Yocto Project Application Developer's Guide

Jessica Zhang

Intel Corporation

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales as published by Creative Commons.

Note

Due to production processes, there could be differences between the Yocto Project documentation bundled in the release tarball and the Yocto Project Application Developer's Guide on the Yocto Project website. For the latest version of this manual, see the manual on the website.
Revision History
Revision 1.06 April 2011
Released with the Yocto Project 1.0 Release.
Revision 1.0.123 May 2011
Released with the Yocto Project 1.0.1 Release.
Revision 1.16 October 2011
Released with the Yocto Project 1.1 Release.
Revision 1.2April 2012
Released with the Yocto Project 1.2 Release.
Revision 1.3October 2012
Released with the Yocto Project 1.3 Release.
Revision 1.4April 2013
Released with the Yocto Project 1.4 Release.
Revision 1.4.1June 2013
Released with the Yocto Project 1.4.1 Release.
Revision 1.4.2August 2013
Released with the Yocto Project 1.4.2 Release.
Revision 1.4.3March 2014
Released with the Yocto Project 1.4.3 Release.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
1.1. The Application Development Toolkit (ADT)
1.1.1. The Cross-Development Toolchain
1.1.2. Sysroot
1.1.3. Eclipse Yocto Plug-in
1.1.4. The QEMU Emulator
1.1.5. User-Space Tools
2. Preparing for Application Development
2.1. Installing the ADT and Toolchains
2.1.1. Using the ADT Installer
2.1.2. Using a Cross-Toolchain Tarball
2.1.3. Using BitBake and the Build Directory
2.2. Setting Up the Cross-Development Environment
2.3. Securing Kernel and Filesystem Images
2.3.1. Getting the Images
2.3.2. Extracting the Root Filesystem
3. Optionally Customizing the Development Packages Installation
3.1. Package Management Systems
3.2. Configuring the PMS
4. Using the Command Line
4.1. Autotools-Based Projects
4.1.1. Creating and Running a Project Based on GNU Autotools
4.1.2. Passing Host Options
4.2. Makefile-Based Projects

Chapter 1. Introduction

Welcome to the Yocto Project Application Developer's Guide. This manual provides information that lets you begin developing applications using the Yocto Project.

The Yocto Project provides an application development environment based on an Application Development Toolkit (ADT) and the availability of stand-alone cross-development toolchains and other tools. This manual describes the ADT and how you can configure and install it, how to access and use the cross-development toolchains, how to customize the development packages installation, how to use command line development for both Autotools-based and Makefile-based projects, and an introduction to the Eclipse™ IDE Yocto Plug-in.

Note

The ADT is distribution-neutral and does not require the Yocto Project reference distribution, which is called Poky. This manual, however, uses examples that use the Poky distribution.

1.1. The Application Development Toolkit (ADT)

Part of the Yocto Project development solution is an Application Development Toolkit (ADT). The ADT provides you with a custom-built, cross-development platform suited for developing a user-targeted product application.

Fundamentally, the ADT consists of the following:

  • An architecture-specific cross-toolchain and matching sysroot both built by the OpenEmbedded build system. The toolchain and sysroot are based on a Metadata configuration and extensions, which allows you to cross-develop on the host machine for the target hardware.

  • The Eclipse IDE Yocto Plug-in.

  • The Quick EMUlator (QEMU), which lets you simulate target hardware.

  • Various user-space tools that greatly enhance your application development experience.

1.1.1. The Cross-Development Toolchain

The Cross-Development Toolchain consists of a cross-compiler, cross-linker, and cross-debugger that are used to develop user-space applications for targeted hardware. This toolchain is created either by running the ADT Installer script, a toolchain installer script, or through a Build Directory that is based on your Metadata configuration or extension for your targeted device. The cross-toolchain works with a matching target sysroot.

1.1.2. Sysroot

The matching target sysroot contains needed headers and libraries for generating binaries that run on the target architecture. The sysroot is based on the target root filesystem image that is built by the OpenEmbedded build system and uses the same Metadata configuration used to build the cross-toolchain.

1.1.3. Eclipse Yocto Plug-in

The Eclipse IDE is a popular development environment and it fully supports development using the Yocto Project. When you install and configure the Eclipse Yocto Project Plug-in into the Eclipse IDE, you maximize your Yocto Project experience. Installing and configuring the Plug-in results in an environment that has extensions specifically designed to let you more easily develop software. These extensions allow for cross-compilation, deployment, and execution of your output into a QEMU emulation session. You can also perform cross-debugging and profiling. The environment also supports a suite of tools that allows you to perform remote profiling, tracing, collection of power data, collection of latency data, and collection of performance data.

For information about the application development workflow that uses the Eclipse IDE and for a detailed example of how to install and configure the Eclipse Yocto Project Plug-in, see the "Working Within Eclipse" section of the Yocto Project Development Manual.

1.1.4. The QEMU Emulator

The QEMU emulator allows you to simulate your hardware while running your application or image. QEMU is made available a number of ways:

  • If you use the ADT Installer script to install ADT, you can specify whether or not to install QEMU.

  • If you have downloaded a Yocto Project release and unpacked it to create a Source Directory and you have sourced the environment setup script, QEMU is installed and automatically available.

  • If you have installed the cross-toolchain tarball and you have sourced the toolchain's setup environment script, QEMU is also installed and automatically available.

1.1.5. User-Space Tools

User-space tools are included as part of the distribution. You will find these tools helpful during development. The tools include LatencyTOP, PowerTOP, OProfile, Perf, SystemTap, and Lttng-ust. These tools are common development tools for the Linux platform.

  • LatencyTOP: LatencyTOP focuses on latency that causes skips in audio, stutters in your desktop experience, or situations that overload your server even when you have plenty of CPU power left. You can find out more about LatencyTOP at https://latencytop.org/.

  • PowerTOP: Helps you determine what software is using the most power. You can find out more about PowerTOP at https://01.org/powertop/.

  • OProfile: A system-wide profiler for Linux systems that is capable of profiling all running code at low overhead. You can find out more about OProfile at http://oprofile.sourceforge.net/about/. For examples on how to setup and use this tool, see the "OProfile" section in the Yocto Project Profiling and Tracing Manual.

  • Perf: Performance counters for Linux used to keep track of certain types of hardware and software events. For more information on these types of counters see https://perf.wiki.kernel.org/ and click on “Perf tools.” For examples on how to setup and use this tool, see the "perf" section in the Yocto Project Profiling and Tracing Manual.

  • SystemTap: A free software infrastructure that simplifies information gathering about a running Linux system. This information helps you diagnose performance or functional problems. SystemTap is not available as a user-space tool through the Eclipse IDE Yocto Plug-in. See http://sourceware.org/systemtap for more information on SystemTap. For examples on how to setup and use this tool, see the "SystemTap" section in the Yocto Project Profiling and Tracing Manual.

  • Lttng-ust: A User-space Tracer designed to provide detailed information on user-space activity. See http://lttng.org/ust for more information on Lttng-ust.

Chapter 2. Preparing for Application Development

In order to develop applications, you need set up your host development system. Several ways exist that allow you to install cross-development tools, QEMU, the Eclipse Yocto Plug-in, and other tools. This chapter describes how to prepare for application development.

2.1. Installing the ADT and Toolchains

The following list describes installation methods that set up varying degrees of tool availability on your system. Regardless of the installation method you choose, you must source the cross-toolchain environment setup script before you use a toolchain. See the "Setting Up the Cross-Development Environment" section for more information.

Note

Avoid mixing installation methods when installing toolchains for different architectures. For example, avoid using the ADT Installer to install some toolchains and then hand-installing cross-development toolchains by running the toolchain installer for different architectures. Mixing installation methods can result in situations where the ADT Installer becomes unreliable and might not install the toolchain.

If you must mix installation methods, you might avoid problems by deleting /var/lib/opkg, thus purging the opkg package metadata

  • Use the ADT installer script: This method is the recommended way to install the ADT because it automates much of the process for you. For example, you can configure the installation to install the QEMU emulator and the user-space NFS, specify which root filesystem profiles to download, and define the target sysroot location.

  • Use an existing toolchain: Using this method, you select and download an architecture-specific toolchain installer and then run the script to hand-install the toolchain. If you use this method, you just get the cross-toolchain and QEMU - you do not get any of the other mentioned benefits had you run the ADT Installer script.

  • Use the toolchain from within the Build Directory: If you already have a Build Directory, you can build the cross-toolchain within the directory. However, like the previous method mentioned, you only get the cross-toolchain and QEMU - you do not get any of the other benefits without taking separate steps.

2.1.1. Using the ADT Installer

To run the ADT Installer, you need to get the ADT Installer tarball, be sure you have the necessary host development packages that support the ADT Installer, and then run the ADT Installer Script.

For a list of the host packages needed to support ADT installation and use, see the "ADT Installer Extras" lists in the "Required Packages for the Host Development System" section of the Yocto Project Reference Manual.

2.1.1.1. Getting the ADT Installer Tarball

The ADT Installer is contained in the ADT Installer tarball. You can download the tarball into any directory from the Index of Releases, specifically at http://downloads.yoctoproject.org/releases/yocto/yocto-1.4.3/adt-installer. Or, you can use BitBake to generate the tarball inside the existing Build Directory.

If you use BitBake to generate the ADT Installer tarball, you must source the environment setup script (oe-init-build-env) located in the Source Directory before running the BitBake command that creates the tarball.

The following example commands download the Poky tarball, set up the Source Directory, set up the environment while also creating the default Build Directory, and run the BitBake command that results in the tarball ~/yocto-project/build/tmp/deploy/sdk/adt_installer.tar.bz2:

     $ cd ~
     $ mkdir yocto-project
     $ cd yocto-project
     $ wget http://downloads.yoctoproject.org/releases/yocto/yocto-1.4.3/poky-dylan-9.0.3.tar.bz2
     $ tar xjf poky-dylan-9.0.3.tar.bz2
     $ source poky-dylan-9.0.3/oe-init-build-env
     $ bitbake adt-installer
                

2.1.1.2. Configuring and Running the ADT Installer Script

Before running the ADT Installer script, you need to unpack the tarball. You can unpack the tarball in any directory you wish. For example, this command copies the ADT Installer tarball from where it was built into the home directory and then unpacks the tarball into a top-level directory named adt-installer:

     $ cd ~
     $ cp ~/poky/build/tmp/deploy/sdk/adt_installer.tar.bz2 $HOME
     $ tar -xjf adt_installer.tar.bz2
                

Unpacking it creates the directory adt-installer, which contains the ADT Installer script (adt_installer) and its configuration file (adt_installer.conf).

Before you run the script, however, you should examine the ADT Installer configuration file and be sure you are going to get what you want. Your configurations determine which kernel and filesystem image are downloaded.

The following list describes the configurations you can define for the ADT Installer. For configuration values and restrictions, see the comments in the adt-installer.conf file:

  • YOCTOADT_REPO: This area includes the IPKG-based packages and the root filesystem upon which the installation is based. If you want to set up your own IPKG repository pointed to by YOCTOADT_REPO, you need to be sure that the directory structure follows the same layout as the reference directory set up at http://adtrepo.yoctoproject.org. Also, your repository needs to be accessible through HTTP.

  • YOCTOADT_TARGETS: The machine target architectures for which you want to set up cross-development environments.

  • YOCTOADT_QEMU: Indicates whether or not to install the emulator QEMU.

  • YOCTOADT_NFS_UTIL: Indicates whether or not to install user-mode NFS. If you plan to use the Eclipse IDE Yocto plug-in against QEMU, you should install NFS.

    Note

    To boot QEMU images using our userspace NFS server, you need to be running portmap or rpcbind. If you are running rpcbind, you will also need to add the -i option when rpcbind starts up. Please make sure you understand the security implications of doing this. You might also have to modify your firewall settings to allow NFS booting to work.
  • YOCTOADT_ROOTFS_<arch>: The root filesystem images you want to download from the YOCTOADT_IPKG_REPO repository.

  • YOCTOADT_TARGET_SYSROOT_IMAGE_<arch>: The particular root filesystem used to extract and create the target sysroot. The value of this variable must have been specified with YOCTOADT_ROOTFS_<arch>. For example, if you downloaded both minimal and sato-sdk images by setting YOCTOADT_ROOTFS_<arch> to "minimal sato-sdk", then YOCTOADT_ROOTFS_<arch> must be set to either minimal or sato-sdk.

  • YOCTOADT_TARGET_SYSROOT_LOC_<arch>: The location on the development host where the target sysroot is created.

After you have configured the adt_installer.conf file, run the installer using the following command. Be sure that you are not trying to use cross-compilation tools. When you run the installer, the environment must use a host gcc:

     $ cd ~/adt-installer
     $ ./adt_installer
                

Once the installer begins to run, you are asked to enter the location for cross-toolchain installation. The default location is /opt/poky/<release>. After either accepting the default location or selecting your own location, you are prompted to run the installation script interactively or in silent mode. If you want to closely monitor the installation, choose “I” for interactive mode rather than “S” for silent mode. Follow the prompts from the script to complete the installation.

Once the installation completes, the ADT, which includes the cross-toolchain, is installed in the selected installation directory. You will notice environment setup files for the cross-toolchain in the installation directory, and image tarballs in the adt-installer directory according to your installer configurations, and the target sysroot located according to the YOCTOADT_TARGET_SYSROOT_LOC_<arch> variable also in your configuration file.

2.1.2. Using a Cross-Toolchain Tarball

If you want to simply install the cross-toolchain by hand, you can do so by running the toolchain installer. If you use this method to install the cross-toolchain and you might still need to install the target sysroot by installing and extracting it separately. For information on how to install the sysroot, see the "Extracting the Root Filesystem" section.

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to http://downloads.yoctoproject.org/releases/yocto/yocto-1.4.3/toolchain/ and find the folder that matches your host development system (i.e. i686 for 32-bit machines or x86-64 for 64-bit machines).

  2. Go into that folder and download the toolchain installer whose name includes the appropriate target architecture. For example, if your host development system is an Intel-based 64-bit system and you are going to use your cross-toolchain for an Intel-based 32-bit target, go into the x86_64 folder and download the following installer:

         poky-eglibc-x86_64-i586-toolchain-gmae-1.4.3.sh
                        

    Note

    As an alternative to steps one and two, you can build the toolchain installer if you have a Build Directory. If you need GMAE, you should use the bitbake meta-toolchain-gmae command. Running the resulting installation script will support such development. If you are not concerned with GMAE, you can generate the toolchain installer using bitbake meta-toolchain. Either of these methods requires you to still install the target sysroot by installing and extracting it separately. For information on how to install the sysroot, see the "Extracting the Root Filesystem" section.

    A final method of building the toolchain installer exists that has significant advantages over the previous two methods. This method results in a toolchain installer that contains the sysroot that matches your target root filesystem. To build this installer, use the bitbake image -c populate_sdk command.

    Remember, before using any bitbake command, you must source the poky-dylan-9.0.3/oe-init-build-env script located in the Source Directory and you must make sure your conf/local.conf variables are correct. In particular, you need to be sure the MACHINE variable matches the architecture for which you are building and that the SDKMACHINE variable is correctly set if you are building a toolchain for an architecture that differs from your current development host machine.

    When the BitBake command completes, the toolchain installer will be in tmp/deploy/sdk in the Build Directory.

  3. Once you have the installer, run it to install the toolchain. You must change the permissions on the toolchain installer script so that it is executable.

    The following command shows how to run the installer given a toolchain tarball for a 64-bit development host system and a 32-bit target architecture. The example assumes the toolchain installer is located in ~/Downloads/.

         $ ~/Downloads/poky-eglibc-x86_64-i586-toolchain-gmae-1.4.3.sh
                        

    Note

    If you do not have write permissions for the directory into which you are installing the toolchain, the toolchain installer notifies you and exits. Be sure you have write permissions in the directory and run the installer again.

    Once the tarball is expanded, the cross-toolchain is installed. You will notice environment setup files for the cross-toolchain in the directory.

2.1.3. Using BitBake and the Build Directory

A final way of making the cross-toolchain available is to use BitBake to generate the toolchain within an existing Build Directory. This method does not install the toolchain into the default /opt directory. As with the previous method, if you need to install the target sysroot, you must do that separately as well.

Follow these steps to generate the toolchain into the Build Directory:

  1. Source the environment setup script oe-init-build-env located in the Source Directory.

  2. At this point, you should be sure that the MACHINE variable in the local.conf file found in the conf directory of the Build Directory is set for the target architecture. Comments within the local.conf file list the values you can use for the MACHINE variable.

    Note

    You can populate the Build Directory with the cross-toolchains for more than a single architecture. You just need to edit the MACHINE variable in the local.conf file and re-run the BitBake command.
  3. Run bitbake meta-ide-support to complete the cross-toolchain generation.

    Note

    If you change out of your working directory after you source the environment setup script and before you run the BitBake command, the command might not work. Be sure to run the BitBake command immediately after checking or editing the local.conf but without changing out of your working directory.

    Once the BitBake command finishes, the cross-toolchain is generated and populated within the Build Directory. You will notice environment setup files for the cross-toolchain in the Build Directory in the tmp directory. Setup script filenames contain the strings environment-setup.

    Be aware that when you use this method to install the toolchain you still need to separately extract and install the sysroot filesystem. For information on how to do this, see the "Extracting the Root Filesystem" section.

2.2. Setting Up the Cross-Development Environment

Before you can develop using the cross-toolchain, you need to set up the cross-development environment by sourcing the toolchain's environment setup script. If you used the ADT Installer or hand-installed cross-toolchain, then you can find this script in the directory you chose for installation. The default installation directory is the /opt/poky/1.4.3 directory. If you installed the toolchain in the Build Directory, you can find the environment setup script for the toolchain in the Build Directory's tmp directory.

Be sure to run the environment setup script that matches the architecture for which you are developing. Environment setup scripts begin with the string "environment-setup" and include as part of their name the architecture. For example, the toolchain environment setup script for a 64-bit IA-based architecture installed in the default installation directory would be the following:

     /opt/poky/1.4.3/environment-setup-x86_64-poky-linux
        

2.3. Securing Kernel and Filesystem Images

You will need to have a kernel and filesystem image to boot using your hardware or the QEMU emulator. Furthermore, if you plan on booting your image using NFS or you want to use the root filesystem as the target sysroot, you need to extract the root filesystem.

2.3.1. Getting the Images

To get the kernel and filesystem images, you either have to build them or download pre-built versions. You can find examples for both these situations in the "A Quick Test Run" section of the Yocto Project Quick Start.

The Yocto Project ships basic kernel and filesystem images for several architectures (x86, x86-64, mips, powerpc, and arm) that you can use unaltered in the QEMU emulator. These kernel images reside in the release area - http://downloads.yoctoproject.org/releases/yocto/yocto-1.4.3/machines and are ideal for experimentation using Yocto Project. For information on the image types you can build using the OpenEmbedded build system, see the "Images" chapter in the Yocto Project Reference Manual.

If you are planning on developing against your image and you are not building or using one of the Yocto Project development images (e.g. core-image-*-dev), you must be sure to include the development packages as part of your image recipe.

Furthermore, if you plan on remotely deploying and debugging your application from within the Eclipse IDE, you must have an image that contains the Yocto Target Communication Framework (TCF) agent (tcf-agent). By default, the Yocto Project provides only one type pre-built image that contains the tcf-agent. And, those images are SDK (e.g.core-image-sato-sdk).

If you want to use a different image type that contains the tcf-agent, you can do so one of two ways:

  • Modify the conf/local.conf configuration in the Build Directory and then rebuild the image. With this method, you need to modify the EXTRA_IMAGE_FEATURES variable to have the value of "tools-debug" before rebuilding the image. Once the image is rebuilt, the tcf-agent will be included in the image and is launched automatically after the boot.

  • Manually build the tcf-agent. To build the agent, follow these steps:

    1. Be sure the ADT is installed as described in the "Installing the ADT and Toolchains" section.

    2. Set up the cross-development environment as described in the "Setting Up the Cross-Development Environment" section.

    3. Get the tcf-agent source code using the following commands:

           $ git clone http://git.eclipse.org/gitroot/tcf/org.eclipse.tcf.agent.git
           $ cd agent
                                  
    4. Modify the Makefile.inc file for the cross-compilation environment by setting the OPSYS and MACHINE variables according to your target.

    5. Use the cross-development tools to build the tcf-agent. Before you "Make" the file, be sure your cross-tools are set up first. See the "Makefile-Based Projects" section for information on how to make sure the cross-tools are set up correctly.

      If the build is successful, the tcf-agent output will be obj/$(OPSYS)/$(MACHINE)/Debug/agent.

    6. Deploy the agent into the image's root filesystem.

2.3.2. Extracting the Root Filesystem

You must extract the root filesystem if you want to boot the image using NFS or you want to use the root filesystem as the target sysroot. For example, the Eclipse IDE environment with the Eclipse Yocto Plug-in installed allows you to use QEMU to boot under NFS. Another example is if you want to develop your target application using the root filesystem as the target sysroot.

To extract the root filesystem, first source the cross-development environment setup script and then use the runqemu-extract-sdk command on the filesystem image. For example, the following commands set up the environment and then extract the root filesystem from a previously built filesystem image tarball named core-image-sato-sdk-qemux86-2011091411831.rootfs.tar.bz2. The example extracts the root filesystem into the $HOME/qemux86-sato directory:

     $ source $HOME/toolchain_dir/environment-setup-i586-poky-linux
     $ runqemu-extract-sdk \
        ~Downloads/core-image-sato-sdk-qemux86-2011091411831.rootfs.tar.bz2 \
        $HOME/qemux86-sato
            

In this case, you could now point to the target sysroot at $HOME/qemux86-sato.

Chapter 3. Optionally Customizing the Development Packages Installation

Because the Yocto Project is suited for embedded Linux development, it is likely that you will need to customize your development packages installation. For example, if you are developing a minimal image, then you might not need certain packages (e.g. graphics support packages). Thus, you would like to be able to remove those packages from your target sysroot.

3.1. Package Management Systems

The OpenEmbedded build system supports the generation of sysroot files using three different Package Management Systems (PMS):

  • OPKG: A less well known PMS whose use originated in the OpenEmbedded and OpenWrt embedded Linux projects. This PMS works with files packaged in an .ipk format. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opkg for more information about OPKG.

  • RPM: A more widely known PMS intended for GNU/Linux distributions. This PMS works with files packaged in an .rms format. The build system currently installs through this PMS by default. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPM_Package_Manager for more information about RPM.

  • Debian: The PMS for Debian-based systems is built on many PMS tools. The lower-level PMS tool dpkg forms the base of the Debian PMS. For information on dpkg see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dpkg.

3.2. Configuring the PMS

Whichever PMS you are using, you need to be sure that the PACKAGE_CLASSES variable in the conf/local.conf file is set to reflect that system. The first value you choose for the variable specifies the package file format for the root filesystem at sysroot. Additional values specify additional formats for convenience or testing. See the configuration file for details.

Note

For build performance information related to the PMS, see the "Packaging - package*.bbclass" section in the Yocto Project Reference Manual.

As an example, consider a scenario where you are using OPKG and you want to add the libglade package to the target sysroot.

First, you should generate the ipk file for the libglade package and add it into a working opkg repository. Use these commands:

     $ bitbake libglade
     $ bitbake package-index
        

Next, source the environment setup script found in the Source Directory. Follow that by setting up the installation destination to point to your sysroot as <sysroot_dir>. Finally, have an OPKG configuration file <conf_file> that corresponds to the opkg repository you have just created. The following command forms should now work:

     $ opkg-cl –f <conf_file> -o <sysroot_dir> update
     $ opkg-cl –f <cconf_file> -o <sysroot_dir> \
        --force-overwrite install libglade
     $ opkg-cl –f <cconf_file> -o <sysroot_dir> \
        --force-overwrite install libglade-dbg
     $ opkg-cl –f <conf_file> -o <sysroot_dir> \
        --force-overwrite install libglade-dev
        

Chapter 4. Using the Command Line

Recall that earlier the manual discussed how to use an existing toolchain tarball that had been installed into the default installation directory, /opt/poky, which is outside of the Build Directory (see the section "Using a Cross-Toolchain Tarball)". And, that sourcing your architecture-specific environment setup script initializes a suitable cross-toolchain development environment. During the setup, locations for the compiler, QEMU scripts, QEMU binary, a special version of pkgconfig and other useful utilities are added to the PATH variable. Variables to assist pkgconfig and autotools are also defined so that, for example, configure.sh can find pre-generated test results for tests that need target hardware on which to run. These conditions allow you to easily use the toolchain outside of the OpenEmbedded build environment on both autotools-based projects and Makefile-based projects.

4.1. Autotools-Based Projects

Once you have a suitable cross-toolchain installed, it is very easy to develop a project outside of the OpenEmbedded build system. This section presents a simple "Helloworld" example that shows how to set up, compile, and run the project.

4.1.1. Creating and Running a Project Based on GNU Autotools

Follow these steps to create a simple autotools-based project:

  1. Create your directory: Create a clean directory for your project and then make that directory your working location:

         $ mkdir $HOME/helloworld
         $ cd $HOME/helloworld
                        
  2. Populate the directory: Create hello.c, Makefile.am, and configure.in files as follows:

    • For hello.c, include these lines:

           #include <stdio.h>
      
           main()
              {
                 printf("Hello World!\n");
              }
                                  
    • For Makefile.am, include these lines:

           bin_PROGRAMS = hello
           hello_SOURCES = hello.c
                                  
    • For configure.in, include these lines:

           AC_INIT(hello.c)
           AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE(hello,0.1)
           AC_PROG_CC
           AC_PROG_INSTALL
           AC_OUTPUT(Makefile)
                                  
  3. Source the cross-toolchain environment setup file: Installation of the cross-toolchain creates a cross-toolchain environment setup script in the directory that the ADT was installed. Before you can use the tools to develop your project, you must source this setup script. The script begins with the string "environment-setup" and contains the machine architecture, which is followed by the string "poky-linux". Here is an example that sources a script from the default ADT installation directory that uses the 32-bit Intel x86 Architecture and using the dylan Yocto Project release:

         $ source /opt/poky/1.4.3/environment-setup-i586-poky-linux
                        
  4. Generate the local aclocal.m4 files and create the configure script: The following GNU Autotools generate the local aclocal.m4 files and create the configure script:

         $ aclocal
         $ autoconf
                        
  5. Generate files needed by GNU coding standards: GNU coding standards require certain files in order for the project to be compliant. This command creates those files:

         $ touch NEWS README AUTHORS ChangeLog
                        
  6. Generate the configure file: This command generates the configure:

         $ automake -a
                        
  7. Cross-compile the project: This command compiles the project using the cross-compiler:

         $ ./configure ${CONFIGURE_FLAGS}
                        
  8. Make and install the project: These two commands generate and install the project into the destination directory:

         $ make
         $ make install DESTDIR=./tmp
                        
  9. Verify the installation: This command is a simple way to verify the installation of your project. Running the command prints the architecture on which the binary file can run. This architecture should be the same architecture that the installed cross-toolchain supports.

         $ file ./tmp/usr/local/bin/hello
                        
  10. Execute your project: To execute the project in the shell, simply enter the name. You could also copy the binary to the actual target hardware and run the project there as well:

         $ ./hello
                        

    As expected, the project displays the "Hello World!" message.

4.1.2. Passing Host Options

For an Autotools-based project, you can use the cross-toolchain by just passing the appropriate host option to configure.sh. The host option you use is derived from the name of the environment setup script found in the directory in which you installed the cross-toolchain. For example, the host option for an ARM-based target that uses the GNU EABI is armv5te-poky-linux-gnueabi. You will notice that the name of the script is environment-setup-armv5te-poky-linux-gnueabi. Thus, the following command works:

     $ ./configure --host=armv5te-poky-linux-gnueabi \
        --with-libtool-sysroot=<sysroot-dir>
            

This single command updates your project and rebuilds it using the appropriate cross-toolchain tools.

Note

If configure script results in problems recognizing the --with-libtool-sysroot=<sysroot-dir> option, regenerate the script to enable the support by doing the following and then re-running the script:
     $ libtoolize --automake
     $ aclocal -I ${OECORE_NATIVE_SYSROOT}/usr/share/aclocal \
        [-I <dir_containing_your_project-specific_m4_macros>]
     $ autoconf
     $ autoheader
     $ automake -a
                

4.2. Makefile-Based Projects

For a Makefile-based project, you use the cross-toolchain by making sure the tools are used. You can do this as follows:

     CC=arm-poky-linux-gnueabi-gcc
     LD=arm-poky-linux-gnueabi-ld
     CFLAGS=”${CFLAGS} --sysroot=<sysroot-dir>”
     CXXFLAGS=”${CXXFLAGS} --sysroot=<sysroot-dir>”