Generate a Custom ARM Rootfs Easily with Rootstock

You may need to generate your own rootfs for your ARM target board, but do not want to cross-compile all libraries manually. You can achieve this with rootstock, a utility that generates Ubuntu armel rootfs tarballs and/or qemu image, to be uncompressed onto a root device.

First install roostock:

sudo apt-get install rootstock

Then generate a rootfs with the required libraries:

sudo rootstock –fqdn beagleboard –login cnxsoft –password temppasswd \
–imagesize 3G –seed xfce4,gdm,pkg-config,python,perl,g++,bison,flex,\
libxslt1-dev,libxml2-dev,libbz2-dev  –dist natty

Here are the details of the command line parameters:

  • –fqdn: Hostname to be used for the target system
  • –login: Login ID of the admin user created during setup
  • –password: Password of the admin user created during setup
  • –imagesize: Size of the target filesystem to be created (default 1GB)
  • –seed: List of packages to install
  • –dist: Specify Release to build (jaunty, karmic, lucid, maverick or natty)

Alternatively you could also use an existing rootfs, run it in your board or in qemu, install the required libraries (with apt-get) and copy the libs back to your development PC.

List of packages to install

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[…] emulate a board based on an ARM1176 core with 128MB or 256 MB memory.I’ve tried to create a rootfs based on Ubuntu with rootstock but this only support processors with ARM cortex A8 and greater, so it would not work with ARM11. […]