Open Robotics has released seventh version of ROS 2: Galactic Geochelone. This is an interim release between ROS 2 long term support (LTS) releases and will be supported until November 2022. Galactic Geochelone is the second ROS 2 release to target Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa).
This ROS 2 release has a number of new and exciting features that address feedback from the ROS user community. The full list of new features for this release can be found in the Galactic release page; for an exhaustive list of all changes since Foxy, see the Complete Changelog.
Open Robotics shared the following highlights of the Galactic Geochelone release:
- Multiple logging improvements. Users can now specify per-logger log levels and configure their logging directory through environment variables. There have also been changes to rclcpp’s logging macros.
- The ability to configure quality of service (QoS) at startup.
- Improvements to the ROS 2 CLI including echoing serialized topic data, YAML data representation, and the ability to load parameter files at run time.
- A change of the default ROS Middleware Layer to Cyclone DDS – see the TSC RMW Report for more information. (2020 ROS Middleware Evaluation Report | TSC-RMW-Reports 21)
- A new time panel in RViz2.
- A new and vastly improved Connext RMW implementation.
- Vastly improved rosbag2 performance.
- A variety of improvements and refactors in rclcpp and rclpy.
In addition to the many features and bug fixes mentioned in the changelog, Open Robotics added Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 1 version 8 as a tier 2 platform for ROS 2 Galactic. Galactic also features the debut of RPM packages built on the ROS 2 buildfarm for RHEL 8. This is the first release of ROS or ROS 2 that will build platform binary packages on the buildfarm in a format other than deb. They can be consumed on RHEL 8 (and RHEL clones like Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux, and CentOS) in largely the same way that the deb packages for Ubuntu are consumed today.
The name Galactic Geochelone comes from the word “Galactic,” which means “of or relating to a galaxy” and the word “Geochelone,” which is a genus of endangered tortoise, more commonly called the Indian Star Tortoise. Indian Star Tortoises are often found in the pet trade and they are noted for being the inspiration for the “gömböc 12”, a mathematically defined three dimensional shape that can automatically return itself to an upright position.