Commit f77747ef authored by Anthony Mallet's avatar Anthony Mallet
Browse files

Add the incomplete documentation in order to have at least some starting point

The generated web pages mention the documentation but it was not
commited yet. This is especially annoying when a user find a package
webpage from google and has no way to find out how to use/install it.

Even though the current doc is far from complete, it documents at least
how to download and install something.
parent 188e5884
Please see doc/robotpkg.txt for information.
Please see README.txt README.html for information.
PLEASE NOTE: the documentation is yet to be written. Sorry.
PLEASE NOTE: the documentation is very incomplete at the moment. Sorry.
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<title>A guide to robotpkg</title>
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<body><div id="content">
<div id="preamble">
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h1 align="center">A guide to robotpkg </h1>
<h3 align="center">
Anthony Mallet - <tt></tt><br />
Copyright 2006-2009 &#169; LAAS/CNRS
<h3 align="center">July 31, 2009</h3>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
</div><div id="frontmatter">
<h1>Contents </h1><a href="#tth_chAp1"
>1&nbsp; Introduction</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc1.1"
>1.1&nbsp; What is robotpkg?</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc1.2"
>1.2&nbsp; Why robotpkg?</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc1.3"
>1.3&nbsp; Supported platforms</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc1.4"
>1.4&nbsp; Overview</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc1.5"
>1.5&nbsp; Terminology</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc1.6"
>1.6&nbsp; Roles involved in robotpkg</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc1.7"
>1.7&nbsp; Typography</a><br />
<a href="#tth_chAp2"
>2&nbsp; The robotpkg user's guide</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.1"
>2.1&nbsp; Where to get robotpkg and how to keep it up-to-date</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.1.1"
>2.1.1&nbsp; Getting the binary bootstrap kit</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.1.2"
>2.1.2&nbsp; Getting robotpkg for source compilation</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.1.3"
>2.1.3&nbsp; Keeping robotpkg up-to-date</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.2"
>2.2&nbsp; Bootstrapping robotpkg</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.2.1"
>2.2.1&nbsp; Bootstrapping via the binary kit</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.2.2"
>2.2.2&nbsp; Bootstrapping from source</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.3"
>2.3&nbsp; Using robotpkg</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.3.1"
>2.3.1&nbsp; Building packages from source</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.3.2"
>2.3.2&nbsp; Installing binary packages</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.3.3"
>2.3.3&nbsp; Removing packages</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.3.4"
>2.3.4&nbsp; Getting information about installed packages</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.3.5"
>2.3.5&nbsp; Other administrative functions</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.4"
>2.4&nbsp; Configuring robotpkg</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.4.1"
>2.4.1&nbsp; Selecting build options</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.4.2"
>2.4.2&nbsp; General configuration variables</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.4.3"
>2.4.3&nbsp; Variables affecting the build process</a><br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="#tth_sEc2.4.4"
>2.4.4&nbsp; Additional flags to the compiler</a><br />
<a href="#tth_chAp3"
>3&nbsp; The robotpkg developer's guide</a><br />
<a href="#tth_chAp4"
>4&nbsp; The robotpkg infrastructure internals</a><br />
</div><div id="mainmatter">
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h1><a name="tth_chAp1">
1 </a><br />Introduction</h1>
<a name="chapter:introduction">
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h2><a name="tth_sEc1.1">
1.1</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;What is robotpkg?</h2>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
The robotics research community has always been developing a lot of software,
in order to illustrate theoretical concepts and validate algorithms on board
real robots. A great amount of this software was made freely available to the
community, especially for Unix-based systems, and is usually available in form
of the source code. Therefore, before such software can be used, it needs to be
configured to the local system, compiled and installed. This is exactly what
The Robotics Packages Collection (robotpkg) does. robotpkg also has some basic
commands to handle binary packages, so that not every user has to build the
packages for himself, which is a time-costly, cumbersome and error-prone task.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
The robotpkg project was initiated in the <a href="">Laboratory
for Analysis and Architecture of Systems</a> (CNRS/LAAS), France. The motivation
was, on the one hand, to ease the software maintenance tasks for the robots
that are used there. On the other hand, roboticists at CNRS/LAAS have always
fostered an open-source development model for the software they were
developing. In order to help people working with the laboratory to get the
LAAS software running outside the laboratory, a package management system was
<div class="p"><!----></div>
Although robotpkg was an innovative project in the robotics community (it
started in 2006), a lot of general-purpose software packages management systems
were readily available at this time for a great variety of Unix-based systems.
The main requirements that we wanted robotpkg to fullfill were listed and the
best existing package management system was chosen as a starting point. The
biggest requirement was the capacity of the system to adapt to the nature of
the robotic software, being available mostly in form of source code only (no
binary packages), with unfrequent stable releases. robotpkg had thus to deal
mostly with source code and automate the compilation of the packages. The
system chosen as a starting point was <a href="">The NetBSD
Packages Collection</a> (pkgsrc). robotpkg can be considered as a fork of this
project and it is still very similar to pkgsrc in many points, although some
simplifications were made in order to provide a tool geared toward people that
are not computer scientists but roboticists.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
Due to its origins, robotpkg provides many packages developed at LAAS. It is
however not limited to such packages and contains, in fact, quite some other
software useful to roboticists. Of course, robotpkg is not meant to be a
general purpose packaging system (although there would be no technical
restriction to this) and will never contain widely available packages that can
be found on any modern Unix distribution. Yet, robotpkg currently contains
roughly one hundred and fifty packages, including:
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<li> architecture/genom - The LAAS Generator of Robotic Components
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<li> architecture/openhrp - The Open Architecture Humanoid Robotics
Platform from AIST, Japan
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<li> architecture/openrtm - The robotic distributed middleware from AIST, Japan
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<li> architecture/yarp - The "other", yet famous, robot platform
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<li> ...just to name a few.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h2><a name="tth_sEc1.2">
1.2</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;Why robotpkg?</h2>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
robotpkg provides the following key features:
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<li> Easy building of software from source as well as the creation and
installation of binary packages. The source and latest patches are retrieved
from a master download site, checksum verified, then built on your system.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<li> All packages are installed in a consistent directory tree, including
binaries, libraries, man pages and other documentation.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<li> Package dependencies, including when performing package updates, are
handled automatically.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<li> The installation prefix, acceptable software licenses and build-time
options for a large number of packages are all set in a simple, central
configuration file.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<li> The entire framework source (not including the package distribution
files themselves) is freely available under a BSD license, so you may extend
and adapt robotpkg to your needs, like robotpkg was adapted from pkgsrc.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h2><a name="tth_sEc1.3">
1.3</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;Supported platforms</h2>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
robotpkg consists of a source distribution. After retrieving the required
source, you can be up and running with robotpkg in just minutes!
<div class="p"><!----></div>
robotpkg does not have much requirements by itself and it can work on a wide
variety of systems as long as they provide a GNU-make utility, a working
C-compiler and a small, reasonably standard subset of Unix commands (like sed,
awk, find, grep ...). However, individual packages might have their specific
requirements. The following platforms have been reported to be supported
reasonably well:
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<table border="1">
<tr><td align="center">Platform </td><td align="center">Version
</td></tr><tr><td id="hline" colspan=0></td></tr>
<tr><td align="center">Fedora </td><td align="center">3, 5 - 10</td></tr>
<tr><td align="center">Ubuntu </td><td align="center">7.10 - 8.10</td></tr>
<tr><td align="center">CentOS </td><td align="center">5</td></tr>
<tr><td align="center">NetBSD </td><td align="center">4, 5</td></tr></table>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h2><a name="tth_sEc1.4">
<div class="p"><!----></div>
This document is divided into three parts. <a href="#chapter:user">The first one</a>
describes how one can use one of the packages in the Robotics Package
Collection, either by installing a precompiled binary package, or by building
one's own copy using robotpkg. <a href="#chapter:developer">The second part</a>
explains how to prepare a package so it can be easily built by other users
without knowing about the package's building details.
<a href="#chapter:internal">The third part</a> is intended for those who want to
understand how robotpkg is implemented.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h2><a name="tth_sEc1.5">
<div class="p"><!----></div>
Here is a description of all the terminology used within this document.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<dl compact="compact">
<dd> A set of files and building instructions that describe what's
necessary to build a certain piece of software using robotpkg. Packages are
traditionally stored under <tt>/opt/robotpkg</tt>.</dd>
<dd> This is the The Robotics Package Collection. It handles
building (compiling), installing, and removing of packages.</dd>
<dd> This term describes the file or files that are provided by
the author of the piece of software to distribute his work. All the changes
necessary to build are reflected in the corresponding package. Usually the
distfile is in the form of a compressed tar-archive, but other types are
possible, too. Distfiles are usually stored below <tt>
<dt><b>Precompiled/binary package</b></dt>
<dd> A set of binaries built with robotpkg from
a distfile and stuffed together in a single <tt>.tgz</tt> file so it can be
installed on machines of the same machine architecture without the need to
recompile. Packages are usually generated in <tt>/opt/robotpkg/packages</tt>.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
Sometimes, this is referred to by the term "package" too, especially in
the context of precompiled packages.</dd>
<dd> The piece of software to be installed which will be
constructed from all the files in the distfile by the actions defined in the
corresponding package.</dd>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h2><a name="tth_sEc1.6">
1.6</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;Roles involved in robotpkg</h2>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<dl compact="compact">
<dt><b>robotpkg users</b></dt>
<dd> The robotpkg users are people who use the packages
provided by robotpkg. Typically they are student working in robotics. The
usage of the software that is <em>inside</em> the packages is not covered by
the robotpkg guide.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
There are two kinds of robotpkg users: Some only want to install pre-built
binary packages. Others build the robotpkg packages from source, either for
installing them directly or for building binary packages themselves. For
robotpkg users, <a href="#chapter:user">Part&nbsp;<a href="#chapter:user">2</a></a> should provide
all necessary documentation.</dd>
<dt><b>package maintainers</b></dt>
<dd> A package maintainer creates packages as
described in <a href="#chapter:developer">Part&nbsp;<a href="#chapter:developer">3</a></a>.</dd>
<dt><b>infrastructure developers</b></dt>
<dd> These people are involved in all those
files that live in the <tt>mk/</tt> directory and below. Only these people
should need to read through
<a href="#chapter:internal">Part&nbsp;<a href="#chapter:internal">4</a></a>, though others might be
curious, too.</dd>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h2><a name="tth_sEc1.7">
<div class="p"><!----></div>
When giving examples for commands, shell prompts are used to show if the
command should/can be issued as root, or if "normal" user privileges are
sufficient. We use a <tt>#</tt> for root's shell prompt, and a <tt>%</tt> for
users' shell prompt, assuming they use the C-shell or tcsh.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h1><a name="tth_chAp2">
2 </a><br />The robotpkg user's guide</h1>
<a name="chapter:user">
<div class="p"><!----></div>
Basically, there are two ways of using robotpkg. The first is to only install
the package tools and to use binary packages that someone else has prepared.
The second way is to install the programs from source. Then you are able to
build your own packages, and you can still use binary packages from someone
else. Sections in this document will detail both approaches where appropriate.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h2><a name="tth_sEc2.1">
2.1</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;Where to get robotpkg and how to keep it up-to-date</h2> <a name="section:getting">
<div class="p"><!----></div>
Before you download and extract the files, you need to decide where you want to
extract them. <tt>robotpkg</tt> is by default installed in <tt>
/opt/openrobots</tt>. Creating this directory will probably require administration
privileges ("<tt>root</tt>") and if you don't have such privileges, you are free
to install the sources and binary packages wherever you want in your
filesystem. The pathname shall not contain white-space or other characters that
are interpreted specially by the shell and some other programs: a safe bet is
to use only letters, digits, underscores and dashes. The rest of this document
will assume that you are using <tt>/opt/openrobots</tt> and you should adapt this
path to whatever location you choosed.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
Please note that you should use a prefix which is dedicated to packages and not
shared with other programs (i.e., do not try and use a prefix of <tt>/usr</tt>).
Also, you should not try to add any of your own files or directories (such as
<tt>src/</tt>) below the prefix tree. This is to prevent possible conflicts
between programs and other files installed by the package system and whatever
else may have been installed there.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<tt>robotpkg</tt> will <em>never</em> require administration privileges by itself
after the initial bootstrap phase. We thus recommend that you initially setup
the <tt>/opt/openrobots</tt> directory readable and writable by your regular user
and work only as this user afterwards. If something ever goes really wrong,
you might thank yourself later that you did so... Setting up this directory
can be done with the following commands in a shell:
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
If the <tt>sudo</tt> command is not available or if you are not allowed to run it,
you should consider installing <tt>robotpkg</tt> to a different location.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h3><a name="tth_sEc2.1.1">
2.1.1</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;Getting the binary bootstrap kit</h3>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
At the moment, the binary bootstrap kit is not available. Please get the <tt>
robotpkg</tt> sources as described in the next section.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h3><a name="tth_sEc2.1.2">
2.1.2</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;Getting robotpkg for source compilation</h3>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<tt>robotpkg</tt> sources are distributed <em>via</em> the
<a href=""><tt>git</a></tt> software content management system. <tt>
git</tt> will probably be readily available on your system but if you don't have it
installed or if you are unsure about it, contact your local system
<div class="p"><!----></div>
There are two download methods: the anonymous one and the authenticated
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<li> Anonymous download is the recommended method if you don't intend to
work on the robotpkg infrastructure itself, nor commit any changes or
packages additions back to the robotpkg main repository. Furthermore, the
possibility to send contributions via patches is still open.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
As your regular user, simply run in a shell:
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<li> Authenticated download requires a valid login on the main robotpkg
repository, and will give you full commit access to this repository. Simply
run the following:
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h3><a name="tth_sEc2.1.3">
2.1.3</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;Keeping robotpkg up-to-date</h3>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<tt>robotpkg</tt> is a living thing: updates to the packages are made
perdiodicaly, problems are fixed, enhancements are developed... If you
downloaded the robotpkg sources via git, you should keep it up-to-date so that
you get the most recent packages descriptions. This is done by running <tt>
git pull</tt> in the robotpkg source directory:
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
When you update robotpkg, the git program will only touch those files that are
registered in the git repository. That means that any packages that you created
on your own will stay unmodified. If you change files that are managed by git,
later updates will try to merge your changes with those that have been done by
others. See the <tt>git-pull</tt> manual for details.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
If you want to be informed of package additions and other updates, a public
mailing list is available for your reading pleasure. Go to
<a href=""><tt></tt></a> for more information and
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h2><a name="tth_sEc2.2">
2.2</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;Bootstrapping robotpkg</h2> <a name="section:bootstrapping">
<div class="p"><!----></div>
Once you have downloaded the robotpkg sources or the binary bootstrap kit as
described in <a href="#section:getting">Section&nbsp;<a href="#section:getting">2.1</a></a>, a minimal
set of the administrative package management utilities must be installed on
your system before you can use robotpkg. This is called the "bootstrap
phase" and should be done only once, the very first time you download
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h3><a name="tth_sEc2.2.1">
2.2.1</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;Bootstrapping via the binary kit</h3>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
At the moment, the binary bootstrap kit is not available. Please bootstrap <tt>
robotpkg</tt> as described in the next section.
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<h3><a name="tth_sEc2.2.2">
2.2.2</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;Bootstrapping from source</h3>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
You will need a working C compiler and the GNU-make utility version 3.81 or
later. If you have extracted the robotpkg archive into the standard <tt>
/opt/openrobots/robotpkg</tt> location, installing the bootstrap kit from source
should then be as simple as:
<div class="p"><!----></div>
<div class="p"><!----></div>
This will install various utilities into <tt>/opt/openrobots/sbin</tt>. Should
you prefer another location, you could use the <tt>--prefix</tt> option to
change the default installation prefix. For instance, configuring robotpkg to