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REP:2000
Title:ROS 2 Releases and Target Platforms
Author:Mikael Arguedas <mikael at openrobotics.org>, Steven! Ragnarok <steven at openrobotics.org>, Dirk Thomas <dthomas at openrobotics.org>
Status:Active
Type:Informational
Content-Type:text/x-rst
Created:10-Apr-2018, 24-Apr-2018, 21-May-2018, 10-Dec-2018, 20-May-2019, 21-May-2019, 29-Aug-2019, 25-Feb-2020

Abstract

This REP defines the timeline for future ROS 2 releases as well as the targeted platforms for each specific one. We define platforms to include both operating system releases (e.g. Ubuntu Xenial (16.04 LTS)) as well as major language releases (e.g. Python 3.5). The target platforms represent the set on which all core stacks are expected to work. Exceptions can be made for stacks that are intentionally platform-specific.

Release Schedule

Note: the following applies to ROS 2 releases after Foxy Fitzroy. Before, releases were made more frequently but with shorter support due to the fact that many foundational parts of ROS 2 were still heavily iterated on.

TL;DR ROS 2 release schedule post Foxy: * May 2021: G Turtle: non-LTS release, supported for 1.5 years * May 2022: H Turtle: LTS release, supported for 5 years * May 2023: I Turtle: non-LTS release, supported for 1.5 years * May 2024: J Turtle: LTS release, supported for 5 years * and so on, alternating annually between LTS and non-LTS releases

Frequency

New ROS 2 releases are published in a time based fashion every 12 months. The rationale is that a shorter cycle (like 6 months) results in a significant overhead and many active releases at the same time (assuming they have the same support length). On the other hand a longer cycle (like 2 years) is too long for users to wait for new features to be available in a ROS 2 release.

Targeted Platforms

Since regular Ubuntu releases are only supported for 9 months ROS 2 is not targeting those. A single ROS 2 distribution only targets one Ubuntu LTS. The rationale is that supporting two LTS versions - which means 2-year-different versions of upstream dependencies - is a tremendous overhead and sometimes even impossible.

Since macOS (or at least brew) as well as Windows are rolling platforms we aim to support the latest version available at the time of a ROS 2 distribution release. For Debian we also aim to target the latest stable version though if that version is two years behind the Ubuntu version that might not be possible.

Support

LTS releases

Since Ubuntu LTS releases come with 5 years of standard support we aim to match the same duration. In even years new ROS 2 releases happen shortly (a month) after the Ubuntu LTS has been released (some time in May). The ROS 2 release will be supported until the end of the standard support of the Ubuntu LTS release which is 4 years and 11 months from the ROS 2 release date.

Non-LTS Releases

If every ROS 2 release would have that support we would end up with 5 active releases at the same time which would pose a significant maintenance effort. To lower that effort while still providing releases more frequently than every two years in odd years a non-LTS ROS release is being published. It will target the same Ubuntu LTS as the previous ROS LTS release but is only supported for 1.5 years. The duration will overlap with the next ROS LTS release by 6 months to provide a long enough transition window. We are aware that significantly fewer users will adopt a non-LTS ROS release but think that at least for now it will be worth having to land new features and make them available to users in the time between two LTS releases.

Support Tiers

Platforms are defined as a combination of the OS, the architecture, and the RMW implementation. By default the tiers are expected to apply up to the desktop variant in a rosdistro, unless otherwise specified. ROS 2 variants are defined in REP 2001 [3].

Tier 1

Tier 1 platforms are subjected to our unit test suite and other testing tools on a frequent basis including continuous integration jobs, nightly jobs, packaging jobs, and performance testing. Errors or bugs discovered in these platforms are prioritized for correction by the development team. Significant errors discovered in Tier 1 platforms can impact release dates and we strive to resolve all known high priority errors in Tier 1 platforms prior to new version releases.

Tier 2

Tier 2 platforms are subject to periodic CI testing which runs both builds and tests with publicly accessible results. The CI is expected to be run at least within a week of relevant changes for the current state of the ROS distribution. Package-level binary packages may not be provided but providing a downloadable archive of the built workspace is encouraged. Errors may be present in released product versions for Tier 2 platforms. Known errors in Tier 2 platforms will be addressed subject to resource availability on a best effort basis and may or may not be corrected prior to new version releases. One or more entities should be committed to continuing support of the platform.

Tier 3

Tier 3 platforms are those for which community reports indicate that the release is functional. The development team does not run the unit test suite or perform any other tests on platforms in Tier 3. Installation instructions should be available and up-to-date in order for a platform to be listed in this category. Community members may provide assistance with these platforms.

Platforms by Distribution

If planned support for a target platform is changed, notice will be sent to discourse to enable discussion of this issue.

Ardent Apalone (December 2017 - December 2018)

Required support
Architecture Ubuntu Xenial (16.04) MacOS Sierra (10.12) Windows 10 (VS2015)
amd64 X X X
arm64 X    

Minimum language requirements:

  • C11 [2]
  • C++14
  • Python 3.5

Dependency Requirements:

Package Ubuntu Xenial MacOS** Windows 10**
CMake 3.5.1 3.11.0 3.10.2
EmPY 3.3.2 3.6.5 3.3.2
Ogre 1.10* 1.10* 1.10*
OpenCV 2.4.9 3.4.1 2.4.13.2*
Poco 1.7.7* 1.7.7* 1.7.7*
Python 3.5.1 3.6.5 3.6.4
Qt 5.5.1 5.10.0 5.10.0
Linux only (used for turtlebot demo)
PCL 1.7.2 N/A N/A

" * " means that this is not the upstream version (available on the official Operating System repositories) but a package distributed by OSRF or the community (package built and distributed on custom repositories).

" ** " Rolling distributions will see multiple version changes of these dependencies during their lifetime.

This document only captures the version at the first release of a ROS distribution and will not be updated as the dependencies move forward. These versions are thus a low watermark.

Package manager use for dependencies:

  • Ubuntu Xenial: apt
  • MacOS: Homebrew, pip
  • Windows: Chocolatey, pip

Build System Support:

  • ament_cmake
  • cmake
  • setuptools

Middleware Implementation Support:

  • eProsima Fast-RTPS
  • RTI Connext
  • ADLINK OpenSplice

Bouncy Bolson (June 2018 - June 2019)

Targeted platforms:

  Required Support Recommended Support
Architecture Ubuntu Bionic (18.04) MacOS Sierra (10.12) Windows 10 (VS2017) Ubuntu Xenial (16.04) [s] Debian Stretch (9) [s]
amd64 X X X X [s] X [s]
arm64 X     X [s] X [s]

" [s] " Compilation from source, the ROS buildfarm will not produce any binary packages for these platforms.

Minimum language requirements:

  • C11 [2]
  • C++14
  • Python 3.5

Dependency Requirements:

  Required Support Recommended Support
Package Ubuntu Bionic MacOS** Windows 10** Ubuntu Xenial [s] Debian Stretch [s]
CMake 3.10.2 3.11.0 3.10.2 3.5.1 3.7.2
EmPY 3.3.2 3.6.5 3.3.2 3.3.2 3.3.2
Ogre 1.10* 1.10* 1.10* 1.10* 1.10*
OpenCV 3.2.0 3.4.1 3.4.1* 2.4.9 3.2*
Poco 1.8.0 1.9.0 1.8.0* 1.8.0* 1.8.0*
Python 3.6.5 3.6.5 3.6.5 3.5.1 3.5.3
Qt 5.9.5 5.10.0 5.10.0 5.5.1 5.7.1
Linux only (used for turtlebot demo)
PCL 1.8.1 N/A N/A 1.7.2 1.8.0

" * " means that this is not the upstream version (available on the official Operating System repositories) but a package distributed by OSRF or the community (package built and distributed on custom repositories).

" ** " Rolling distributions will see multiple version changes of these dependencies during their lifetime.

" [s] " Compilation from source, the ROS buildfarm will not produce any binary packages for these platforms.

This document only captures the version at the first release of a ROS distribution and will not be updated as the dependencies move forward. These versions are thus a low watermark.

Package manager use for dependencies:

  • Ubuntu Bionic: apt
  • MacOS: Homebrew, pip
  • Windows: Chocolatey, pip
  • Ubuntu Xenial, Debian Stretch: apt

Build System Support:

  • ament_cmake
  • cmake
  • setuptools

Middleware Implementation Support:

  • eProsima Fast-RTPS
  • RTI Connext
  • ADLINK OpenSplice

Crystal Clemmys (December 2018 - December 2019)

Targeted platforms:

Architecture Ubuntu Bionic (18.04) MacOS Sierra (10.12) Windows 10 (VS2017) Ubuntu Xenial (16.04) Debian Stretch (9)
amd64 Tier 1 [d][a][s] Tier 1 [a][s] Tier 1 [a][s] Tier 2 [s] Tier 3 [s]
arm64 Tier 1 [d][a][s]     Tier 2 [s] Tier 3 [s]

The following indicators show what delivery mechanisms are available for each platform.

" [d] " Debian packages will be provided for this platform for packages submitted to the rosdistro.

" [a] " Binary releases are provided as a single archive per platform containing all packages in the Crystal ROS 2 repos file [4].

" [s] " Compilation from source.

Middleware Implementation Support:

Middleware Library Middleware Provider Support Level Platforms Architectures
rmw_fastrtps_cpp eProsima Fast-RTPS Tier 1 All Platforms All Architectures
rmw_connext_cpp RTI Connext Tier 1 All Platforms except Debian All Architectures except arm64
rmw_opensplice_cpp ADLINK OpenSplice Tier 2 All Platforms except Debian All Architectures
rmw_fastrtps_dynamic_cpp eProsima Fast-RTPS Tier 2 All Platforms All Architectures
rmw_connext_dynamic_cpp RTI Connext Tier 2 All platforms except Debian All architectures except arm64

Middleware implementation support is dependent upon the platform support tier. For example a Tier 1 middleware implementation on a Tier 2 platform can only receive Tier 2 support.

Minimum language requirements:

  • C11 [2]
  • C++14
  • Python 3.5

Dependency Requirements:

  Required Support Recommended Support
Package Ubuntu Bionic MacOS** Windows 10** Ubuntu Xenial [s] Debian Stretch [s]
CMake 3.10.2 3.13.3 3.13.3 3.5.1 3.7.2
EmPY 3.3.2 3.3.2 3.3.2 3.3.2 3.3.2
Gazebo 9.0.0 9.9.0 N/A 9.9.0* 9.8.0*
Ogre 1.10*
OpenCV 3.2.0 4.0.1 3.4.1* 2.4.9 3.2*
OpenSSL 1.1.0g 1.0.2q 1.0.2q 1.0.2g 1.1.0j
Poco 1.8.0 1.9.0 1.8.0* 1.8.0* 1.8.0*
Python 3.6.5 3.7.2 3.7.2 3.5.1 3.5.3
Qt 5.9.5 5.12.0 5.10.0 5.5.1 5.7.1
  Linux only  
PCL 1.8.1 N/A N/A 1.7.2 1.8.0
RMW DDS Milddleware Providers
Connext DDS 5.3.1 N/A
Fast-RTPS 1.7.0
OpenSplice 6.9.181127OSS

" * " means that this is not the upstream version (available on the official Operating System repositories) but a package distributed by OSRF or the community (package built and distributed on custom repositories).

" ** " Rolling distributions will see multiple version changes of these dependencies during their lifetime.

" [s] " Compilation from source, the ROS buildfarm will not produce any binary packages for these platforms.

This document only captures the version at the first release of a ROS distribution and will not be updated as the dependencies move forward. These versions are thus a low watermark.

Package manager use for dependencies:

  • Ubuntu, Debian: apt
  • MacOS: Homebrew, pip
  • Windows: Chocolatey, pip

Build System Support:

  • ament_cmake
  • cmake
  • setuptools

Dashing Diademata (May 2019 - May 2021)

Targeted platforms:

Architecture Ubuntu Bionic (18.04) MacOS Sierra (10.12) Windows 10 (VS2019) Debian Stretch (9) OpenEmbedded Thud (2.6) / webOS OSE [s]
amd64 Tier 1 [d][a][s] Tier 1 [a][s] Tier 1 [a][s] Tier 3 [s]  
arm64 Tier 1 [d][a][s]     Tier 3 [s]  
arm32 Tier 2 [a][s]     Tier 3 [s] Tier 3 [s]

The following indicators show what delivery mechanisms are available for each platform.

" [d] " Debian packages will be provided for this platform for packages submitted to the rosdistro.

" [a] " Binary releases are provided as a single archive per platform containing all packages in the Dashing ROS 2 repos file [5].

" [s] " Compilation from source.

Middleware Implementation Support:

Middleware Library Middleware Provider Support Level Platforms Architectures
rmw_fastrtps_cpp eProsima Fast-RTPS Tier 1 All Platforms All Architectures
rmw_connext_cpp RTI Connext Tier 1 All Platforms except Debian and OpenEmbedded All Architectures except arm64/arm32
rmw_cyclonedds_cpp Eclipse Cyclone DDS Tier 2 All Platforms All Architectures
rmw_opensplice_cpp ADLink OpenSplice Tier 2 All Platforms except Debian and OpenEmbedded All Architectures
rmw_fastrtps_dynamic_cpp eProsima Fast-RTPS Tier 2 All Platforms All Architectures

Middleware implementation support is dependent upon the platform support tier. For example a Tier 1 middleware implementation on a Tier 2 platform can only receive Tier 2 support.

Minimum language requirements:

  • C++14
  • Python 3.5

Dependency Requirements:

  Required Support Recommended Support
Package Ubuntu Bionic MacOS** Windows 10** Debian Stretch OpenEmbedded Thud
CMake 3.10.2 3.14.4 3.14.4 3.7.2 3.12.2
EmPY 3.3.2
Gazebo 9.0.0 9.9.0 N/A 9.8.0* N/A
Ogre 1.10* N/A
OpenCV 3.2.0 4.1.0 3.4.6* 3.2* 3.2.0
OpenSSL 1.1.0g 1.0.2r 1.0.2r 1.1.0j 1.1.1b / 1.0.2r***
Poco 1.8.0 1.9.0 1.8.0* 1.8.0* 1.9.0
Python 3.6.5 3.7.3 3.7.3 3.5.3 3.7.2
Qt 5.9.5 5.12.3 5.10.0 5.7.1 5.11.3 / 5.6.3***
  Linux only  
PCL 1.8.1 N/A N/A 1.8.0 1.8.1
RMW DDS Milddleware Providers
Connext DDS 5.3.1 N/A
Cyclone DDS 0.5.0 (Eusebius)
Fast-RTPS 1.8.0
OpenSplice 6.9.190403OSS N/A

" * " means that this is not the upstream version (available on the official Operating System repositories) but a package distributed by OSRF or the community (package built and distributed on custom repositories).

" ** " Rolling distributions will see multiple version changes of these dependencies during their lifetime.

" *** " webOS OSE provides this different version.

This document only captures the version at the first release of a ROS distribution and will not be updated as the dependencies move forward. These versions are thus a low watermark.

Package manager use for dependencies:

  • Ubuntu, Debian: apt
  • MacOS: Homebrew, pip
  • Windows: Chocolatey, pip
  • OpenEmbedded: opkg

Build System Support:

  • ament_cmake
  • cmake
  • setuptools

Eloquent Elusor (November 2019 - November 2020)

Targeted platforms:

Architecture Ubuntu Bionic (18.04) MacOS Mojave (10.14) Windows 10 (VS2019) Debian Buster (10) OpenEmbedded Thud (2.6) / webOS OSE [s]
amd64 Tier 1 [d][a][s] Tier 1 [a][s] Tier 1 [a][s] Tier 3 [s]  
arm64 Tier 1 [d][a][s]     Tier 3 [s]  
arm32 Tier 2 [a][s]     Tier 3 [s] Tier 3 [s]

The following indicators show what delivery mechanisms are available for each platform.

" [d] " Debian packages will be provided for this platform for packages submitted to the rosdistro.

" [a] " Binary releases are provided as a single archive per platform containing all packages in the Eloquent ROS 2 repos file [6].

" [s] " Compilation from source.

Middleware Implementation Support:

Middleware Library Middleware Provider Support Level Platforms Architectures
rmw_fastrtps_cpp eProsima Fast-RTPS Tier 1 All Platforms All Architectures
rmw_connext_cpp RTI Connext Tier 1 All Platforms except Debian and OpenEmbedded All Architectures except arm64/arm32
rmw_cyclonedds_cpp Eclipse Cyclone DDS Tier 2 All Platforms All Architectures
rmw_opensplice_cpp ADLINK OpenSplice Tier 2 All Platforms except Debian and OpenEmbedded All Architectures
rmw_fastrtps_dynamic_cpp eProsima Fast-RTPS Tier 2 All Platforms All Architectures

Middleware implementation support is dependent upon the platform support tier. For example a Tier 1 middleware implementation on a Tier 2 platform can only receive Tier 2 support.

Minimum language requirements:

  • C++14
  • Python 3.6

Dependency Requirements:

  Required Support Recommended Support
Package Ubuntu Bionic MacOS** Windows 10** Debian Buster OpenEmbedded Thud
CMake 3.10.2 3.14.4 3.14.4 3.13.4 3.12.2
EmPY 3.3.2
Gazebo 9.0.0 9.9.0 N/A 9.8.0* N/A
Ogre 1.10* N/A
OpenCV 3.2.0 4.1.0 3.4.6* 3.2.0 3.2.0
OpenSSL 1.1.0g 1.0.2r 1.0.2r 1.1.1c 1.1.1b / 1.0.2r****
Poco 1.8.0 1.9.0 1.8.0* 1.9.0 1.9.0
Python 3.6.5 3.7.3 3.7.3 3.7.3 3.7.2
Qt 5.9.5 5.12.3 5.10.0 5.11.3 5.11.3 / 5.6.3****
  Linux only
PCL 1.8.1 N/A N/A 1.9.1 1.8.1
RMW DDS Milddleware Providers
Connext DDS 5.3.1*** N/A
Cyclone DDS 0.5.0 (Eusebius)
Fast-RTPS 1.9.0
OpenSplice 6.9.190705OSS N/A

" * " means that this is not the upstream version (available on the official Operating System repositories) but a package distributed by OSRF or the community (package built and distributed on custom repositories).

" ** " Rolling distributions will see multiple version changes of these dependencies during their lifetime.

" *** " It is anticipated that this will be increased to Connext DDS 6.0.0 pending migration patches [7].

" **** " webOS OSE provides this different version.

This document only captures the version at the first release of a ROS distribution and will not be updated as the dependencies move forward. These versions are thus a low watermark.

Package manager use for dependencies:

  • Ubuntu, Debian: apt
  • MacOS: Homebrew, pip
  • Windows: Chocolatey, pip

Build System Support:

  • ament_cmake
  • cmake
  • setuptools

Motivation

This document is provided to help plan future development for libraries. The primary platforms for ROS 2 are Canonical's Ubuntu releases, and our intent is to track these releases as best as possible while also allowing for current, thirdparty libraries to be used. MacOS and Windows being rolling distributions, ROS 2 will target the latest state of these distributions at the time of the release.

Rationale

Target platforms for future releases are speculative and are based on consulting Ubuntu's release and end-of-life schedule [1].

References and Footnotes

[1]Ubuntu Releases with End-of-Life Dates (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases)
[2](1, 2, 3) C11 is required, but support for some non-compliant systems is also provided, e.g. MSVC.
[3]REP 2001 (http://www.ros.org/reps/rep-2001.html)
[4]Crystal ROS 2 Repos File (https://github.com/ros2/ros2/blob/crystal/ros2.repos)
[5]Dashing ROS 2 Repos File (https://github.com/ros2/ros2/blob/dashing/ros2.repos)
[6]Eloquent ROS 2 Repos File (https://github.com/ros2/ros2/blob/master/ros2.repos)
[7]Connext DDS 6.0.0 Migration (https://github.com/ros2/rmw_connext/pull/351)