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ROS package continuous integration with travis (now supporting Kinetic).

This repository contains a .travis.yml file for setting up continuous integration (through Travis-CI) for any ROS package.

Improvements & issues are welcome via pull requests and the issue tracker (while there's not a lot of active development, it is still supported). If you find this Travis file helpful, please star this repository!

This repository also contains several example (i.e. trivial) ROS packages that serve as example packages for Travis to build and test. They also showcase how to correctly handle dependencies (system and source).

Build Status

Installation instructions

To enable Travis continuous integration for your ROS package, first copy these files to the root of your repository:

  • .travis.yml: The script that tells Travis CI what to build.
  • dependencies.rosinstall: A wstool-generated list of source dependencies (optional). Update the contents with your packages.
  • catkin.options: Contents of this (optional) file are passed as arguments to catkin_make (for example to skip building a package).

Then, log on to travis-ci and turn on continuous integration for the repository:

  • is free for open-source repositories.
  • provides the same functionality for private repositories (at a price).

From then on, any push to this repository will trigger a new Travis-ci build.

About Travis-CI

Travis provides a clean virtual machine for each build. The .travis.yml script installs ROS, creates a fresh workspace, resolves all given dependencies, and sets environment variables (devel/setup.bash). Then, it compiles the entire ROS workspace (ensuring there are no missing dependencies or compilation errors), and runs any available unit tests. If any of the compilation/test phases fail, the build is marked as a failure. Otherwise, it's a clean build.

For more information on Travis CI, see their documentation:

Handling Dependencies:

ROS can handle two types of package dependencies specified in the package manifest:

  • system dependencies that can be installed using rosdep, including other ROS packages and system libraries. These dependencies must be known to rosdistro and get installed using apt-get.
  • package dependencies that must be checked out from source. These are handled by wstool, and should be listed in a file named dependencies.rosinstall.

NOTE: All dependencies should be handled in one of these fashions; you should not install packages by modifying the .travis.yml file. If you are missing a package, it's most likely that you haven't defined the dependency in package.xml.

Note that any packages located inside your catkin workspace will take precendence over the rosdistro system-wide package. This allows you to use the cutting-edge version of a package directly from source.

For public builds (i.e. when using, wstool dependencies should use a public access link (for instance, the https github address instead of ssh). Otherwise you will get a "Permission denied (publickey)" error.

The example package ros_pkg_with_dependencies showcases both types of dependencies: there's a dependency on audio_common_msgs (known to rosdistro), so that package will get installed using rosdep. There is also a public repository link inside dependencies.rosinstall, so Travis will clone the repository into the workspace before building anything.

When building your own package, make sure to remove the contents of dependencies.rosinstall and add your package's source dependencies instead.

Build matrix

The .travis.yml defines a build matrix specifying which combinations of Ubuntu distribution and ROS version should be used.

Currently, the list of supported pairs is:

  • ROS indigo on Ubuntu trusty
  • ROS kinetic on Ubuntu xenial

Note that some pairs are not possible (e.g. kinetic on trusty or indigo on xenial). The debian packages must be available for the appropriate ubuntu release.

ROS variables:

The .travis.yml file has some environment variables you can change to customize your build: defined in the script which are used to parametrize the build:

  • ROSINSTALL_FILE (default is dependencies.rosinstall in repo): This file list all necessary repositories in wstool format (see the ros wiki). If the file does not exists then nothing happens.

  • CATKIN_OPTIONS (default is catkin.options in repo): File whose contents specify the options passed to catkin_make. If this file does not exist, catkin_make is called without options. For example, you can have catkin not build several packages by putting this inside the file:


Private repositories: can build a private repository. However if your package has dependencies that are also private, you have to go through additional steps. The instructions are generally listed here:

At a high level, you shoud:

  1. Create a machine account on github.
  2. Generate a public/private key on your computer, if not done already.
  3. Add the public key ( to the machine account's github settings (see here).
  4. In github, make sure the machine account has read access to all the dependency repositories.
  5. In github, add the machine account as an administrator for the repository you want to build (note: not the dependencies).
  6. In travis settings for the machine user, add the private key (id_rsa) in the build job settings.

The example packages

This repository contain some example packages to:

  • Verify this script indeed works
  • Give Travis something to do
  • Serve as an example of "proper" dependency management

The packages are:

  • basic_ros_pkg: Just a simple C++ node.
  • ros_pkg_with_tests: Includes both python and C++ tests
  • ros_pkg_with_dependencies: Has dependencies in package.xml that must be resolved by wstool (in this case, clone pocketsphinx from source) and rosdep (in this case, install audio_common_msgs using rosdep).

You can look at the Travis build log to see exactly how it resolves dependencies and then builds the package.


ROS package continuous integration using travis-CI








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