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Signed-off-by: Tully Foote <>

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Feb 1, 2015
Feb 17, 2015
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ROS Index

A simple static index for known ROS packages hosted at

It builds in jekyll with a plugin to clone repositories containing ROS packages, scrapes them for information, and uses client-side javascript for quick searching and visualization.

ROS Index

Building the site

On an Ubuntu 16.04 box


sudo sh -c 'echo "deb $(lsb_release -sc) main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ros-latest.list'
apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv-key 421C365BD9FF1F717815A3895523BAEEB01FA116
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install curl git git-svn mercurial nodejs pandoc python3-vcstool
Ruby 2.2 via RVM
curl -L | bash -s stable
# if this fails, add the PGP key and run again
source ~/.rvm/scripts/rvm
rvm requirements
rvm install ruby
rvm rubygems current
Node.js on Ubuntu 12.04
sudo apt-get install python-software-properties
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:chris-lea/node.js
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nodejs
Ruby Requirements
gem install bundler

Clone Source and Install Gems

git clone --recursive
cd rosindex
bundle install

Clone repos that are part of rosdistro and build the index


make build

By default, site will be written to _site. This behavior can be overriden as follows:

make build site_path=/path/to/site

On the provided Ubuntu 16.04 container



See for details on docker installation.

Build docker image


Build the index inside the container


make build  # once inside the container

Or the following can be used as a shorthand:

docker/ build_site

Skipping parts of the build

The build process entails four long-running steps:

  1. Generating the list of repositories
  2. Cloning / Updating the known repositories
  3. Scraping the repositories
  4. Generating the static pages
  5. Generating the lunr search index

Each of the first three steps can be skipped in order to save time when experimenting with different parts of the pipeline with the following flags in _config.yml:

# If true, this skips finding repos based on the repo sources
skip_discover: false
# If true, this skips updating the known repos
skip_update: false
# If true, this skips scraping the cloned repos
skip_scrape: false
# If true, this skips generating the search index
skip_search_index: false

Additionally, some make targets are provided for convenience:

  • To skip everything but repo discovering:

    make discover
  • To skip everything but repo updates:

    make update
  • To skip everything but repo scraping:

    make scrape
  • To skip everything but a search index build:

    make search-index

Note that skipping parts of the rosindex build does not interfere with Jekyll's build process (e.g. generated files are still written to site).

Serving the site

Serve the devel (tiny) version locally


make serve-devel

The following can be used as a shorthand if using docker containers:

docker/ test_site

Serve the full version locally


make serve

Note: This requires a minimum of 30GB of free space for the checkout directory.


Deployment is not managed by these tools. It is to be managed externally e.g. using a local repository as site destination.

ROS buildfarm integration

ROSIndex qualifies as independent documentation of 'external_site' type. Therefore, it can readily be built and deployed as Github Pages by a doc_independent job.


The source code for generating




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