It’s 2024 so maybe this post is a bit late, but hopefully it’s helpful to anyone that needs to run both ROS1 and ROS2 on the same Ubuntu system. BTW, if you are in the process of migrating from ROS1 to ROS2, I highly recommend the ros1_bridge which allows you to run nodes from both ROS1 and ROS2 at the same time.


If you are familiar with ROS, you know that you need to source the ROS setup scripts into your terminal environment in order to use ros* commands.

For ROS1 you’d do something like this:

source /opt/ros/noetic/setup.bash

For ROS2 you’d do something like this:

source /opt/ros/foxy/setup.bash

Those lines are typically added to a user’s .bashrc file.

But what if you started a terminal with ROS1 sourced and then want to switch and use ROS2 commands? You could:

  • Close the terminal and start a fresh one … but my Tmux panes are all setup nice!
  • Clear all the ROS1-related environment variables and re-source the ROS2 setup scripts … sounds tedious. What if you have multiple ROS1 or ROS2 dev workspaces that you need to source and/or extend?

It starts getting messy and annoying to switch environments.


The solution is the rs command! Maybe it’s short for “ros”, or maybe it means “ros switch”. Whatever is easier to remember.


All you need to do is download this gist by running the following commands:

cd ~
curl -sSLO

Then add the following lines to your .bashrc file:

# Add the `rs` command
source ~/rs.bash
# Choose ROS1 by default
rs 1

The above two lines will give you the ability to run the rs command from any terminal and start the terminal with a ROS environment sourced by default (ROS1 in the above example).


Open a new terminal, notice that it shows:

ROS 1 Environment Sourced

If you want to switch to ROS2 simply type:

rs 2

And now it says

ROS 2 Environment Sourced



The rs.bash script contains two sections, one for each version of ROS. Edit those sections as-needed to source whatever other workspaces you may have.