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For ROS Kinetic I know - and I tell others - to just use Ubuntu 16.04. That is what is supported and anything even slightly different risks problems which might be hard to diagnose.

That being said, I do sometimes have older or lower end computers and Ubuntu 16.04 can be sluggish. Has anyone had experience with XUbuntu (https://xubuntu.org) which sounds like as close you can be to 16.04 without being 16.04. And if not that one, any other "lighter weight" linux that you have had excellent success with?


Originally posted by pitosalas on ROS Answers with karma: 628 on 2018-09-03

Post score: 0


Original comments

Comment by l4ncelot on 2018-09-04:
I saw people using arch linux for ROS. But I wouldn't recommend it for beginners.

Comment by gvdhoorn on 2018-09-04:
@l4ncelot: Arch is definitely being used, as is Gentoo and various other distributions that build from source. RHEL, Fedora, SLES and others are also used.

From the phrasing of the question though, I have a feeling that the OP Is asking more about Ubuntu variants/derivatives, hence my answer.

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Has anyone had experience with XUbuntu

While not officially mentioned in the documentation, anything that is an Ubuntu or Debian derivative and is sufficiently close to the "base distribution" it was derived from can probably be used.

I write "probably" because it of course depends on how extensive the derivative has changed file system layout, packages included and whether they've retained compatibility with upstream packages. The choice of desktop environment can also influence this (ie: a KDE variant will start pulling in GTK / Gnome dependencies if pkgs require that).

One example fi is Elementary OS: its releases are derived from regular Ubuntu releases (ie: 14.04 and 16.04). First an ROS_OS_OVERRIDE was needed, but with Elementary detection added to rospkg that is no longer needed and it is correctly detected as an Ubuntu derivative (and gets treated as such).

Xubuntu is much closer to Ubuntu than other derivatives, and should work.

For ROS Kinetic I know - and I tell others - to just use Ubuntu 16.04. That is what is supported and anything even slightly different risks problems which might be hard to diagnose.

This is of course personal, but I think you're being overcautious here: if there are binary packages available for your OS (or a derivative), try them. If not, try a from source build. Either things work or they don't.

I do agree that for newcomers it might be a good idea to first start out on a supported OS. You don't want to have to battle incompatibilities and learn a new software framework at the same time.

Once you get a little more comfortable with things though, you can definitely try out others.


Originally posted by gvdhoorn with karma: 86574 on 2018-09-04

This answer was ACCEPTED on the original site

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