ARM Cross-Compilation

Marc-André Moreau marcandre.moreau at
Sun Jun 26 15:20:51 UTC 2011

Hi Wookey,

I just managed to get it to compile on oneiric. I think I figured out the
problem related to pthreads: I had to install libpthread-stubs0
libpthread-stubs0-dev for the current architecture, not the target
architecture, which is a bit weird, but it works. The configure script would
complain about missing pthreads stubs, which is why I installed it first
with xapt, without success, but when I installed it for the current
architecture, the configure script worked and FreeRDP built without linker

I used your updated xapt package in oneiric to correctly fetch the stuff.
Here are my updated notes:

# bootstrap ubuntu oneiric
sudo debootstrap oneiric oneiric-armel

# chroot to new environment
sudo chroot oneiric-armel

# mount partitions
mount -t proc proc /proc
mount -t devpts none /dev/pts

# export environment variables
export LC_ALL=C

# append "universe" after "main" in sources.list
sed -i 's/main/main universe/' /etc/apt/sources.list

# add source repository
sudo echo "deb [arch=armel] oneiric main universe"
>> /etc/apt/sources.list

# update and install packages
apt-get update
apt-get install gcc-arm-linux-gnueabi libgcc1-armel-cross xapt wget

dpkg -i xapt_2.2.16ubuntu1_all.deb

sudo apt-get install libpthread-stubs0 libpthread-stubs0-dev
sudo apt-get install libtool automake autoconf git pkg-config

xapt -a armel -m libssl-dev libx11-dev libxv-dev libxkbfile-dev
libxcursor-dev libasound2-dev libxcb1 libxcb1-dev libdirectfb-dev libc6
libc6-dev zlib1g zlib1g-dev libcups2-dev libpthread-stubs0

PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/arm-linux-gnueabi/lib/pkgconfig ./configure

I am now wondering if the same would work in natty. I'll have to give it a
try, if it works, I won't have to update my pandaboard to oneiric.

On Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 5:49 AM, Wookey <wookey at> wrote:

> +++ Marc-André Moreau [2011-06-23 17:40 -0400]:
> [I wrote a response to this for 4hrs last night then my mail server
> crashed and lost it all - <mutter>. trying agin...]
> > Hi,
> >
> > I am Marc-Andre from the FreeRDP project, an open source RDP client. I
> want to
> > work on optimizing FreeRDP for ARM using the NEON processor extensions.
> Welome
> > It is my first time cross-compiling, so thank you for your understanding.
> Welcome to the joyful world of cross-building :-)
> > I have asked some questions on IRC, and read various pages from the wiki,
> but I
> > haven't managed to successfully cross-compile FreeRDP yet. Compiling
> directly
> > on the pandaboard works, but it is atrociously slow. I have made a chroot
> > environment following and adapting the instructions from the following
> wiki
> > page:
> Nothing wrong with this method, and it is reliable, but I find it
> quicker and easier to use multistrap and do:
> multistrap -f
> > I have tried both xdeb and xapt, both causing problems.
> > xapt:
> >
> > I managed to fetch and convert packages with xapt, using the following
> command:
> > sudo xapt -a armel -k -b --suite natty --mirror
> > libssl-dev libx11-dev libxv-dev libxkbfile-dev libxcursor-dev
> libasound2-dev
> > libxcb1 libxcb1-dev libdirectfb-dev libc6 libc6-dev zlib1g zlib1g-dev
> >
> > The problem is then that xapt will fail to install the converted
> packages,
> > saying the package architecture is different from the current
> architecture, as
> > well as missing dependencies. I worked around the problem with this ugly
> hack:
> >
> > cd /var/lib/xapt/output/
> > sudo dpkg -i --force-all *.deb
> You are suffering from this problem:
> which is
> because we are in the middle of a transition to multiarch packages.
> When xapt/dpkg-cross were written it was assumed that thay would
> simply ignore multiarched packages. However in practice it turns out
> that that's not the case and currently they need to be converted back
> to old-style locations. that needs the -m option supplying to xapt.
> The version in natty is too old to have option.
> So if you do sudo xapt -a armel -b libssl-dev libx11-dev libxv-dev \
> libxkbfile-dev libxcursor-dev libasound2-dev libxcb1 libxcb1-dev \
> libdirectfb-dev libc6 libc6-dev zlib1g zlib1g-dev libcups2-dev
> on a wheezy box/chroot then all that stuff get downloaded, converted
> and installed correctly.
> > Following this, I could get the FreeRDP configure script to work, even
> though
> > it would fail to detect X11 properly:
> >
> > PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/arm-linux-gnueabi/lib/pkgconfig ./configure --host=
> > arm-linux-gnueabi --with-neon
> X11 is detected OK for me:
> FreeRDP configure result:
> Cryptography : openssl
> TLS          : enabled
> Sound        : yes
> Printer      : no
> CUnit        : no
> X11          : yes
> DirectFB     : no
> > When trying to build after that, it will still fail to link in the end,
> > complaining about missing libraries such as zlib, X11, crypto, etc. I
> tried
> > installing various packages more with xapt, but I couldn't get it to
> work.
> If I do PKG_CONFIG_LIBDIR=/usr/arm-linux-gnueabi/lib/pkgconfig
> dpkg-buildpackage -aarmel
> then it all builds OK (on wheezy), except that the printer support is
> not found. The confiure script needs checking to find out why that's
> failing. That path-setting shouldn't be neeed either but it's not
> working without it, even with the cross-version of pkg-config
> installed. Again, needs further investigation.
> You can work round the cups non-identificatin with
> HAVE_CUPS=1 PKG_CONFIG_LIBDIR=/usr/arm-linux-gnueabi/lib/pkgconfig
> dpkg-buildpackage -aarmel
> To get this working on natty you would need to get the current xapt, an
> ubuntu port of which is available here:
> natty main
> or just here:
> however there is then a link failure, when it tries to link the wrong
> arch of
> /usr/lib/gcc/arm-linux-gnueabi/4.5.2/../../../../arm-linux-gnueabi/bin/ld:
> skipping incompatible /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ when
> searching for -lpthread
> /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libpthread.a: could not read symbols: File format
> not recognized
> collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
> Again - needs looking into.
> > xdeb:
> >
> > I tried the following:
> > root at workstation:/# xdeb -a armel --prefer-apt libssl-dev libx11-dev
> libxv-dev
> > libxkbfile-dev libxcursor-dev libasound2-dev
> >...
> > No source package found: libssl-dev
> >
> > Or, alternatively, the following:
> > root at workstation:/# xdeb -a armel --convert libssl-dev libx11-dev
> libxv-dev
> > libxkbfile-dev libxcursor-dev libasound2-dev
> >..
> > IOError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: './libssl-dev'
> >
> > Here is my sources.list file:
> > root at workstation:/# cat /etc/apt/sources.list
> > deb natty main universe
> > deb-src natty main universe
> > deb [arch=armel] natty main universe
> > deb-src [arch=armel] natty main universe
> That looks OK (except the last line should be:
> deb-src natty main universe
> (It doesn't actually break anything - just makes no sense - Have I
> left that in a doc somewhere?)
> So for xdeb you want this command:
> xdeb -a armel --prefer-apt --only-explicit freerdp
> On wheezy that dies quickly with a package conflict:
> he following packages have unmet dependencies:
>  heimdal-dev : Conflicts: libkrb5-dev but 1.9.1+dfsg-1+b1 is to be
> installed
>  libdb-dev : Depends: libdb5.1-dev but it is not going to be installed
>             Conflicts: libdb4.8-dev but 4.8.30-8 is to be installed
>  libdb4.8-dev : Conflicts: libdb-dev but 5.1.4 is to be installed
>  libkrb5-dev : Conflicts: heimdal-dev but 1.4.0-6 is to be installed
>  unixodbc-dev : Conflicts: libiodbc2-dev but 3.52.7-2 is to be installed
>  E: Broken packages
> Not sure what's going on there, but it's not much use.
> On natty things go much better and it downloads, crosses and builds a
> load of stuff until falling over with :
> pkg-deb: building package libosmesa6-armel-cross' in
> ./libosmesa6-armel-cross_7.10.2-0ubuntu2_all.deb'.
> dpkg-cross: package libegl1-mesa-drivers doesn't provide any useful files.
> Skipping.
> Which is due to this bug:
> (xdeb stops if it comes across a package it thought it should cross
> which is in fact dpkg-cross 'NULL'). This is rather annoying and I
> think I have a fix mostly-done but it's not merged yet - need to check
> where that got to. You can fix it by adding the offending package to
> the xdeb blacklist )that's how it currently expects to work):
> so add libosmesa6 to /etc/xdeb/xdeb.conf in the 'blacklist' section.
> However after doing that it doesn't get much further before:
> .:terminate called after throwing an instance of 'std::out_of_range'
> > I'm stuck at this point. Can anybody point me towards possible solution
> paths
> > on how to cross-compile FreeRDP for ARM, given the above information?
> So, the easiest way to get cross-building is to do it on a debian
> wheezy machine/chroot where the tools and build work OK. As you want
> to do neon dev then you may need to install a new-enough
> cross-toolchain, which probably means a linaro one.
> I'll look into the natty build failures and see if we can get that
> going for you. This is clearly a package that ought to cross OK.
> So, now you know why people native-build :-) there are an awful lot
> fewer things to go wrong and the tools are much more mature. There is
> plenty of work going on at the moment to improve the situation, and at
> least your source package is farily well-behaved (many aren't). It
> does look like it needs a couple of fixes though so a plain
> dpkg-buildpackage -aarmel would work as expected.
> So, is a wheezy-based build sufficient for you for the time being? Or
> do you have to have it building on natty to do useful dev?
> Wookey
> --
> Principal hats:  Linaro, Emdebian, Wookware, Balloonboard, ARM
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