Running ROS on Windows 10

Robot Operating System is a flexible framework for writing robot software. It is widely used all around the world and has become the industry standard for robotics. With a vast collection of tools, libraries and task simplifying conventions you can build software under a wide variety of robotic platforms. And today, we will learn how to install this “linux only” thing on Windows 10.


You might have already heard about the Windows 10 creator update feature called Windows Subsystem for Linux. This is a new thing that allows you to run linux command-line tools from your PowerShell, while still using Windows desktop and apps. It is mostly a tool for developers, but since we want to play with robots, I guess this is who we are! Let’s start with checking, if you have what it takes to start developing linux applications.

1. Check your updates

First we need to check, if we are eligible to install WSL:

2. Enable developer mode

Steps you must take:

3. Install the Linux subsystem

Now we are ready to install the Robot Operating System on our Windows PC.

Installing ROS

We will be installing ROS Lunar. For more information about distributions visit the ROS Distributions wiki page. For a good start, let’s update our sources:

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb $(lsb_release -sc) main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ros-latest.list'

Add keys:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv-key 421C365BD9FF1F717815A3895523BAEEB01FA116

Update your apt-get:

sudo apt-get update

Download the full desktop package of ROS Lunar:

sudo apt-get install ros-lunar-desktop-full

Initialize rosdep:

sudo rosdep init
rosdep update

Add your ROS variables to source:

echo "source /opt/ros/lunar/setup.bash" >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

And… you are ready to go! Have fun working with robotics on Windows 10!

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