This is probably the most complicated topic of all related to embedded development but we need to deal with it at the beginning. I read a lot about toolchains but still don’t know enough to explain details. I think that best answers are in crosstool-ng documentation.
What is toolchain ?
Toolchain as the name said is a set of tools chained together, so output of one tool is the input for different tool. This is well known concept in Linux (eg. pipes). In embedded environment toolchain is called cross-toolchain or cross-compiler, because usually it compiles on one architecture and generate code for another eg. it compiles on x86 and generate code for arm.
Why we need cross-toolchain ?
I suspect that your laptop/PC is not based on ARM processor, most probably it based on x86 architecture so you cannot simply compile code and run it in our virtual-arm-based environment. To prepare operating system and tools for it we need cross-toolchain.
How to create toolchain ?
Process of creating cross-toolchain from scratch is not easy and takes some
time. There are few other ways to get toolchain, than creating it from scratch.
First we can use prebuilt toolchain providers like:
DENX EDLK or
Emdebian. Second we can create toolchain using special building
Bitbake. I will not deal with
preparing toolchain in this series because procedure for creating it takes
pretty long. So we have two options:
- read my article about Crosstool-NG arm-unknown-linux-gnueabi
- or install toolchain ready to use like Emdebian
Add below lines to you
Install Emdebian keys, update and install cross-compiler with all related packages:
Dependency problems during installation
If above attempt to install cross-compiler ends with:
This means that Debian ustable cross-compiler is not available for you
configuration. You can read more about that
here. To fix
that issue simply change emdebian toochain repository to testing in
Emdebian toolchain configuration
arm-linux-eabi-gcc-4.7 was installed:
It is not linked to
arm-linux-gnueabi-gcc, so we cannot give its prefix as
CROSS_COMPILE variable value, which is needed for bootloader and kernel
compilation. We have to link it to
Toolchain is ready to use.
Note: I tried
arm-2012.09-64-arm-none-linux-gnueabi.bin, but it contain
that not allow correctly build kernel. If you see something like this in log:
That means you experience same thing, please use
Note 2: If you’re
Ubuntu user I have to suggest experiments with toolchain
build by your own, because I get really hard times trying to go through this
tutorial with Ubuntu/Linaro cross compiler provided in repository. Finally I
used this to
push things forward. U-boot compiled with Ubuntu/Linaro toolchain had problem
__udivsi3 instruction. This cause loop in initialization process.
If you take effort of creating toolchain using
congratulations. But for simplifying whole
Virtual Development Board
series I will use
Emdebian toolchain in further posts. Of course you can use
your brand new
Crosstool-NG toolchain by simply remember that tools prefixes
arm-unknown-linux-gnueabi-. Replace one with another every time
when needed. In next post we will deal