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Introspection with command line tools
Table of Contents
ROS 2 includes a suite of command-line tools for introspecting a ROS 2 system.
The main entry point for the tools is the command
ros2, which itself has various sub-commands for introspecting and working with nodes, topics, services, and more.
To see all available sub-commands run:
Examples of sub-commands that are available include:
action: Introspect/interact with ROS actions
bag: Record/play a rosbag
component: Manage component containers
daemon: Introspect/configure the ROS 2 daemon
doctor: Check ROS setup for potential issues
interface: Show information about ROS interfaces
launch: Run/introspect a launch file
lifecycle: Introspect/manage nodes with managed lifecycles
node: Introspect ROS nodes
param: Introspect/configure parameters on a node
pkg: Introspect ROS packages
run: Run ROS nodes
security: Configure security settings
service: Introspect/call ROS services
test: Run a ROS launch test
topic: Introspect/publish ROS topics
trace: Tracing tools to get information on ROS nodes execution (only available on Linux)
To produce the typical talker-listener example using command-line tools, the
topic sub-command can be used to publish and echo messages on a topic.
Publish messages in one terminal with:
$ ros2 topic pub /chatter std_msgs/msg/String "data: Hello world" publisher: beginning loop publishing #1: std_msgs.msg.String(data='Hello world') publishing #2: std_msgs.msg.String(data='Hello world')
Echo messages received in another terminal with:
$ ros2 topic echo /chatter data: Hello world data: Hello world
Behind the scenes
ROS 2 uses a distributed discovery process for nodes to connect to each other. As this process purposefully does not use a centralized discovery mechanism (like the ROS Master in ROS 1), it can take time for ROS nodes to discover all other participants in the ROS graph. Because of this, there is a long-running daemon in the background that stores information about the ROS graph to provide faster responses to queries, e.g. the list of node names.
The daemon is automatically started when the relevant command-line tools are used for the first time.
You can run
ros2 daemon --help for more options for interacting with the daemon.
The source code for the
ros2 command is available at https://github.com/ros2/ros2cli.
ros2 tool has been implemented as a framework that can be extended via plugins.
For example, the sros2 package provides a
security sub-command that is automatically detected by the
ros2 tool if the
sros2 package is installed.