Only released in EOL distros:  

Package Summary

Two simple nodes that can be used as mediators for shell commands.

Package Summary

Two simple nodes that can be used as mediators for shell commands.

Package Summary

The rosshell package


This package provides the two nodes, that enable to run and interact with different non-ros-programs. rosshell can be used to start a program or any kind of shell-command. If some kind of interaction with the programs is required, use rosshellX to receive and send messages from stdin, stdout, and stderr.


The required commands are always defined as a string:

$ rosrun rosshell "command"

$ rosrun rosshell "command"

have a look at the examples or at the included launch-files.



This command is just used to generate some random noise ...

$ rosrun rosshell "aplay -c 2 -f S16_LE -r 44100 /dev/urandom"

Pipe the results of /dev/random into a text file ...

$ rosrun rosshell "cat /dev/random > test.txt"

or the some information about the current directory ...

$ rosrun rosshell "ls -Shal > test.txt"


This node is used if you require some interaction with stdin, stdout, and stderr.

rosshellX is by default subscribed to /rosshellX/stdin and publishes at topic /rosshellX/stdout and /rosshellX/stderr, all of type std_msgs/String.

Some basic calculations

bc is just a simple commandline-calculator

  1. open three shells
  2. start bc with the following command:

    $ rosrun rosshell "bc"
  3. print the the results of bc stdout by running:

    $ rostopic echo /rosshellX/stdout
  4. and now, send some inputs like:

       1 $ rostopic pub /rosshellX/stdin std_msgs/String "99*99\n"
       2 $ rostopic pub /rosshellX/stdin std_msgs/String "sqrt(2.0)\n"
       3 $ rostopic pub /rosshellX/stdin std_msgs/String "33^3\n"
       4 $ rostopic pub /rosshellX/stdin std_msgs/String "quit\n"
  5. to interact a bit with stderr, simply subscribe for:

    $ rostopic echo /rosshellX/stderr

    and publish some nonsense like

       1 $ rostopic pub /rosshellX/stdin std_msgs/String "öjaki\n"

Additional functionality

To get some filesystem-information try:

$ rosrun rosshell "ls -Shal"


$ rosrun rosshell _command:="ls -Shal"

both are the same but you also have the possibility to change the command and topics, also within the launch-file, have a look at rosshellX.launch ...

   1 <node pkg="rosshell" type="" name="rosshellBC">
   2     <param name="command" type="String" value="bc" />
   3     <param name="stdout" type="String" value="bc/stdout" />
   4     <param name="stdout" type="String" value="bc/stderr" />
   5     <param name="stdin" type="String" value="bc/stdin" />
   6 </node>



Allows to run commands with no interaction possibilities.


Allows to run commands and enables an interaction over stdin and stdout.

Subscribed Topics

/rosshellX/stdin (std_msgs/String)
  • The standard topic for stdin.

Published Topics

/rosshellX/stdout (std_msgs/String)
  • The current line of the stdout.
/rosshellX/stderr (std_msgs/String)
  • The current line of the stderr.


command (string, default: "")
  • Commands that will be executed.
stdout (string, default: /rosshellX/stdout)
  • Change the topic for stdout.
stdin (string, default: /rosshellX/stdin)
  • Change the topic for stdin.
stderr (string, default: /rosshellX/stderr)
  • Change the topic for stderr.

Bug Reports & Feature Requests


Wiki: rosshell (last edited 2014-01-07 17:18:26 by André Dietrich)