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I'd recommend the following steps:

  1. leave the debian installs (things inside /opt/ros/fuerte/* untouched) and work off of an overlay by following the steps below. If you have already changed files inside of /opt/ros/fuerte/*, you might want to consider reinstalling affected packages by
    sudo apt-get install --reinstall ros-fuerte-simulator-gazebo
  2. create a workspace directory and cd into it
     mkdir ~/workspace
     cd ~/workspace
  3. checkout simulator_gazebo stack.
    svn co simulator_gazebo
  4. let ros know you want to use this stack instead of the one inside /opt/ros/fuerte/... and refresh rospack
    export ROS_PACKAGE_PATH=~/workspace:$ROS_PACKAGE_PATH
    rospack profile
  5. build simulator_gazebo. Note that gazebo is pulled in from mercurial repo and built (see Makefile.gazebo.hg).
    rosmake simulator_gazebo
  6. to make changes to gazebo, go inside the mercurial checkout inside simulator_gazebo/gazebo/build/gazebo-hg/.

Note that above is compiled against a ''fuerte''-branch inside of gazebo repository, it's a snapshot back at revision gazebo-1.0.2. I've been testing it with gazebo-1.2.0 release candidate, if you want to test that branch out, get the sdf_1.2 branch

svn co simulator_gazebo

But this is not yet completely stable. And to run pr2 simulation, you might also want to checkout pr2_common along with it due to changes in SDF:

svn co pr2_common

as well as pr2_simulator

svn co pr2_simulator

into your workspace.