Skip to main content
Join the official 2020 Python Developers SurveyStart the survey!

Static analysis framework for ROS.

Project description

HAROS is a framework for static analysis of ROS-based code. It has been published in the IROS 2016 conference. If you want to cite HAROS in your publications, please cite the original paper.

Static analysis consists on extracting information from the source code without executing it (and, sometimes, even without compiling it). The kind of properties that can be verified include simple conformity checks, such as checking whether a variable is initialised, to more complex properties, such as functional behavior of the program. This allows early detection of problems in the software development life cycle, which would otherwise go unnoticed into later stages or even into production.

Needless to say, sometimes in robotics it is very hard (or very expensive) to properly test software, not to talk about possible risks. Hence the appeal of static analysis.

Current Status

HAROS is still being developed, as of March 2018.


Here are some instructions to help you get HAROS running in your machine. This assumes that you already have a working installation of ROS. HAROS has been tested with ROS Indigo and ROS Kinetic, on Linux Mint and Linux Ubuntu. These setups should provide you with most of the basic dependencies of HAROS, namely Python 2.7 and a Web browser (if you want to use the visualiser).

NOTE This tool depends on other analysis tools. If you would rather install these dependencies first, then Ctrl+F :math:`dependencies`. Otherwise, just keep reading.

Method 1: Running Without Installation

There is an executable script in the root of this repository to help you get started. It allows you to run haros without installing it. Make sure that your terminal is at the root of the repository.

cd haros
python <args>

You can also run it with the executable package syntax.

python -m haros <args>

Method 2: Installing HAROS on Your Machine

You can install HAROS from source or from a wheel. Either of the following commands will install HAROS for you.

[sudo] pip install haros
python install

After installation, you should be able to run the command haros in your terminal from anywhere.


Before you can actually run analyses with HAROS, you need to perform some initialisation operations. These operations include downloading a basic set of analysis plugins. Do so with:

haros init

Note: if you opted for running HAROS without installing it, replace haros with your preferred method.

After initialisation, you still need to install some analysis tools that HAROS uses behind the curtains. Install these :math:`dependencies` with the following commands.

[sudo] apt-get install cppcheck
[sudo] apt-get install cccc
pip install -e git+

If you want to use the model extraction features of HAROS, you must install additional :math:`dependencies`. These features are only available for C++ code as of now.

[sudo] pip install -Iv clang==3.8
[sudo] apt-get install libclang-3.8-dev

Optional step: set up the LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable to point to the shared library. Example:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/usr/lib/llvm-3.8/lib

If you do not perform this step and your library is installed in a different path, you will need to specify it in the configuration file located in ~/.haros/index.yaml. This file becomes available after running the init command of HAROS (details below).

HAROS is now installed and ready to use.


Here is a basic example to help you get started with HAROS. Additional examples should be added in a future update.

HAROS works with the concept of project files. These files are more or less an equivalent to a project description, and they tell HAROS which packages you want to analyse. For this basic example, you should have the packages installed, and with available source code. If you run rospack find my_package and it returns the location of your package’s source code, you’re good to go.

HAROS will only use one project file at a time, but you can create as many as you want (e.g. one for each of your robots). The default project file (empty) lies in ~/.haros/index.yaml, but feel free to create your own, like so.

touch my_index.yaml
nano my_index.yaml

And my_index.yaml’s contents:

%YAML 1.1
    - package1
    - package2
    - package3

Now, you are ready to run analysis and visualisation on the given list of packages.

haros full -p my_index.yaml

The full command tells HAROS to run analysis and then visualisation. If you just want to run analysis, use the analyse command instead.

The -p option lets you specify an project file of your own, instead of using the default one.

When the analysis finishes, HAROS should start a visualisation server and your web browser on the appropriate page. To exit, just close your browser and press Enter on the terminal.

If you want to analyse several projects, or groups of packages, it is recommended to create an project file for each project, and define a project name as well. This way, HAROS will store analysis results separately. Example:

%YAML 1.1
project: my_robot
    - package1
    - package2

Below you can find the basic commands that HAROS provides.

haros init

This command runs initialisation and setup operations. This command needs to be run before the first analysis takes place. You can also run this command later on when you update HAROS.

haros analyse

This command runs analysis and model extraction on a given list of packages.

haros analyse (no options)

Runs analysis with the list of packages found within the default project file (~/.haros/index.yaml). You are free to edit this file.

haros analyse -p PROJECT_FILE

Uses the given project file to run the analysis, instead of the default one.

haros analyse -r

Uses repository information when available. If HAROS cannot find one of the packages you specified, it will look for it in the official ROS distribution and download it.

If your package is not in the official distribution, you can modify your project file to tell HAROS in which repository to look for the source (e.g. you can specify private repositories this way). Here is an example:

%YAML 1.1
    - my_package
        type:       git
        version:    master
            - my_package
            - another_package

The only supported repository type, for now, is git. There is partial support for hg and svn, but these have not been fully tested.

haros analyse -w PLUGIN [-w PLUGIN, …]

Whitelist the given plugins. The analysis will only run these plugins. This option does not work with -b.

haros analyse -b PLUGIN [-b PLUGIN, …]

Blacklist the given plugins. The analysis will not run these plugins. This option does not work with -w.

haros analyse -d DATA_DIR

Export analysis results to the given directory, instead of the default one. This option will also install the visualisation files. If DATA_DIR contains a previous analysis database for the current project within its tree, it will be loaded and new results will be added to that database.

Note: it is advised to use an empty/dedicated directory for this purpose. Previous versions deleted any existing files within DATA_DIR.

haros analyse -n

Parse the source code of ROS nodes when possible, so as to extract a model from it. This options produces a result similar to rqt_graph, but without executing code.

Note: this option requires that you have the appropriate parsing libraries installed (e.g. libclang for C++).

haros analyse –no-cache

Do not use cached data. This is useful, for instance, if you want to force nodes to be parsed again, despite any cached data.

Caches are currently invalidated by source files modified more recently than the last analysed versions. Use this option, for instance, if you replace a file with another with a previous modification date.

haros analyse –env

Use a full copy of your environment variables for the analysis.

haros analyse –minimal-output

Only export those files necessary for viewing the HTML report.

haros export

This command exports the analysis results (e.g. JSON files) to a location of your choosing. It assumes that some analyses were run previously.

haros export DATA_DIR

Exports analysis data to the given directory. This command will create files and directories within the given directory.

haros export -v

Export visualisation files along with analysis data.

Note: it is advised to use an empty/dedicated directory for this purpose. Previous versions deleted any existing files within DATA_DIR.

haros export –minimal-output

Only export those files necessary for viewing the HTML report.

haros export -p PROJECT_NAME

Export a specific project’s data, instead of the default one. A special project name, all, can be used to export all available projects.

haros viz

This command runs the visualisation only. It assumes that some analyses were run previously.

haros viz (no options)

Launches the web visualiser and the visualisation server at localhost:8080.

haros viz -s HOST:PORT

Launches the web visusaliser and the visualisation server at the given host.

haros viz -d DATA_DIR

Serve the given directory, instead of the default one.

haros viz –headless

Start the viz server without launching a web browser.

haros full

Runs analysis and visualisation. This command accepts the same options as haros analyse and haros viz.

Settings File

HAROS uses a configuration file (located at ~/.haros/configs.yaml) with some default settings. These can be changed to meet your needs, and, in some cases, must be modified for the tool to function properly. Future versions may expose more settings in this file. When applicable, command-line arguments will override the settings in this file.

Here follows the current file structure.

%YAML 1.1
workspace: "/path/to/catkin_ws"
environment: null
plugin_blacklist: []
    parser_lib: "/usr/lib/llvm-3.8/lib"
    std_includes: "/usr/lib/llvm-3.8/lib/clang/3.8.0/include"
    compile_db: "/path/to/catkin_ws/build"


Specifies a path to your ROS catkin workspace. This setting can be omitted or set to null, in which case HAROS will attempt to find your default workspace, using the same behaviour as the roscd tool.


Specifies a mapping of variables (string keys and string values) to act as the environment variables used during analysis. This can be used to specify variables and values your system needs, making analyses yield the same results independently of the machine you run HAROS on.

This value can be omitted or set to null, in which case a mostly empty environment will be used for analysis.

Alternatively, instead of a variable mapping, you can use the special value copy, which is a shortcut to use a copy of your local environment.


Specifies a list of plugins to be blacklisted by default.


Under this mapping there are settings related to parsing C++ files.


Specifies the path to the directory containing your installation of libclang. By default, this is under /usr/lib/llvm-3.8/lib.

Note: this is a required setting by the clang compiler.


Specifies the path to the directory containing the C++ standard includes provided by libclang. By default, this is under /usr/lib/llvm-3.8/lib/clang/3.8.0/include.


Specifies the path to the directory containing a compilation database (a compile_commands.json file). By default, this is under the build directory within your catkin workspace.

This setting can be set to null, in which case HAROS will try to use the default location.

Alternatively, this setting can be set to false, in which case HAROS will not use a compilation database to parse C++ files.

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Files for haros, version 3.9.0
Filename, size File type Python version Upload date Hashes
Filename, size haros-3.9.0-py2-none-any.whl (442.9 kB) File type Wheel Python version py2 Upload date Hashes View
Filename, size haros-3.9.0.tar.gz (313.2 kB) File type Source Python version None Upload date Hashes View

Supported by

Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Google Google Object Storage and Download Analytics Sentry Sentry Error logging AWS AWS Cloud computing DataDog DataDog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN DigiCert DigiCert EV certificate StatusPage StatusPage Status page