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Note: This tutorial assumes that you have completed the previous tutorials: Install Rapps.
(!) Please ask about problems and questions regarding this tutorial on answers.ros.org. Don't forget to include in your question the link to this page, the versions of your OS & ROS, and also add appropriate tags.

Start Rapp From Indexer

Description: Enable to app manager to automatically install rapps

Tutorial Level: INTERMEDIATE


The app manager has the ability to automatically install rapps. Precisely speaking, the app manager does not install a rapp, but only its dependencies, since a rapp contains only meta information.

In order to enable automatic rapp installation you have to give apt-get extra permission to run without providing a password. For enabling this, we will modify the so called sudoers file. Be advised, that this represents a security risk.


To modify your sudoers file, you need to use the tool called visudo.

$ sudo visudo

Now add the below at the last line of the sudoers file.

turtlebot ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/apt-get

Make sure to replace turtlebot with your (Ubuntu) username.

App Manager

Next, we modify a launch parameter for the app manager to notify it, that automatic app installation has been enabled.

Create a custom launcher which includes the rocon app manager as outlined in the previous tutorial with auto_rapp_installation set to true.

  <include file="$(find rocon_app_manager)/launch/standalone.launch">
    <arg name="auto_rapp_installation" default="true"/>  </include>
    <!-- ...other arg settings... -->

Install a rapp

Installing a rapp is now simple. The app manager will take care of this, when it is order to start a rapp, which hasn't been installed yet.


On app manager startup you can notice:

[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070966.808684] App Manager : determining runnable rapps...
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070968.811526] Request to establish a bond
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070969.828254] Bond formed with bond_id of 'b62ca446-c933-11e3-ae37-f46d04929542'
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070969.837240] Servicing request for capability specs...
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070969.932572] App Manager : determining installed rapps...
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070970.339681] App Manager : 'kobuki_apps/auto_docking' added to the list of installable apps.
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070970.340018] App Manager : 'kobuki_apps/random_walker' added to the list of installable apps.
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070970.340203] App Manager : 'rocon_apps/listener' added to the list of runnable apps.
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070970.340355] App Manager : 'rocon_apps/chirp' added to the list of runnable apps.
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070970.340508] App Manager : 'rocon_apps/talker' added to the list of runnable apps.
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398070970.359242] App Manager : initialised.

Notice that kobuki_apps/auto_docking and kobuki_apps/random_walker have been identified as installable.

Next, we request to start the app kobuki_apps/random_walker.

$ rosservice call /kobuki/start_app "name: 'kobuki_apps/random_walker'
- remap_from: ''
  remap_to: ''"

If automatic app installation hasn't been enabled yet, you will see the following:

[INFO] [WallTime: 1398071161.446732] App Manager : Request received to start app 'kobuki_apps/random_walker'
[WARN] [WallTime: 1398071161.447150] App Manager : Rapp 'kobuki_apps/random_walker' can be installed, but automatic installation is not enabled. Please refer to 'http://wiki.ros.org/rocon_app_manager/Tutorials/indigo/Automatic Rapp Installation' for instructions on how to set up automatic rapp installation.

If automatic app installation has been enabled, you will see the following:

[INFO] [WallTime: 1398071820.448665] App Manager : Request received to start app 'kobuki_apps/random_walker'
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398071820.449137] App Manager : Installing rapp 'kobuki_apps/random_walker'
executing command [sudo apt-get install ros-hydro-kobuki-random-walker]
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  erlang-xmerl ros-hydro-libg2o libmozjs185-1.0 ros-hydro-kobuki-controller-tutorial couchdb-bin erlang-runtime-tools erlang-mnesia erlang-public-key erlang-inets ros-hydro-opencv-candidate
  ros-hydro-ecto-image-pipeline couchdb erlang-ssl ros-hydro-kobuki-testsuite ros-hydro-ecto-opencv
Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove them.
The following NEW packages will be installed
0 to upgrade, 1 to newly install, 0 to remove and 0 not to upgrade.
Need to get 0 B/62.7 kB of archives.
After this operation, 305 kB of additional disk space will be used.
dpkg-preconfigure: Unable to re-open stdin: No such file or directory
Selecting previously unselected package ros-hydro-kobuki-random-walker.
(Reading database ... 1138679 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking ros-hydro-kobuki-random-walker (from .../ros-hydro-kobuki-random-walker_0.5.5-1precise-20140325-0110-+0000_amd64.deb) ...
Setting up ros-hydro-kobuki-random-walker (0.5.5-1precise-20140325-0110-+0000) ...
[INFO] [WallTime: 1398071826.783870] App Manager : Rapp 'kobuki_apps/random_walker' has been installed.

2020-03-28 13:04