Appendix 3. Building the GNU Software Tools

This appendix shows how to build the ARM-targeted (arm-elf) GNU software tools (gcc, binutils, gdb, newlib) used in this book. The instructions are for both Windows (running Cygwin) and Linux host operating systems.


Unless there is some specific reason for building a new set of GNU tools, we recommend you use the prebuilt GNU binaries provided on the book’s web site and included on the Arcom board’s CD-ROM. The installation of the prebuilt tools is covered in Appendix B and Appendix E, respectively.

Approximately 1.2 GB of disk space is needed for the GNU tools source code and build output directories. These instructions are adapted from the web page “Building a toolchain for use with eCos,” found online at

Another popular site for building cross development tools is found online at This site contains instructions and numerous scripts for building various GNU cross development tool chains for various processors and host systems. You might find that the tools on this site suit your needs better.

The following steps should be followed at a bash shell prompt in Cygwin or a terminal in Linux. We built the GNU tools under Windows XP (SP2) and Linux Fedora Core 5. These instructions locate the GNU tools’ source code under the /src directory, the build output under /tmp/build, and the resulting GNU tools under /opt/gnutools. In Windows, all of these subdirectories are contained under ...

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