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

(a) Developing a single application (or a kernel or a bootloader)
For this, you should use a prebuilt toolchain from the Openmoko project. On this page 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.)
(b) 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/ (becoming root if needed). If any of 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 triad of ./configure, make, make install).

A (partial) list of required packages -- please append as necessary:

  • For most Linux version you might only need to install the packages
    • autoconf, automake
    • binutils, gcc, gcc-c++
    • libtool
    • ccache
    • intltool
  • For Ubuntu 8.04 ( Previous versions don't support libmokoui2 ) the following is required:
sudo apt-get install gcc g++ autoconf automake binutils libtool libglib2.0-dev \
ccache libxrender-dev intltool libmokoui2-dev libgconf2-dev mtools fakeroot alien check
  • For Ubuntu 8.10 the following is additionally required, install also those above:
sudo apt-get install uboot-mkimage
  • For Fedora-Core the following is required, while logged in as root:
yum install gcc gcc-c++ autoconf automake binutils libtool glib2-devel \
ccache libXrender-devel intltool GConf2-devel mtools gettext-devel

Fedora-Core does not appear to have libmokoui2 available.

  • For Debian (Sid) do (as root):
apt-get install build-essential ccache autoconf automake autotools-dev libtool \
gettext intltool curl uboot-mkimage mtools fakeroot alien check libglib2.0-dev \
libxrender-dev libgconf2-dev

Downloading and installing

NOTE: If you wish to improve an existing Openmoko application and you are running Debian or Ubuntu i386 (i.e. you can install a .deb), you may wish to skip the below and instead use:

Openmoko application development in 5 minutes by Andreas Dalsgaard. (based on the 2007.2 stack)

The prebuilt toolchain can be downloaded from

  • Creating a destination directory can be anywhere, but for example:
 mkdir ~/sources
 cd ~/sources
  • Download the latest package:

Be careful to download the correct version, you get problems later on. 32bit version should still be the default.





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

  • Extract it directly as root, so use command "su" first (or prefix the tar command with "sudo" when you are using Debian/Ubuntu):
  cd /
  tar -xjvf ~/sources/openmoko-XYZ-arm-linux-gnueabi-toolchain.tar.bz2
  • On Debian-based systems (e.g. Ubuntu), you can use alien(+fakeroot) to create an easy-to-uninstall package from this .tar.bz2:
  bunzip2 openmoko-*-armv4t-linux-gnueabi-toolchain*.tar.bz2
  gzip openmoko-*-armv4t-linux-gnueabi-toolchain*.tar
  fakeroot alien -d openmoko-*-armv4t-linux-gnueabi-toolchain*.tar.gz
  sudo dpkg -i openmoko-*-armv4t-linux-gnueabi-toolchain*.deb
  • The prebuilt toolchain is for x86_64 or i686. If you wanted, you could build it on your own with OE, using BitBake:
  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. Note that if you are not using a "sh" or "bash" shell (check with "echo $SHELL") that you need to start "sh" or "bash" first.

. /usr/local/openmoko/arm/bin/setup-env

Workaround 64bit:

The current version does not contain this file. Get the 32bit version and extract the file from there. Put it to the location mentioned above and continue with the execution described above.

  • At least, you should add /usr/local/openmoko/arm/bin to your $PATH variable, otherwise the next steps won't work (om-conf and make).
export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/openmoko/arm/bin 

Note: This is will only last for your current session. Add it to your shell startup scripts to make it permanent (~/.bashrc for instance).

Installing New Libraries

Openmoko toolchain doesn't include many libraries by default. However, it can download and install libraries that already exist in the Openmoko repository. It refers to the Testing Repository by default. There are wrong address in /usr/local/openmoko/arm/arm-angstrom-linux-gnueabi/etc/opkg.conf. Check what you have, and modify if needed. You can check with your browser what you want to use:

#Some working example. /usr/local/openmoko/arm/arm-angstrom-linux-gnueabi/etc/opkg.conf
src oe
arch all 1
src oe-all
arch any 6
arch noarch 11
arch arm 16
arch armv4t 21
src oe-armv4t
arch om-gta02 36
src oe-om-gta02
  • You need to alter some environment variables before you download libraries.
 . /usr/local/openmoko/arm/environment-setup
  • First, update the opkg database (Notice, you should use alias opkg-target and not opkg. If you get an "Could not obtain administrative lock" error, try to become root with "sudo su" and don't forget to rerun the scripts to set your environment variables if necessary.)
opkg-target update

If download fails and you get error 0, likely that you have installed 32bit version but have 64bit os

  • Second, select a package that you want. Let's use edje as an example. If you want to develop a project which use edje of Enlightenment, you can use opkg-target list to print out how many packages you can have. Of course, command grep will help you a lot. (Remember, you should install the -dev package and not only libedje.)
opkg-target list |grep edje-dev
  • Third, install it
opkg-target install libedje-dev
  • Fourth, have a cup of coffee and wait.

Building a sample project

To build the sample project you need to install libmokoui2-dev and gconf-dbus-dev in your opkg environment. Setup your environment like described there [1]. Now install the libraries with the following command:

opkg-target install libmokoui2-dev gconf-dbus-dev

In a chosen destination directory (in this example ~/):

  • copy the downloaded sample application source:
cp -r /usr/local/openmoko/source/openmoko-sample2 ~/
  • Remember to set the proper environment variables (again with "sh" or "bash") for openmoko:
. /usr/local/openmoko/arm/bin/setup-env
  • One can chown -R <your-name>.<your-name> /usr/local/openmoko/arm, and

everything should work under the non-root account. Here is a useful link if you have problems with the command below ( )

  • You need to create a build configuration for this application. This also checks if all needed libraries, tools, etc.. is available on your system. If this fails see the notes about the needed packages in the section "Prerequisites" mentioned earlier.
om-conf openmoko-sample2
  • Optionally now you can modify the source code in openmoko-sample2/src. Before the next step, go into the sample directory.
cd openmoko-sample2
  • If you are using an older version of the toolchain, you may have to create the makefile by running "./". Otherwise, to build the application from the source code just type:
  • If there are errors (i.e. "You need to install gnome-common from the GNOME CVS") deal with them. Also see "Troubleshooting" section at the end of this page for known issues.

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

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

How to create your own project from the sample project

In order to build your own project by using openmoko-sample2 files, some changes are needed:

  • copy the downloaded sample application source
cp -r /usr/local/openmoko/source/openmoko-sample2 ~/

  • rename the folder with the name of your project (in this example your-project-name) and delete old sample files
mv openmoko-sample2 your-project-name
cd your-project-name
cd src
rm *.c
  • copy your sources (in this example your-sources) into src/
cp your-sources .
cd ..
  • now in the main folder modify by updating the following lines
  • modify by updating the following lines ('main.c' should be the main file in your project)
AC_INIT(your-project-name, 0.0.1,    
  • go into data/ folder and rename these files with the name of your project
cd data
mv openmoko-sample.png your-project-name.png
mv openmoko-sample.desktop your-project-name.desktop
  • modify inside data/ by updating the following lines
dist_desktop_DATA = your-project-name.desktop
dist_appicon_DATA = your-project-name.png
  • modify inside data/ by updating the following lines
dist_desktop_DATA = your-project-name.desktop
dist_appicon_DATA = your-project-name.png
  • modify your-project-name.desktop by updating the following lines
  • and by adding the following line
  • move into src/ folder
cd ..
cd src
  • modify by updating the following lines
bin_PROGRAMS = your-project-name	
your_project_name_SOURCES = \				
your_project_name_LDADD  = @DEPENDENCIES_LIBS@
  • be sure to put instead of main.c all your .c and .h files and modify all the '-' characters with '_' in the variable names

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@ opkg 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

Building Openmoko Kernel from git repo using Toolchain

Explained in more detail at Kernel#Building_the_2.6.32_branch.

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
tar xjf uriparser-0.6.0.tar.bz2
cd uriparser-0.6.0
./configure --host=arm-angstrom-linux-gnueabi \
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 the Openmoko Distribution.


  • Some Versions of the Toolchain have corrupt .la files. If you compile an application using the Toolchain and you receive a '/space/fic/openmoko-daily/neo1973/work/armv4t-angstrom-linux-gnueabi/pango-1.18.3-r0/pango-1.18.3/pango/' error, you are affected. To fix that you should go to your "/usr/local/openmoko/arm/arm-angstrom-linux-gnueabi/usr/lib" directory and open the affected .la files and change "/space/fic..." to "/usr/local/openmoko/arm/arm-angstrom-linux-gnueabi/usr/lib". You have to fix more than one .la file. For the pango error you have to change "", but there are more corrupt .la files.

Attached is a beta fix for the .la problem. Untar the .tar.bz2 as root, and execute the following bash script as root:

       for la in `find $DIR -iname \*.la`; do
        . $la
        for lib in $dependency_libs ; do
        delib=`echo $lib | grep -E .la$`
        if [ -z $delib ] ; then
         echo -n
        elif [ -f $delib ]; then
         echo -n
         basedelib=`basename $delib`
         replacedelibs=`find $DIR -iname $basedelib`
         for replacedelib in $replacedelibs ; do
         if [ $replacedelib == $delib ]; then
         if [ $found -gt 0 ] ; then
          echo -n
           sed_delib=`echo $delib | sed 's/\//\\\\\//g'`
           sed_replacedelib=`echo $replacedelib | sed 's/\//\\\\\//g'`
           # A bit slow, we could chain expressions for speed. :)
           cp $la $la.old
           cat $la | sed "s/$sed_delib/$sed_replacedelib/g" > $
           mv $ $la
           rm $la.old
  • If you can't get the toolchain working in your distro (for example if you keep bumping into strange autotools issues), you can set up the toolchain inside a Debian chroot, which should provide reasonably standard environment. There's a guide for it:
  • If you get something similar:
 ../libtool: X--tag=CC: command not found

under Ubuntu 8.10. Try do this:

 sudo apt-get remove libtool


 sudo dpkg -i libtool_1.5.26-1ubuntu1_i386.deb 

The original message here

Old troubleshooting information

If it fails with error message "arm-angstrom-linux-gnueabi-ld: unrecognized option '-Wl,-rpath-link,/usr/local/openmoko/arm/arm-angstrom-linux-gnueabi/lib'" until /usr/local/openmoko/arm/bin/setup-env is modified. LDFLAGS should be changed from:

export LDFLAGS="-L${OMTOOL_DIR}/arm/arm-angstrom-linux-gnueabi/lib -Wl,-rpath-link,${OMTOOL_DIR}/arm/arm-angstrom-linux-gnueabi/lib -Wl,-O1"


export LDFLAGS="-L${OMTOOL_DIR}/arm/arm-angstrom-linux-gnueabi/lib -rpath-link ${OMTOOL_DIR}/arm/arm-angstrom-linux-gnueabi/lib -O1"

I also had to change the 'build' script to hardcode the path to the compiler.

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