Installing Emdebian ARM Cross Toolchain in Debian

I had previously installed Sourcery G++ ARM Linux toolchain in Ubuntu to build some software running in Debian, but I encountered some issues with some libraries (libavg) that use gethostbyname in static libraries without any easy way to make it dynamic. In that case, the library in the rootfs and cross-compiler must match.  So I decided to install Debian Squeeze (6.0.3) and the corresponding cross-toolchain by Emdebian (short for Embedded Debian).

First to use this toolchain, add the URL to get Emdebian packages to /etc/apt/sources.list:

# — Emdebian cross toolchains
deb squeeze main

Then install Emdebian public key:

apt-get install emdebian-archive-keyring
apt-get update

If you don’t install the key, you’ll get the following error:

W: GPG error: squeeze Release: The following signatures couldn’t be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY B5B7720097BB3B58

Search and install packages for the architecture that you need, in this case ‘armel’:

apt-cache search armel

This command will return a long list of armel packages.
Install the relevant package (you can check the version you want in the list returned above):

apt-get install linux-libc-dev-armel-cross
apt-get install libc6-armel-cross libc6-dev-armel-cross
apt-get install binutils-arm-linux-gnueabi
apt-get install gcc-4.4-arm-linux-gnueabi
apt-get install g++-4.4-arm-linux-gnueabi

The ARM toolchain is now installed:

 # arm-linux-gnueabi-gcc -v
Using built-in specs.
Target: arm-linux-gnueabi
Configured with: ../src/configure -v –with-pkgversion=’Debian 4.4.5-8′ –with-bugurl=file:///usr/share/doc/gcc-4.4/README.Bugs –enable-languages=c,c++,fortran,objc,obj-c++ –prefix=/usr –program-suffix=-4.4 –enable-shared –enable-multiarch –enable-linker-build-id –with-system-zlib –libexecdir=/usr/lib –without-included-gettext –enable-threads=posix –with-gxx-include-dir=/usr/arm-linux-gnueabi/include/c++/4.4.5 –libdir=/usr/lib –enable-nls –enable-clocale=gnu –enable-libstdcxx-debug –enable-objc-gc –disable-sjlj-exceptions –enable-checking=release –program-prefix=arm-linux-gnueabi- –includedir=/usr/arm-linux-gnueabi/include –build=i486-linux-gnu –host=i486-linux-gnu –target=arm-linux-gnueabi –with-headers=/usr/arm-linux-gnueabi/include –with-libs=/usr/arm-linux-gnueabi/lib
Thread model: posix
gcc version 4.4.5 (Debian 4.4.5-8)

If you need to install more pre-built ARMEL libraries, you’ll need to install xapt and dpkg-cross:

apt-get install pdebuild-cross dpkg-cross

Finally, to install an ARMEL library (e.g. libpng12-0), run xapt as follows:

Most of the instructions come from for Debian Lenny.

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15 Replies to “Installing Emdebian ARM Cross Toolchain in Debian”

  1. Thank you for this tutorial.

    It helped me a lot.
    But I have troubles retrieving libcv2.1 for arm.
    I need to compile a program for ARM and using opencv for arm.
    When I do : xapt -a armel libcv2.1 it says some package are not installed (ex libcv2.1:i386).
    I’ve got Linux Mint 12 Lisa 64 bit.

    Any tips or hints? Thanks!

    1. I’m running Debian right now, and “aptitude search opencv” only returns:

      p opencv-doc – OpenCV documentation and examples
      p python-opencv – Python bindings for the computer vision li
      v python2.6-opencv –

      So opencv may not be available in the binary repositories.

      So you’d probably have to cross-compile OpenCV by yourself, following instructions such as

      Edit: Sorry I should have looked for libcv, not opencv.
      Running “sudo /usr/share/pdebuild-cross/xapt -a armel libcv2.1 –force-yes” works for me in Debian Squeeze. I’m no sure what’s the problem on your side. It does not seem right that xapt is looking for libcv2.1:i386 for armel..

  2. @cnxsoft
    Thank you for the reply.
    Are you running on Debian 64bits?
    I’m on Linux Mint 12 64bits.
    Here it’s what i got :
    libcv2.1:i386 : Depends: libc6:i386 (>= 2.4) but it is not going to be installed
    Depends: libgcc1:i386 (>= 1:4.1.1) but it is not going to be installed
    Depends: liblapack3gf:i386 but it is not going to be installed
    Depends: libstdc++6:i386 (>= 4.1.1) but it is not going to be installed
    Depends: zlib1g:i386 (>= 1:1.1.4) but it is not going to be installed

    I ‘ve got pdebuild (2.2.18) and xapt (2.2.18).
    Also, I can’t use “sudo /usr/share/pdebuild-cross/xapt -a armel libcv2.1 –force-yes”, there isn’t xapt in this folder…

  3. Hi!

    I tried to install apt-get install gcc-4.4-arm-linux-gnueabi and apt-get install g++-4.4-arm-linux-gnueabi, but i got an error.
    gcc-4.4-arm-linux-gnueabi depends on cpp-4.4-arm-linux-gnueabi (= 4.4.5-8) but shouldn’t be installed.
    If i try to install cpp-4.4-arm-linux-gnueabi directly, it says “depends on libgmp3c2 but it is not installable.
    Same with g++-4.4-arm-linux-gnueabi.

    Any tips? Thanks!

  4. when i try to install gcc-4.4-arm-linux-gnueabi with the command sudo apt-get install -f gcc-4.4-arm-linux-gnueabi and use ubuntu 10.04
    i get this error :
    Lecture des listes de paquets… Fait
    Construction de l’arbre des dépendances
    Lecture des informations d’état… Fait
    Certains paquets ne peuvent être installés. Ceci peut signifier
    que vous avez demandé l’impossible, ou bien, si vous utilisez
    la distribution unstable, que certains paquets n’ont pas encore
    été créés ou ne sont pas sortis d’Incoming.
    L’information suivante devrait vous aider à résoudre la situation :

    Les paquets suivants contiennent des dépendances non satisfaites :
    gcc-4.4-arm-linux-gnueabi: Dépend: cpp-4.4-arm-linux-gnueabi (= 4.4.5-8) mais ne sera pas installé
    E: Paquets défectueux

  5. Is there anyone that possibly help walk me through this a little more detailed. I am a major linux noob. Also when I searched cache for armel, what i recieved as options were not the same as shown above. I’m guessing this has to do with updates made over the years. Or if anyone can point me in the right direction towards more up to date procedures, that would be GREAT.

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