Installing the OROCOS Toolchain (2.8) from source on Mac OSX.

Tested environments

  1. OSX Mountain Lion (10.8) (Completely clean environment in virtual machine)
  2. OSX Yosemite (10.10)

Dependency installation using Macports

Extracted from the instructions on


  • Install Apple's Developer Tools (Xcode 5 or 6).
    • 10.8: After starting Xcode select "Preferences" (?,) >> "Downloads". In "Components" you will find Command Line Tools.
    • 10.9 and 10.10: Command Line Tools are automatically installed
  • Install MacPorts
  • Add the MacPorts binary path to PATH:

echo 'export PATH=/opt/local/bin:/opt/local/sbin:$PATH' >> ~/.bash_profile 
  • Add the MacPorts library path to LIBRARY_PATH:

echo 'export LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/local/lib:$LIBRARY_PATH' >> ~/.bash_profile 
  • Clone ROS-MacPorts Repository Locally and Update MacPorts Configuration
    • First checkout an initial copy of the repository:

cd ~
git clone
    • Now we need to tell MacPorts where the local repository clone is. Do this by adding a file:///path/to/clone/location line to /opt/local/etc/macports/sources.conf:

sudo sh -c 'echo file:///Users/user/ros-macports >> /opt/local/etc/macports/sources.conf'
    • Sync the port index

sudo port sync

Resolve dependencies

  • Install and select the following ports:

sudo port install python27
sudo port select --set python python27
sudo port install boost libxslt lua51 ncurses pkgconfig readline netcdf netcdf-cxx omniORB p5-xml-xpath ros-hydro-catkin py27-sip ros-hydro-cmake_modules eigen3 dyncall ruby20
sudo port select --set nosetests nosetests27
sudo port select --set ruby ruby20
  • Open a new terminal and verify your ruby version (should be 2.0.0) :

ruby --version 
  • Verify if we use the right gem binary (should be /opt/local/bin/gem):

which gem 
sudo gem install facets nokogiri
  • Check the lua version should be 5.1 not 5.2

lua -v
  • If 5.2 uninstall lua port (which is lua 5.2)

sudo port uninstall lua

  • Install gccxml from source:

git clone
cd gccxml
mkdir build
cd build
cmake .. -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/opt/local
sudo make install

Build and installation of the Orocos Toolchain from source

Create a catkin workspace and get the sources

  • Create a new ros workspace for building the orocos_toolchain chained with our installed ROS Groovy workspace (which in case if the MacPorts installation is /opt/local):

mkdir -p ~/orocos_ws/src
cd ~/orocos_ws/src
sudo port install py27-wstool
wstool init .
curl | wstool merge -
wstool update
cd orocos_toolchain
git submodule foreach git checkout toolchain-2.8

Build & install the toolchain

  • Build the new workspace (the RUBY_CONFIG_INCLUDE_DIR ends with darwin12 on OSX 10.8 or darwin14 on OSX 10.10)

cd ~/orocos_ws
source /opt/local/setup.bash
sudo /opt/local/ catkin_make_isolated --install-space /opt/orocos --install --cmake-args -DENABLE_CORBA=TRUE -DCORBA_IMPLEMENTATION=OMNIORB - DRUBY_INCLUDE_DIR=/opt/local/include/ruby-2.0.0 -DRUBY_CONFIG_INCLUDE_DIR=/opt/local/include/ruby-2.0.0/x86_64-darwin13 -DRUBY_LIBRARY=/opt/local/lib/libruby2.0.dylib -DCMAKE_PREFIX_PATH="$CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH;/opt/local"

Use the toolchain

  • Source the setup.bash script from the orocos install space:

source /opt/orocos/setup.bash
  • To make sure that typegen uses the right compiler for gccxml add the following export to your ~/.bash_profile:

echo ‘export GCCXML_COMPILER=g++-mp-4.3>> ~/.bash_profile
  • You should be able to run all the tools like the deployer, typegen, rttlua and oro-createpkg