thalib Engineer/Designer

Building GCC toolchain for PowerPC


Building GCC toolchain for PowerPC

Download the latest sources from .

I tested the build with binutils-2.14, gcc-3.3.2, glibc-2.3.2, glibc-linuxthreads-2.3.2 and (optionally gdb-6.0).


As most of the sites suggest, start by building the toolchain in separate directories from where you downloaded and unzipped the sources. So, I do build-binutils, build-gcc and so on… Also, you can specify the PATH you want the cross-compiled binaries to go with –prefix option. The most convenient way is to do configure –help to know the oft needed arguments for configuration. The next step is to configure the binutils for powerpc as target.

mkdir build-binutils & cd build-binutils
../binutils-2.14/configure --target=powerpc-linux --prefix=/opt/buckeye/powerpc-linux
make all install

Minimal Gcc

After binutils is done, add the cross-compiled binaries to your PATH by

export PATH=$PATH:/opt/buckeye/powerpc-linux
mkdir build-gcc & cd build-gcc
../gcc-3.3.2/configure --target=powerpc-linux --prefix=/opt/buckeye/powerpc-linux --disable-shared --disable-threads \
--enable-languages=c --with-newlib
make all-gcc install-gcc

You can very well cross-compile Linux kernel with this minimal gcc, though may not be able to compile other applications.


After the minimal gcc is done; the next major step is to cross-compile glibc. I have had troubles compiling glibc in the past what with some of the patches not being applied to the glibc tree. But after some help from googling, I was able to put the right combination of arguments in place. Be sure to download glibc-linuxthreads and unzip it in the glibc source directory. I found out that glibc needs linuxthreads to compile correctly. It might not be this way but I could not compile it otherwise. So, here is what to do

mkdir build-glibc & cd build-glibc
tar xv{zj}f ../glibc-linuxthreads-2.3.2.tar.{gb}z{2} ../glibc-2.3.2/
../glibc-2.3.2/configure --prefix=/opt/buckeye/powerpc-linux --target=powerpc-linux --host=powerpc-linux  \
--enable-add-ons=linuxthreads --with-headers=${Path_to_your_powerpc_linux_kernel_tree}/linuxppc_2_4_devel/include  \
make all install

glibc would give a compile error for glibc-2.3.2/stdio-common/sscanf.c … you have to change the parameter declaration for sscaf function in sscanf.c to

sscanf (const char *s, const char *format, ...)

It should be a breeze after that. It was worth noting that –target option does not work with glibc, you have to use –host={target-platform}-linux for glibc to work. At my machine, glibc libraries were installed in /opt/buckeye/powerpc-linux/lib, but gcc would expect them to be at /opt/buckeye/powerpc-linux/powerpc-linux/lib … so you might either make a symlink to the correct path or change the glibc configure option –libdir to point to the right place.

Complete Gcc

After glibc is compiled, you can reconfigure gcc as

../gcc-3.3.2/configure --target=powerpc-linux --prefix=/opt/buckeye/powerpc-linux --enable-shared --enable-threads \
make all install

Now you should have a complete working version of gcc.

Gdb and other graphical debuggers like insight

mkdir build-gdb & cd build-gdb
../gdb-6.0/configure --target=powerpc-linux --enable-sim-powerpc --prefix=/opt/buckeye/gdb (any dir of your choice)
make all install

–enable-sim-powerpc builds gdb with inbuilt powerpc instruction set simulator.