Note: This tutorial assumes that you have completed the previous tutorials: Install Rapps.
(!) Please ask about problems and questions regarding this tutorial on Don't forget to include in your question the link to this page, the versions of your OS & ROS, and also add appropriate tags.

Start Rapp From Indexer

Description: Enable to app manager to automatically install rapps

Tutorial Level: INTERMEDIATE


The app manager has the ability to automatically install rapps. Precisely speaking, the app manager does not install a rapp, but only its dependencies, since a rapp contains only meta information.

In order to enable automatic rapp installation you have to give apt-get extra permission to run without providing a password. For enabling this, we will modify the so called sudoers file. Be advised, that this represents a security risk.


To modify your sudoers file, you need to use the tool called visudo.

$ sudo visudo

Now add the below at the last line of the sudoers file.

turtlebot ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/apt-get

Make sure to replace turtlebot with your (Ubuntu) username.

App Manager

Next, we modify a launch parameter for the app manager to notify it, that automatic app installation has been enabled.

Create a custom launcher which includes the rocon app manager as outlined in the previous tutorial with auto_rapp_installation set to true.

  <include file="$(find rocon_app_manager)/launch/standalone.launch">
    <arg name="auto_rapp_installation" default="true"/>  </include>
    <!-- ...other arg settings... -->

Install a rapp

Installing a rapp is now simple. The app manager will take care of this, when it is order to start a rapp, which hasn't been installed yet.


On app manager startup you can notice:

[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070966.808684] App Manager : determining runnable rapps...
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070968.811526] Request to establish a bond
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070969.828254] Bond formed with bond_id of 'b62ca446-c933-11e3-ae37-f46d04929542'
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070969.837240] Servicing request for capability specs...
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070969.932572] App Manager : determining installed rapps...
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070970.339681] App Manager : 'kobuki_apps/auto_docking' added to the list of installable apps.
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070970.340018] App Manager : 'kobuki_apps/random_walker' added to the list of installable apps.
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070970.340203] App Manager : 'rocon_apps/listener' added to the list of runnable apps.
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070970.340355] App Manager : 'rocon_apps/chirp' added to the list of runnable apps.
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070970.340508] App Manager : 'rocon_apps/talker' added to the list of runnable apps.
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070970.359242] App Manager : initialised.

Notice that kobuki_apps/auto_docking and kobuki_apps/random_walker have been identified as installable.

Next, we request to start the app kobuki_apps/random_walker.

$ rosservice call /kobuki/start_app "name: 'kobuki_apps/random_walker'
- remap_from: ''
  remap_to: ''"

If automatic app installation hasn't been enabled yet, you will see the following:

[INFO] [WallTime: 1398071161.446732] App Manager : Request received to start app 'kobuki_apps/random_walker'
[WARN] [WallTime: 1398071161.447150] App Manager : Rapp 'kobuki_apps/random_walker' can be installed, but automatic installation is not enabled. Please refer to ' Rapp Installation' for instructions on how to set up automatic rapp installation.

If automatic app installation has been enabled, you will see the following:

[INFO] [WallTime: 1398071820.448665] App Manager : Request received to start app 'kobuki_apps/random_walker'
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398071820.449137] App Manager : Installing rapp 'kobuki_apps/random_walker'
executing command [sudo apt-get install ros-hydro-kobuki-random-walker]
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  erlang-xmerl ros-hydro-libg2o libmozjs185-1.0 ros-hydro-kobuki-controller-tutorial couchdb-bin erlang-runtime-tools erlang-mnesia erlang-public-key erlang-inets ros-hydro-opencv-candidate
  ros-hydro-ecto-image-pipeline couchdb erlang-ssl ros-hydro-kobuki-testsuite ros-hydro-ecto-opencv
Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove them.
The following NEW packages will be installed
0 to upgrade, 1 to newly install, 0 to remove and 0 not to upgrade.
Need to get 0 B/62.7 kB of archives.
After this operation, 305 kB of additional disk space will be used.
dpkg-preconfigure: Unable to re-open stdin: No such file or directory
Selecting previously unselected package ros-hydro-kobuki-random-walker.
(Reading database ... 1138679 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking ros-hydro-kobuki-random-walker (from .../ros-hydro-kobuki-random-walker_0.5.5-1precise-20140325-0110-+0000_amd64.deb) ...
Setting up ros-hydro-kobuki-random-walker (0.5.5-1precise-20140325-0110-+0000) ...
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398071826.783870] App Manager : Rapp 'kobuki_apps/random_walker' has been installed.

Wiki: rocon_app_utilities/Tutorials/indigo/Start Rapp from Indexer (last edited 2015-05-06 08:22:48 by jihoonl)