixed by /@/service/<uuid>/dds (where <uuid> is the unique identifier of the bridge instance). The informations are then organized with such paths: - /@/service/<uuid>/dds/version : the bridge version - /@/service/<uuid>/dds/config : the bridge configuration - /@/service/<uuid>/dds/participant/<gid>/reader/<gid>/<topic> : a discovered DDS reader on <topic> - /@/service/<uuid>/dds/participant/<gid>/writer/<gid>/<topic> : a discovered DDS reader on <topic> - /@/service/<uuid>/dds/route/from_dds/<zenoh-resource> : a route established from a DDS writer to a zenoh resource named <zenoh-resource> (see mapping rules). - /@/service/<uuid>/dds/route/to_dds/<zenoh-resource> : a route established from a zenoh resource named <zenoh-resource> (see mapping rules)..

Example of queries on administration space using the REST API with the curl command line tool (don't forget to activate the REST API with --rest-plugin argument): - List all the DDS entities that have been discovered:

    curl http://localhost:8000:/@/service/**/participant/**

  • List all established routes:
    curl http://localhost:8000:/@/service/**/route/**

  • List all discovered DDS entities and established route for topic cmd_vel:
    curl http://localhost:8000:/@/service/**/cmd_vel

Pro tip: pipe the result into jq command for JSON pretty print or transformation.

Architecture details

Whether it's built as a library or as a standalone executable, the zenoh bridge for DDS do the same things: - in default mode: - it discovers the DDS readers and writers declared by any DDS application, via the standard DDS discovery protocol (that uses UDP multicast) - it creates a mirror DDS writer or reader for each discovered reader or writer (using the same QoS) - if maps the discovered DDS topics and partitions to zenoh resources (see mapping details below) - it forwards user's data from a DDS topic to the corresponding zenoh resource, and vice versa - it does not forward to the remote bridge any DDS discovery information

  • in "forward discovery" mode
    • it behaves as described here ### Mapping of DDS topics to zenoh resources The mapping between DDS and zenoh is rather straightforward. Given a DDS Reader/Writer for topic A in a given partition P, then the equivalent zenoh resource will be named as /P/A. If no partition is defined, the equivalent zenoh resource will be named as /A.

Optionally, the bridge can be configured with a scope that will be used as a prefix to each zenoh resource. That is, for scope /S the equivalent zenoh resource will be /S/P/A for a topic A and a partition P, and /S/A for a topic without partition.

Mapping ROS2 names to zenoh resources

The mapping from ROS2 topics and services name to DDS topics is specified here. Notice that ROS2 does not use the DDS partitions.
As a consequence of this mapping and of the DDS to zenoh mapping specified above, here are some examples of mapping from ROS2 names to zenoh resources:

ROS2 names DDS Topics names zenoh resources names (no scope) zenohs resources names (if scope="/scope")
topic: /rosout rt/rosout /rt/rosout /scope/rt/rosout
topic: /turtle1/cmd_vel rt/turtle1/cmd_vel /rt/turtle1/cmd_vel /scope/rt/turtle1/cmd_vel
service: /turtle1/set_pen rq/turtle1/set_penRequest
action: /turtle1/rotate_absolute rq/turtle1/rotate_absolute/_action/send_goalRequest
all parameters for node turtlesim rq/turtlesim/list_parametersRequest
specific ROS discovery topic ros_discovery_info /ros_discovery_info /scope/ros_discovery_info


Contributing to Eclipse zenoh

Thanks for your interest in this project.

Project description

Eclipse zenoh provides is a stack designed to 1. minimize network overhead, 2. support extremely constrained devices, 3. supports devices with low duty-cycle by allowing the negotiation of data exchange modes and schedules, 4. provide a rich set of abstraction for distributing, querying and storing data along the entire system, and 5. provide extremely low latency and high throughput.

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The project maintains the following source code repositories

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