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Return to Toolchain.

Personal tools


A toolchain is a set of tools that allows you to compile code. For OpenMoko, we have to differenciate the following use-cases:

  • Developing a single application

For this, you should use a prebuilt toolchain from the OpenMoko project. Here you can find a recipe to get started with this toolchain leading you through a series of steps to compile a project and run it on your target device. You might have heard about OpenEmbedded, however as an application programmer, you should not be using OpenEmbedded.

  • System Integration and customizing a distribution

For this task, you should use OpenEmbedded which builds its own cross compiler during the bootstrapping/build process. System Integration and customizing a distribution is out of scope of this page.

Basic toolchain usage


You should be reasonably familiar with Linux and its command line tools, have an x86-compatible computer with at least 1G of free disk space. You should have experience with compiling programs from source using your local compiler. The remainder of this document will also assume you have write access in your home directory (~) and /usr/local/. If this is not the case, please call your local administrator for help.

Last but not least you should have a working setup that allows you to compile native software packages using the autotools build system (the triade of ./configure, make, make install).

  • A (partial) list of required packages -- please append as necessary:
    • autoconf, automake
    • binutils, gcc, gcc-c++
    • libtool
    • ccache

Downloading and installing

The prebuilt toolchain can be downloaded from []:

mkdir ~/sources
cd ~/sources



Next, you want to extract it on your filesystem. This toolchain is not relocatable, it needs to be installed into /usr/local/openmoko/:

cd /
tar xjvf ~/sources/openmoko-XYZ-arm-linux-gnueabi-toolchain.tar.bz2

The prebuilt toolchain is for x86_64 or i686. If you wanted, you could build it on your own with OE:

bitbake meta-toolchain-openmoko

Finally, everytime you want to use this toolchain, you need to alter some environment variables, so that your tools will be found. The toolchain provides a script to do that, so the only thing you need to do is to source it:

source /usr/local/openmoko/arm/setup-env

On Debian-based systems, you can use alien(+fakeroot) to create an easy-to-uninstall package from this .tar.bz2 (install with dpkg -i <package.deb>):

bunzip2 openmoko-x86_64-arm-linux-gnueabi-toolchain.tar.bz2
gzip openmoko-x86_64-arm-linux-gnueabi-toolchain.tar
fakeroot alien -d openmoko-x86_64-arm-linux-gnueabi-toolchain.tar.gz

Building a sample project

In your home directory:

cp -r /usr/local/openmoko/source/openmoko-sample2 ~/
. /usr/local/openmoko/arm/setup-env
om-conf openmoko-sample2
<modify it if you want and make>

If you want to install this project on host for staging usage later, a shared library, for example, you can then call make install to install it into the configured prefix.

om-conf --prefix=/usr/local/openmoko openmoko-sample2
make install

Packaging your application

We have included a script to make an ipkg out of your application. Note that this is not needed to test your application on the Neo (for that you can just scp the resulting binary and data over), however it's very handy if you want to distribute your application to others.

om-make-ipkg openmoko-sample2

Now you got openmoko-sample2_0.1_armv4t.ipk , you can `scp' it to your Neo and install it:

scp openmoko-sample2_0.1_armv4t.ipk root@
ssh root@ ipkg install openmoko-sample2_0.1_armv4t.ipk

Note that while you can redistribute the generated ipkg, be aware that this is a bare-bones ipk that contains no further information, i.e. you will lack library dependencies. See below how to fix this.

You can also supply the version number, a description, and an author / contacts string in a control file:

om-make-ipkg myapp myapp_control

A template of myapp_control:

Package: $appname
Version: 0.1
Description: package built by openmoko toolchain
Section: openmoko/applications
Priority: optional
Maintainer: $USER
Architecture: armv4t
Source: ${SRC}

Where to go from here

Using the external toolchain is an easy way to build applications for your Neo. If you are familiar with this procedure, you might also want to look into

Advanced topics

Using toolchain provided libraries

Add the necessary libraries to the _LDADD field in src/, for example:

openmoko_sample2_LDADD  = @DEPENDENCIES_LIBS@ -lmokogsmd2

make sure to run om-conf again after this.

Installing additional libraries into the toolchain

Sooner or later you will want to compile an application that has dependencies which can't be fulfilled by the precompiled toolchain, e.g. some obscure libraries.

In that case, feel free to request the inclusion of additional libraries into the next release of the OpenMoko toolchain. Until then, here is how you enhance your already installed toolchain. Say, we want to add the library called liburiparse:

cd ~/source
./configure --host=arm-angstrom-linux-gnueabi --prefix=/usr/local/openmoko/arm
make install

That's it.

Getting your application packaged by OE

If you have written a cool application which you want to share with others, the best way to do that is to

  1. upload your application source code to a public location
  2. submit a BitBake recipe to OpenEmbedded, preferably via the OpenEmbedded bugtracker.

See also Customizing your OpenMoko distribution.