Using a ROS Package on Windows

The ROS community has many thousands of nodes which cover many different aspects of building a Robot. Many nodes have been ported by the community or build on Windows without modification.

Is the node already supported?

To consume a ROS node, we recommend the following workflow:

  • Determine if there is a binary release of the ROS node.
    • Using ROS Wiki ↗, locate the binary release name and attempt to install using chocolatey.
    • If this succeeds, then you are all set!
choco install ros-melodic-<project>
  • If there isn't a binary release, determine if there is a source only distribution.

    • Look on https://wiki.ros.org/<project> for the node you are interested in.
    • navigate to the project repository.
    • Look to see if the node has a windows, init_windows, or similar branch
  • If it has a windows, init_windows or similar branch

  • Clone that branch locally into a catkin workspace
mkdir c:\ws\test_ws
cd c:\ws\test_ws
git clone -b init_windows http://github.com/<organization>/<project>
  • If it does not have a windows, init_windows or similarly named branch, check to see if the current development branch has already enabled Windows.

  • If Windows is not enabled for the ROS node, check to see if Microsoft's ms-iot Github organization has a fork of that project and working on a port.

    • See if there is a <project> fork on http://github.com/ms-iot
    • If it does, clone that into your catkin workspace
mkdir c:\ws\test_ws
cd c:\ws\test_ws
git clone -b init_windows http://github.com/ms-iot/<project>
  • If the node has not been enabled on Windows, please create an issue on the ROS node's project page asking for Windows to be supported.

  • If you are able, please consider enabling the ROS node on Windows and submitting a pull request to the original repository. Please refer to the ROS porting guide