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I've tried searches for documentation on the package but whilst I can sudo apt install -y ros-humble-perception or load it via docker as "ros-humble-perception" I didn't find any documentation to explain what it is apart from a mention on the humble release, ROS 2 Humble Hawksbill Released!

It appears to have added packages over base but not include simulation or full desktop.

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2 Answers 2

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The proper reference is the ROS Enhancement Proposals (REPs) which provide a concise technical specification for various things related to ROS. There you can find a document describing the different ROS 2 variants. It says

The perception variant includes packages commonly used for perception capabilities.

and as you can see it is only available from Humble Hawksbill. Thus the ros-humble-perception variant contains following packages:

- perception:
    extends:  [ros_base]
    packages: [image_common, image_pipeline, image_transport_plugins,
               laser_filters, laser_geometry, perception_pcl,
               vision_opencv]

including ros_base that is defined as

- ros_base:
    extends:  [ros_core]
    packages: [geometry2, kdl_parser, robot_state_publisher,
               rosbag2, urdf]

and ros_core with

- ros_core:
    packages: [ament_cmake, ament_cmake_auto, ament_cmake_gmock,
               ament_cmake_gtest, ament_cmake_pytest,
               ament_cmake_ros, ament_index_cpp,
               ament_index_python, ament_lint_auto,
               ament_lint_common, class_loader, common_interfaces,
               launch, launch_ros, launch_testing,
               launch_testing_ament_cmake, launch_testing_ros,
               launch_xml, launch_yaml, pluginlib, rcl_lifecycle,
               rclcpp, rclcpp_action, rclcpp_lifecycle, rclpy,
               ros2cli_common_extensions, ros2launch,
               ros_environment, rosidl_default_generators,
               rosidl_default_runtime, sros2, sros2_cmake]
    And at least one of the following rmw_implementation:
    - Fast-RTPS: [Fast-CDR, Fast-RTPS, rmw_fastrtps]
    - CycloneDDS: [cyclonedds, rmw_cyclonedds]
    - Connext: [rmw_connextdds]

As you can see it doesn't contain any packages needed for a "desktop experience" like rviz2.
Therefore you need to install the largest package via sudo apt install -y ros-humble-desktop-full which contains everything that is officially supplied for ROS 2. (Gazebo must be installed separately, see their instructions)

- desktop_full:
    extends:  [desktop]
    packages: [perception, simulation, ros_ign_gazebo_demos]
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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks - the point is I don't want the full desktop but wanted to know what else was available in perception. Thanks for your update! $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 15:58
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Looking around online, I found this page, which says (in part):

Installing ROS perception We are going to install a single package called perception, which is a meta package of ROS containing all the perception related packages such as OpenCV, PCL, and so on.

In ROS Jade

$ sudo apt-get install ros-jade-perception

In ROS Indigo

$ sudo apt-get install ros-indigo-perception

This looks like the same command you've posted; sudo apt install -y ros-humble-perception, just for a different ROS release.

Looking around some more, I found this Github repo, which seems to be as described in the article.

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