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Before I ask my question, I'd better confirm that I've read the most prominent post about running ROS on Raspberry Pi devices.

That post contains some valuable information, but it's a bit dated, and ROS support for ARM devices is much better these days. In fact, ROS 2.0 is evidently going to have excellent support for running on embedded devices like the Raspberry Pi.

I just got a Pi model 2 for my birthday, and I'm really eager to get ROS running on it so I can build a robot I've been working on, which is based on the Wild Thumper 6WD platform.

From my perspective, here are a few pros & cons regarding UbuntuARM and ROSBerryPi:

UbuntuARM

Pros:

  • Ubuntu is the official ROS distro and is the most well-supported ROS OS

  • The best documentation on the ROS wiki for running on ARM devices is written for UbuntuARM

Cons:

  • Raspbian (on which ROSBerryPi is based) is the official distro for Rasbperry Pi and thus has the best support for the board.


ROSBerryPi

Pros:

  • Raspbian (on which ROSBerryPi is based) is the official distro for Rasbperry Pi and thus has the best support for the board. Cons:

  • ROS is not well supported on OS's other than Ubuntu

  • To use the ROSBerryPi distro, you must build ROS from source.

My question is: can anyone provide any further insight into this dilemma? If you've been running ROS on your Raspberry Pi 2 (model 2 only please; the model B+ has completely different issues, like not being well-supported by Ubuntu), what's your experience been?

Which distro would/did you choose, and why?

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The ROSBerryPi page is quite outdated, you actually can install prebuilt ROS Groovy binaries on Raspbian.

You will be better off installing prebuilt ROS binaries rather than building from source on your pi.

I don't have any experience with Ubuntu on the raspi but it's running great on my Odroid UX4 (similar single board computer) and ROS Jade runs just fine on that. See these instructions for how to install Ubuntu on your pi. Running Ubuntu will allow you to easily use the latest ROS distribution and packages.

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  • $\begingroup$ I second this. Once you get Ubuntu onto your RasPi2, you can use pre-built ROS binaries. I would suggest trying Jade first, then Indigo, then Groovy. But once you have a ROS build that works for you, it should function mostly fine. Just double check any packages you use, and make sure they can execute on ARM architectures. $\endgroup$ – MechanicalMan Feb 9 '16 at 3:57
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This may be a bit late (and slightly opinionated), but I have found Ubuntu Mate a very effective operating system to run ROS on a RasPi. It can access the arm repos for ROS and it is Ubuntu, so it brings the best of both worlds. Ubuntu Mate is supported and can run pre-built binaries for kinetic and melodic without a hitch (I have done this).

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