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There are different ways for getting the software.
From debian/ubuntu packages
Orocos KDL is part of the geometry stack in the ROS distributions pre-Electric.
Since ROS Electric it is available stand-alone as the orocos-kinematics-dynamics stack.
Source using git
git clone http://git.mech.kuleuven.be/robotics/orocos_kinematics_dynamics.git
Building source with ROS
- Follow the guidelines at Building ROS packages to build orocos_kdl as a ROS package
Building source with plain CMake
- goto your orocos_kdl directory
- create a build directory inside the orocos_kdl-dir and go inside:
mkdir <kdl-dir>/build ; cd <kdl-dir>/build
- Launch ccmake
- configure [c], select the bindings you want to create, choose an appropriate installation directory
- configure[c], generate makefiles [g]
- make, wait, install and check
make;make check;make install