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MokoMakefile is a simple Makefile which saves lots of work when setting up an OpenMoko build environment. By automating the setup process of a new OpenMoko build environment, it provides an environment which is configured the same for all the existing developers and should therefore be preferred over manual procedures or individual setup procedures.

It brings the same repeatability to build environment creation and maintenance as that which the BitBake scripts bring to OpenEmbedded ease and standardize the process of building OpenEmbedded.

Unlike the manual process described at Building OpenMoko from scratch, MokoMakefile does not install anything into your system (it can and should be started as normal user).

MokoMakefile is a wrapper around all that to make it easy to set up and maintain a development environment that fully complies with the setup instructions published by OpenMoko.

MokoMakefile is developed by Rod Whitby - it is not an official product of OpenMoko (although I would be happy for them to pick it up and use it internally). If there is any discrepancy between the official OpenMoko build instructions, and the operation of the MokoMakefile, then you should consider the official instructions to be correct.

The MokoMakefile is able to build either OM-2007.1 or OM-2007.2 images. The core team chooses the default, but you can select one or the other at the top of the Makefile.

Requirements for building OpenMoko

Independent on whether MokoMakefile or a manual process is used to setup an OpenMoko build environment, there are several requirements which must be fullfilled in order for the OpenMoko build to succeed:

  • RAM: The build host needs to have at least 512MB of RAM, and about the same amount of swap. Some packages built by OpenEmbedded like busybox are built by compiling all source files into one binary which causes gcc to grow belond 300MB of size and no part of this memory may be on swap for the compile to finish in predictable time. For busybox, this can be turned off, but turning this off means that busybox will not as well optimized by gcc.
  • Disk space: You need about 12 GB of available disk space for the OpenMoko build to succeed (see below for a tip on how to reduce this).
  • Software: gcc, gcc-c++, subversion and monotone and more (see below for distribution-specific hints)
  • Time: The initial build takes at least 5 hours (on 2GHz core2duo without multiprocessor optimization) and may take to several days on slower machines.

Package requirements by distribution

  • 10.3: gcc-c++ ncurses-devel zlib-devel libopenssl-devel gtk2-devel subversion and monotone
  • 10.1 and 10.2: same packages as 10.3, but install openssl-devel instead of libopenssl-devel. Use monotone for 10.2 or 10.1


With Qemu

This is an easy and good way to install a local version of openmoko on your linux computer(ubuntu). This is mostly the fastest way to get things working (approximatly 15 min)

see MokoMakefile#QEMU


Here are the steps to use it:

1 - Set up your build host is set up according to:

A good guide is also the section on build host prerequisites in Building OpenMoko from scratch

In addition, you'll need help2man, you can install it with your distribution's tools for example:

 apt-get install help2man

If you forgot anything which OE needs, OE will tell you on first start.

2 - Create your $OMDIR directory (note that you can change ~/moko to any directory you like):

  mkdir ~/moko ; cd ~/moko

3 - Grab MokoMakefile:


If that doesn't work, try

  note: If you want to compile for the old version 2007.1 instead of the new
        version edit the top of the Makefile. Edit the lines at the top to 
        look like this:
            OPENMOKO_GENERATION = 2007.1
            #OPENMOKO_GENERATION = 2007.2
NOTE: For building 2007.2, MokoMakefile uses BitBake 1.8.8 which requires python-sqlite2 and sqlite-3.3 or later. Users of SUSE Linux 10.1 can update to the version of openSUSE 10.2

4 - Set up the environment:

  make setup

5 - Start building. Before starting a lengthy make process, check in Tips section about how to make Make multicore aware. You may want to modify the build/conf/local.conf file for your target (emulation/chroot) environment:

  make openmoko-devel-image

This will set up the recommended directory structure as described in Building OpenMoko from scratch, will download all the required software (from the right places with the right versions), and will immediately start building an image.

Once you have done this, you can choose to continue using the MokoMakefile to initiate your subsequent builds, or you can go into the build directory and run bitbake commands manually. The choice is yours.

Updating the environment

For easy maintenance of your build environment the following commands are available.

1 - To update the MokoMakefile to the latest version:

  make update-makefile 

2 - To make sure that any recent changes to the build directory structure have been applied:

  make setup 

3 - To update the OpenMoko repository checkout and the MokoMakefile patches to the latest version:

  make update

A quick way to rebuild a new image with the latest updates:

  make update-makefile && make setup update openmoko-devel-image

Reporting Problems

First, make sure that the problem is reproducible after running

make update-makefile && make setup && make update

then running

make clean-package-<foo>

(where you replace <foo> with the name of the package which is failing)

then running

make openmoko-devel-image

If you can get the error to occur three times in a row after running that sequence of commands (including the update and setup steps) three times, then feel free to report it to rwhitby in #openmoko on IRC.

Known MokoMakefile errors

If you experience the following after changing from OM-2007.1 to OM-2007.2:

Patch bitbake-1.6.6-om3.patch does not apply (enforce with -f)

then type "make clobber-patches" to fix it. There was a period of 24 hours when there was a bug in the MokoMakefile which causes this problem. Once the patches have been clobbered, they will re-download and the problem will not reoccur.


Work-arounds for temporary or isolated problems should be added to the Discussion page which is associated with this page. As they are fixed, they will be removed from that page.


  • You can reduce the amount of consumed disk space significantly by adding
  INHERIT += "rm_work"

in your local.conf (e.g. ~/moko/build/conf/local.conf). This will remove the contents of each build/tmp/work/*/<package> directory after the corresponding package builds correctly.

  • If you an encounter an error with monotone similar to the following:
  mtn: misuse: database /home/username/moko/ is laid out according to an old schema

Then you need to upgrade Use the following command while in ~/moko:

  # mtn --db db migrate
  • If a certain package does not build due to corrupted download or some such try to remove the sources and rebuild it.
rm sources/<package>*
cd build
. ../setup-env
bitbake -crebuild <package>

after that your build might just work again.

  • For people with multiple CPU's (or dual-core ones) this small patch might be useful to build things faster.

Edit the local.conf and add the following lines:


Change the PARALLEL_MAKE and BB_NUMBER_THREADS values to something that suits better if it chokes your machine.

  • If you encounter an error related with the qemu-native package and not compiling for the qemu, you can edit the build/conf/local.conf file and add ENABLE_BINARY_LOCALE_GENERATION = "0" line to avoid the error.
  • To prevent building tons of locales, add a line like this to local.conf:
  • To not build any binary locales at all, add this to local.conf:
  • If you want to rebuild the package indexes (for instance, after compiling a new version of a package) without building openmoko-devel-image, run make build-package-package-index.

Build and setup of qemu-neo1973 using the MokoMakefile

The MokoMakefile has support for automatically building, flashing, and running OpenMoko under QEMU using qemu-neo1973, a fork of qemu which adds simulation of almost all Neo1973 devices in order allow testing OpenMoko images in a virtual environment.

Installation of qemu build requisites

  • gcc 3.4 or 3.3
  • lynx
  • netpbm
  • SDL-devel
  • mkdosfs (from dosfstools)
Debian 4.0 and Ubuntu 7.04
 sudo apt-get install gcc-3.4 lynx netpbm libsdl1.2-dev dosfstools
SUSE Linux / openSUSE

get gcc33 and cpp33 for SUSE Linux 10.1, openSUSE 10.2 and openSUSE Factory and install both rpms at once using:

rpm -Uhv cpp33-*.rpm gcc33-*.rpm

Install the packages lynx, netbpm, SDL-devel and dosfstools e.g. using yast, apt, or smart.

On 10.1 and 10.2, apply the workaround for qemu-neu1973 USB compilation.

Other distributions

You need gcc-3.x for building qemu, if you have no precompiled gcc-3.x packages, instructions to build gcc-3.3.6 for building qemu are found here:

Compilation and use

Create a new directory and download the Moko Makefile to it:

 mkdir openmoko
 cd openmoko

make qemu” will build qemu-neo1973, download the latest official OpenMoko images, flash the images into the virtual NAND flash, create an empty virtual SD card, and run the emulator (you still need to install the makefile as mentioned above, however).

  • make run-qemu - restarts qemu with the currently flashed OpenMoko images and current virtual SD card.
  • make run-qemu-snapshot - does the same but starts qemu with -snapshot which causes QEMU to write all changes to temporary files instead of flash and disk image files.
    This has the benefit that the virtual neu1973 is not changed, but that also all changes make run-qemu-snapshot in parallel without creating incoherent flash and SD card state as it would occur when one (or even more) instances would update disk or flash images while other instances do not expect this to happen underneath. You can however force the write back by pressing C-a s in the QEMU window which may be useful to update the flash and disk images in the last qemu instance which is running to preserve the changes, after all other instances are terminated.

You may also use:

  • make download-images - to download the latest official images
  • make flash-qemu-official - to flash those images
  • make flash-qemu-local - to flash your latest locally built images, which can then be followed by
  • make qemu-copy-package-foo - copies foo.ipk to the virtual SD card, which allows you to use ipkg install /media/mmcblk0/file inside the running OpenMoko to install the package.

If you want to calibrate your screen, look at [1]

For detailed information on advanced usage of qemu-neo1973 see also: OpenMoko under QEMU

Developing with MokoMakefile

NOTE: If using MokoMakefile with OM2007.2 then references to $OMDIR/openmoko should be replaced with $OMDIR/openembedded. Also references to tmp/work/armv4t-linux should be replaced with tmp/work/fic-gta01-angstrom-linux-gnueabi

For the following explanations $OMDIR is the directory where there Makefile puts all the stuff.

To make in-tree changes and have them built and used by qemu:

 cd $OMDIR/openmoko
 quilt new descriptive-patch-name.patch
 quilt add trunk/src/name-of-file-to-change # do this for every file you are about to modify
 ...make the changes...
 quilt refresh # this creates a file in $OMDIR/patches/openmoko-HEAD/ and updates the quilt series file there

Note: Do NOT use absolute paths as this confuses quilt and will get you a diff of the file against /dev/null!

To build the changes and have them used by qemu:

 make build-qemu
 make flash-qemu-local
 make run-qemu

If you want to modify applications instead of the openmoko toolchain, this is what you have to do (example: openmoko-messages):

 cd $OMDIR/build
 . ../setup-env
 bitbake -c unpack openmoko-messages
 cd ../build/tmp/work/armv4t-linux/openmoko-messages-0.0.1+svnnow-r2_2276/openmoko-messages/
 ...make the changes...
 cd -
 bitbake openmoko-messages

Then continue with MokoMakefile usage.

If you want to add an application to your openmoko distribution, do this: All file edits should be done using quilt as described above. That way a patch can easily be submitted to the openmoko project. First, create a directory that will correspond to your package and edit a .bb file in there:

 cd $OMDIR/openmoko/
 quilt new mycoolpackage.patch
 mkdir trunk/oe/packages/mycoolpackage
 quilt add trunk/oe/packages/mycoolpackage/
 quilt edit trunk/oe/packages/mycoolpackage/

The file should have the following content:

 DESCRIPTION = "This is a cool package"
 SECTION = "username/mycoolpackage"
 PV = "1"
 inherit autotools
 SRC_URI = ""


  • DESCRIPTION - Just a short text explaining the package
  • SECTION - I have no clue, but I'll use username/mycoolpackage for now
  • PV - Package Version
  • inherit autotools - The package can be compiled by './configure && make && make install' so we tell MokoMakefile to do it this way.
  • SRC_URI = ... - This is the download location of the package source. It's imperative that the tar.gz contains a directory called packagename-packageversion (in this case: mycoolpackage-1) so that MokoMakefile can find it automatically or the build will fail.

This is not all. We also need to tell MokoMakfile that it needs to build and include the package in the image. To do this, do

 $OMDIR/openmoko# quilt edit trunk/oe/packages/tasks/

Here, increase the value PR by one and add mycoolpackage \ (with the backslash!) just before the line reading # update-alternatives \.

Now run

 quilt refresh
 cd ..
 make update openmoko-devel-image

And if everything's alright you should now have an OpenMoko image to flash to your phone or run in qemu as described above.

Hello World application

There is a Hello World! tutorial available too.


MokoMakefile is recommended by 4 out of 4 new developers on #openmoko, with testimonials such as "For some reason last night I couldn't get my manual install of everything to work (bb complained about my bbpath I think) ... but with your makefile, it works great!", "MokoMakefile rocks!", and "Wow this build system is nice - it just seems more polished than my gumstix toolchain buildroot system".

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