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NOTE: According to the source repository for MokoMakefile, this tool is obsolete. See Toolchain on how to develop for Openmoko.

MokoMakefile is a 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.

MokoMakefile does not install anything into your system (it can and should be started as normal user). MokoMakefile is a wrapper around all that is required 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 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 the stable, testing and unstable versions of the FSO distribution images.

MokoMakefile no longer builds the QEMU-based Neo1973 emulator.


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 fulfilled 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 beyond 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).
  • Time: The initial build takes at least 5 hours (on 2GHz core2duo without multiprocessor optimization) and may take several days on slower machines.

Required software

Some distribution specific hints on preparing your build host for building OpenEmbedded are on but they may be outdated, incomplete and do not cover everything which Openmoko needs to build.

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

If you forgot anything which OE needs itself, OE will tell you shortly after you start building, but it does not check build dependencies of Openmoko, so you either have to install them before starting or install them after the build failed. OpenEmbedded will continue where it stopped when you restart the build afterwards.

Package requirements by distribution

Your distribution needs to provide these commands in order for OpenEmbedded to start building: subversion texi2html texinfo help2man

Openmoko needs the development packages (with header files, development libraries and tools) in order to finish building:

ncurses zlib (or libz) OpenSSL GTK++

Because there are bugs in the interaction of QEMU and GCC-4, you'll need a copy of gcc-3.x installed as well.

Debian / Ubuntu
sudo apt-get install subversion build-essential help2man diffstat texi2html texinfo cvs gawk zip unzip cogito bzip2
sudo apt-get install libncurses5-dev zlib1g-dev libssl-dev libgtk2.0-dev
# To prevent errors in host validation
sudo apt-get install ca-certificates
# For Openmoko 2007.2 using BitBake-1.8.8:
sudo apt-get install python-pysqlite2 sqlite3 sqlite3-doc python-pysqlite2-dbg
# For building faster
sudo apt-get install quilt python-psyco ccache
# For qemu, install a second compiler for bug avoidance; MokoMakefile knows to look for it.
sudo apt-get install gcc-3.4 g++-3.4 libsdl1.2-dev lynx netpbm dosfstools

# On Ubuntu 8.04 and and Debian testing/unstable, the following was required instead of cogito
sudo apt-get install git-core
# Ubuntu links /bin/sh to /bin/dash, but some scripts fail because they use pushd and popd, which dash does not support
sudo dpkg-reconfigure dash
# Select No when it asks you to install dash as /bin/sh.

# This may be needed only for ASU
sudo apt-get install libxtst-dev

For building Openmoko on 10.3, you need

gcc-c++ ncurses-devel zlib-devel libopenssl-devel gtk2-devel subversion diffstat texinfo help2man

For MokoMakefile to not fail on compiling qemu-user, you need to use gcc33:

rpm -Uhv {cpp,gcc}33-3.3.3-41.8.i586.rpm

See also the Talk page on Building on SuSE Linux 10.3-AMD64

10.1 and 10.2: same packages as 10.3, but install openssl-devel instead of libopenssl-devel.

urpmi git help2man diffstat texi2html texinfo

(Tested with Mandriva 2009.0. kernel-desktop-devel of the current kernel is installed in advance, which installs compilers, binutils and many other general compilation tools.)

For all distributions

As the QEMU-based neo1973 emulator is also built as part of the build process started by MokoMakefile, so you need gcc-3.3 and other packages for building QEMU installed. See the build requirements section in Using QEMU with MokoMakefile for information on the required software.

If you are having problems compiling QEMU and do not need it, you can disable building of QEMU by adding following line to build/conf/local.conf file:


Users behind a proxy should ensure that their proxy is configured in their wgetrc file as the http_proxy environment variable is unset by MokoMakefile.

Building Openmoko with MokoMakefile


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

mkdir ~/moko ; cd ~/moko

If you have your ~/moko dir mounted from a different file system, be sure to edit /etc/mtab to add the 'exec' permission to the file system, else bitbake will fail with error messages stating that /usr/bin/env is an invalid interpreter. If you ever want to move your $OMDIR to another location, you must run

make clobber ; make setup

to reinitialize the environment. Yes, this will take a long time, so choose $OMDIR carefully.


Grab MokoMakefile:

NOTE: MokoMakefile uses BitBake 1.8.x 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


Set up the environment with:

make setup


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

make fso-gta02-testing-image


make fso-gta01-testing-image

Hint: The images build with this command can be found under ${OMDIR}/fso-testing/tmp/deploy/glibc/images/

This will set up the recommended directory structure, 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 fso-testing directory and run bitbake commands manually. The choice is yours.

With luck - you should now have images in your ${OMDIR}/fso-testing/tmp/deploy/glibc/images/ directory. You can then flash these.

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-common

Be aware that any changes you previously made to the Makefile are lost when executing 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 checkouts and the MokoMakefile patches to the latest version:

make update

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

make update-common && make setup update fso-gta02-testing-image

Build issues

First, make sure that the problem is reproducible after running

make update-common && make setup && make update

If not, and 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 in the Openmoko development Trac at or in #openmoko on IRC. If bitbake has started to run, then it's almost guaranteed that the problem is in the OE build recipes, *not* in the MokoMakefile itself (which is just a convenience wrapper around the OpenEmbedded build system). Please do not report build recipe errors to the MokoMakefile author.

If you have chronic build problems, cleaning your environment variables and re-running the build from scratch may help. The following script should remove all non-essential variables; you should also manually trim your path to the minimum.

| sed 's/^\(.*\)=.*/unset \1/'`

(you must include the backticks).

Note that on some boxes it is necessary to call "make" by typing "/usr/bin/make" afterwards.

On current Ubuntu/Debian unstable/testing boxes another trick is necessary. glibc_2.6.1 fails to build since it is unable to generate the necessary locales until you type in the following line:

sudo sysctl -w vm.mmap_min_addr=0

Note that this temporarily disables a new security vulnerability check that has entered /etc/sysctrl - but that makes problems with loads of applications.

To re-enable this check do the following:

sudo sysctl -w vm.mmap_min_addr=65536

See the talk page of this article for more details on this solution.

Known MokoMakefile errors

SVN Server Certificate Errors

If you get an error like the following:

NOTE: Fetch svn://;module=assassin;proto=https
Error validating server certificate for '':
- The certificate is not issued by a trusted authority. Use the
fingerprint to validate the certificate manually!
Certificate information:
- Hostname:
- Valid: from Thu, 05 Jun 2008 01:02:42 GMT until Tue, 02 Dec 2008 01:02:42 GMT
- Issuer:, Root CA
- Fingerprint: a5:7d:4e:37:e8:94:ee:ba:c1:e8:e9:4b:33:cb:34:91:a9:6d:d3:84
(R)eject, accept (t)emporarily or accept (p)ermanently?
svn: OPTIONS of '':
Server certificate verification failed: issuer is not trusted (

It means you haven't yet accepted the server certificate for the SVN server. To remedy this, execute the following commands, and hit "p" (to permanently accept the certificate) when prompted:

cd /tmp
svn co
rm -rf assassin
cd -

exposure_svn and Subversion 1.5.0

If you get an error like this:

"NameError: global name 'log' is not defined"

There's a bug with subversion 1.5.0 -- downgrade to 1.4.x (or check out the latest subversion sources and use those as they're fixed) and re-fetch the sources.

Fixes for distribution/environment-specific or isolated issues

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


  • Make sure umask is set to 0022 before you run "make setup"
  • 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 fso-testing
. ./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.

  • I have some problem with the parallel building, mkfs.jffs failed to build the image because the directory was modify while the building of the fs. patrick.hetu 02:19, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 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 the whole image, run make build-package-package-index.

User:Wurp will update this to be a little more comprehensible, but maybe it can help someone as-is in the meantime:

  • If MokoMakefile always fails on some fetch in zlib, just find the binary somewhere, add it to the downloads or sources directory manually (create the .md5 matching file if necessary), and retry.
  • Make sure you do not have . in your PATH, this causes an "unrecognized option -Qy" error when building g++spec

Useful commands

Here is the list (not complete) of useful MokoMakefile commands (actually make targets) and a short description of each one. These should be run inside $OMDIR directory.

make fso-gta02-testing-image 
build the full development image
make fso-gta02-unstable-image 
build the unstable bleeding edge image (it often will not build or run)
make update-common 
updates MokoMakefile
make setup 
to make sure that any recent changes to the build directory structure have been applied
make update 
to update the Openmoko repository checkout and the MokoMakefile patches to the latest version

Developing with MokoMakefile

You are not advised to use MokoMakefile for application development. Openmoko distributes a stand-alone toolchain for that purpose.


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!", "Wow this build system is nice - it just seems more polished than my gumstix toolchain buildroot system", "make openmoko-devel-image :) - no magic there", and "I have never been able to get a build to complete in the pure OE environment, whereas Mokomakefile for some reason builds fine."

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