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ROS package wrapping the Simple Open EtherCAT Master (SOEM) from
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soem finalized cmake build system for 1.3.0 Feb 12, 2014
test cmake: remove erroneous linking to pq Sep 4, 2014
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ChangeLog Import upstream release 1.3.0 Jan 30, 2014
SOEM.anjuta Upstream SOEM 1.2.5 Mar 6, 2013
clean_libsoem_lib.bat Import upstream release 1.3.0 Jan 30, 2014
package.xml finalized cmake build system for 1.3.0 Feb 12, 2014


Table of Contents

Package Description

SOEM is an open source EtherCAT master library written in C. Its primary target is Linux but can be adapted to other OS and embedded systems.

SOEM has originally been hosted at but has been moved to GitHub and the OpenEtherCATsociety organisation.

This package contains the original SOEM C code provided by the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, the development of which has been taken over by rt-labs. As the original source is down, it is not totally clear what the state of this package is with respect to the upstream repository. It is, however, approximately the one merged in OpenEtherCATsociety/SOEM#1.

Disclaimer: This package is not a development package for SOEM, but rather a wrapper to provide SOEM to ROS. In the end, this just provides the CMake quirks that allows releasing SOEM as a ROS package.

All bug reports regarding the original SOEM source code should go to the bugtracker at

All ROS related issues should target the bug tracker on GitHub (but might be redirected ;-)).

Obviously, any support, being it bug reports or pull requests (obviously preferred) are highly welcome!


If soem has been released for your respective ROS distribution, you can simply install it using

sudo apt install ros-<DISTRO>-soem

Currently, soem has been released for ROS indigo, kinetic and melodic. If you want to use soem from source, please check out the section about Development.


To use soem in your ROS package add the following to your package.xmland CMakeLists.txt, respectively.

In your package.xml add:


and in your CMakeLists.txt, add it to find_package and adapt the include_directories as shown:

find_package(catkin REQUIRED COMPONENTS

  ## The following work around allows SOEM headers to include other SOEM headers.
  ## SOEM headers assume all headers are installed in a flat directory structure
  ## See for more information.

Note that this assumes you have installed soem from apt or followed the setup layed out in the Development section!


If you want to use soem in ROS using a ROS distro it has not been released for, or build it from source, you need to make sure to use it from an install space. In its current state, this repo is doing some copying of header files during the installation step, which is not done and thus will not work in regular build/devel space layouts.

Thus, if you want to use soem from source, it is encouraged that you put this in an underlay install space.

This has been tested using both, catkin_make and catkin build.

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