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ROS system daemon for Groovy

This package provides functionality for automatically starting/stopping ROS

ROS System User

Username:           ros
Home Directory:     /var/lib/ros
Group:              ros
Shell:              /bin/sh

ros should be a member of group dialout to access serial ports.

chown -R ros:ros /var/lib/ros
chmod 2775 /var/lib/ros

ROS Log Dir:        /var/log/ros
ROS PID:            /var/run/ros/

Startup and shutdown

Startup and shutdown is controlled by an upstart script that can be auto-configured via D-Bus communication with Network Manager. It also supports manual overrides by setting ROS_IP and ROS_INTERFACE in /etc/ros/setup.bash or /etc/ros/envvars. ROS is started when upstart receives a net-device-up signal and it is stopped when a network interface stops.

Future work will resolve the issue where ROS starts connected to eth0 and the machine is also equipped with a WiFi interface. In this case the state of the WiFi device should not produce a stop/start event effecting ROS.

For this we plan to separate the upstart scripts into two packages

  • ros-system-upstart-lan-groovy
  • ros-system-upstart-wan-groovy

These packages will provide ros-system-upstart-groovy for dependency management.


  • Config file /etc/init/ros.conf
  • start on net-device-up IFACE!=lo
  • stop on platform-device-changed
  • Check/update ownership & permissions of /var/run/ros
  • Autoconf network ROS_IP=`ros-network ip`
  • Start via 'setuidgid ros rosctl start'
  • Stop via 'setuidgid ros rosctl stop'

System-wide Logging

Log Dir:            /var/log/ros
chown -R ros:ros /var/log/ros
chmod 2775 /var/log/ros


  • Config file /etc/logrotate.d/ros
  • Rotate logs daily *.log -> *.log.1 -> *.log.2 -> etc
  • Compress the previous days logs daily *.log.2 -> *.log.2.gz
  • Keep up to one weeks logs for an active rosmaster
  • Archive inactive log subdirectories daily
  • Remove archived logs older than one week
  • Rotation currently done by copying and truncating the active log

Note: 01 Jan 2013 Sending SIGHUP to the ROS does not cause it to write to a new log.



Modelled after apachectl, this script allows ros to be started locally by users or system-wide by user ros.

The script will attempt to source configuration files as follows

  • /etc/ros/setup.bash
  • /opt/ros/$ROS_DISTRO/setup.bash
  • /opt/ros/groovy/setup.bash

If rosctl is run as user ros it will attempt to launch /etc/ros/robot.launch or the launch file specified in ROS_LAUNCH if it exists.

The PID file will be written to ROS_PID if it is set or /var/run/ros/ or if it run as a local user it will be written to ~/.ros/ or similar.

If gnome-session is running, the script will attempt to send desktop notifications via notify-send to the user that is logged in when ROS starts or stops.


  • start - Start ROS (roscore + default launch file)
  • stop - Stop ROS (rosnode kill nodes then killall roslaunch)
  • restart - Start followed by Stop
  • status - Display the PID and user running ROS

In the near future running this as script as root will check/repair directory permissions and re-run itself setuidgid ros. Also, when run as root it should issue a warning and run initctl stop ros to prevent upstart from respawning. It may also be worth issuing a warning when run as ros and initctl status ros shows that upstart will respawn the process.


This tool autodetects network settings by querying NetworkManager via D-Bus. Autoconf can be overridden by setting ROS_IP and ROS_INTERFACE.


  • interface - Outputs the primary interface name (wlan0, eth0, etc)
  • ip - Outputs the ipv4 address of the primary network connection
  • ssid - If WiFi connection, provide ssid of access point

In the event of autoconf failure, the script returns lo for the interface name and for the ip address.

Eventually we would like this tool to be able to provide an automatic configuration of the ROS_MASTER_URI when a user logs in.


The idea behind using this instead of modifying setup.ash is that if the file only contains environmental variables it can be parsed and edited by hardware vendor install scripts.

Special Thanks

The program rosctl was inspired by apachectl Package was influenced by the alternate approach used by Thomas Moulard on ros_comm_upstart

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