You'll need the GNU toolchain to compile the kernel, particularly
As a general rule
for working with GNU software, the latest official release is the
best supported, has the most features and is usually the most stable.
Also, you must use compatible versions, and there is generally
no easy way to know which binutils version matches which arbitrary
version as their releases aren't synchronised. Hence, the best
approach is generally to start by using the latest official release
of any given package from your nearest GNU ftp site listed at
Many people use a particular version simply because they already
have the source for it lying around, and waste a lot of time
tracking down problems that were fixed by others months or even
years ago. Grab the latest version at the outset, and you'll save
an enormous amount of effort.
If you need newer features that are not in an official release yet,
you may need to move forward to the latest development snapshot from
A set of complete instructions for building a Cross Development
system for Linux/PPC is available at:
For pre-packaged scripts to build a PPC Cross Development Kit for
For a guide to building the PowerPC
/Linux cross compiler
for a SPARC/Solaris host (if you can't use a Linux development host),
If you want to build a more exotic or unusual cross development environment, or
need more help building the cross development tools, check out the crossgcc FAQ
and mailing list at: http://www.objsw.com/CrossGCC/
Check that you have the latest gcc (2.95.2). Don't waste
your time with any of the egcs releases as they've now
been superseded by gcc.
If you're using gcc-2.95.2 with binutils-18.104.22.168.25, you'll
need a minor change to the gcc specs file regarding the
linker emulation. You're better off just using binutils-2.10 though.
There are currently two branches of binutils development to choose
from. Each have pro's and con's, and in many cases either one will
work for you. They are typically referred to as the official
"GNU binutils" and the "Linux binutils," although both are GPL'd
GNU software, and both versions configure, build, and work fine on Linux.
I suggest you use the official GNU version, unless you encounter a problem
which requires the "Linux binutils" version.
This tends to be the most stable version. The last release was 2.10,
which is your best bet. It works well with gcc-2.95.2, whereas the
2.9.1 needed a tweak. If you must use the bleeding edge, the development
snapshots on http://sources.redhat.com/
The most recent snapshot is available at
At any given point in time, this version is based on recent official
GNU development snapshot, but with more experimental features and
hastily implemented bugfixes. It is shipped with many Linux distributions.
However, the changes in this version aren't as thoroughly reviewed and
tested as those in the official version, and the less well-implemented
features probably won't make it back into the official GNU version,
so it's a good idea not to rely on them.
Version numbering is somewhat confusing. The Linux binutils 2.9.5.x
versions are based on snapshots of the official development post 2.9.1.
In particular, any given version of Linux binutils numbered 2.9.5.x
is not necessarily a later version than an official GNU development
snapshot numbered 2.9.1.x.
Beware that Linux binutils-22.214.171.124.27 thru 29 will give you multiple
definitions of when building glibc-2.1.2. Try the official binutils-2.10
instead, or Linux binutils-126.96.36.199.22.
There are kits available which will save you the time of building
your own tools, to get bootstrapped faster.
They have a complete 8xx cross-development kit described in
You can also purchase this kit as an integrated part of their
Hard Hat Linux distribution and buy support for it directly from MontaVista?
It's also available as part of the
from Embedded Planet.
This version of Linux is based on the PPC 2.2.5 kernel. It has
been heavily modified and targeted specifically to
MPC850-based product. It includes:
- Subsystem for configuring and controlling I/O pins (qspin)
- Hardware Watchdog support
- Flash Filesystem (layered under Ext2FS)
- Compressed Ext2FS (e2compr)
- HDLC/PPP Driver
- ATM Utopia Network Driver (AAL5/IP)
- Multiple serial consoles
Offer a CD-ROM with LinuxPPC?
for MPC8xx Systems, especially for
Modules. It includes:
- Sources and tools for a Cross Development Kit (CDK) for MPC8xx Embedded
PowerPC Controllers on x86 Linux hosts
- Pre-built, ready-to-run binaries of the CDK
- Linux-2.2.13 kernel source tree for MPC8xx systems. There are also
pre-built images for TQM8xxL modules.
- Pre-installed native LinuxPPC? root filesystem with all standard Linux
tools to be exported on a NFS server and used as root filesystem for Embedded PPC systems.
They also ship hardware with
and root file system
pre-installed. Just connect the
power supply, and Linux is booting.
Debian project philosophy applied to the embedded space. Especially good
for developers already running Debian on the desktop.
You may get a kickstart by purchasing Bright Star's SDK, particularly if you're
using one of their boards. For comments, see: http://lists.linuxppc.org/listarcs/linuxppc-embedded/199912/msg00075.html
Lineo Embedix Linux is an embedded Linux-based software solution that adds
the power and connectivity of Linux to customized embedded devices. Embedix Linux is
engineered specifically for the unique speed, memory and storage requirements
of embedded devices.
Lineo provides embedded development kits for several PPC processors and boards.
Additional information can be found at:
Gets you started with embedded Linux development using Red Hat Linux.
The box product includes a complete toolkit with IDE and ethernet-based
debugging and supports development of PowerPC
along with the x86 architecture.
Oddly enough, the minimum target CPU
required by the x86 binaries in the kit is
a Pentium/586, whereas the minimum desktop CPU
for Red Hat Linux is only a 386.
Embedded systems most often have less powerful CPUs
than desktop ones, not more
powerfuld ones. This mistake doesn't affect PowerPC
users at all, but you might
want to consider whether this supplier is the best choice given such
a fundamental error.