Fork of the Genode OS framework
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=================
Genode tool chain
=================
The Genode OS framework depends on the GNU C++ compiler and tool chain. As
most GNU compilers shipped with standard Linux distributions include
distro-specific patches and configurations, these tools do not meet Genode's
special requirements (e.g., thread-local storage configuration). Therefore,
there exists a special tool chain adapted to the specific requirements of
Genode.
Recommended development platform
################################
We currently use [http://www.ubuntu.com/ - Ubuntu] 12.04 LTS on servers and
client machines. Hence, Genode should always build without trouble on these
platforms.
Unified tool chain
##################
Starting with Genode version 11.11, there is a unified tool chain for all base
platforms and supported CPU architectures (x86_32, x86_64, and ARM). For Genode
development, we highly recommend the use of the official Genode tool chain. It
can be obtained in two ways: as pre-compiled binaries or manually compiled:
:Pre-compiled:
Our pre-compiled tool chain is runnable on Linux x86_32 and x86_64. The
archives for both versions will be extracted to '/usr/local/genode-gcc'. To
extract the archive, use the following command:
! sudo tar xPfj genode-toolchain-<version>-<arch>.tar.bz2
The use of the 'P' option ensures that the tool chain will be installed at
the correct absolute path '/usr/local/genode-gcc' where the build system
expects it to reside by default.
[http://sourceforge.net/projects/genode/files/genode-toolchain/ - Download the pre-compiled tool chain...]
:Compile from source:
For those of you who prefer compiling the tool chain from source, we provide
a tool for downloading, building, and installing the Genode tool chain. You
find the tool in Genode's source tree at 'tool/tool_chain'. For usage
instructions, just start the tool without arguments.
In both cases, the tool chain will be installed to '/usr/local/genode-gcc'. All
tools are prefixed with 'genode-x86-' or 'genode-arm-' respectively such that
it is safe to add the installation directory to our 'PATH' variable (optional).
The Genode tool chain will be used by the Genode build system by default. If
you desire to use a different tool chain, create a file called 'tools.conf' in
the 'etc/' subdirectory of your build directory where you can define the
tool-chain prefix to be used:
! CROSS_DEV_PREFIX = /path/to/your/custom/tool_chain/your-x86-
However, we recommend you to stick with the official Genode tool chain. If you
see a valid reason not to use it, please contact us (e.g., via the mailing
list).
; XXX The Gentoo Portage overlay must be update to the new tool chain
;
;Gentoo Portage overlay
;######################
;
;For Gentoo users, there exist a Portage overlay, which includes the Genode
;toolchain.
;
;:[https://github.com/blitz/blitz-overlay]:
; Portage overlay for using the Genode tool chain on Gentoo
;
;You'll find the toolchain under sys-devel/genode-toolchain.
Background information - Why do we need a special tool chain?
#############################################################
Early on in the genesis of Genode, we introduced a custom tool chain to
overcome several problems inherent to the use of standard tool chains installed
on Linux host platforms.
First, GCC and binutils versions vary a lot between different Linux systems.
Testing the Genode code with all those different tool chains and constantly
adapting the code to the peculiarities of certain tool-chain versions is
infeasible and annoying. Second, Linux tool chains use certain features that
stand in the way when building low-level system components. For example, the
'-fstack-protector' option is enabled by default on some Linux distributions.
Hence, we have to turn it off when building Genode. However, some tool chains
lack this option. So the attempt to turn it off produces an error. The most
important problem with Linux tool chains is the dependency of their respective
GCC support libraries on the glibc. When not using a Linux glibc, as the case
with Genode, this leads to manifold problems, most of them subtle and extremely
hard to debug. For example, the support libraries expect the Linux way of
implementing thread-local storage (using segment registers on x86_32). This
code will simply crash on other kernels. Another example is the use of certain
C-library functions, which are not available on Genode. Hence, Genode provides
custom implementations of those functions (in the 'cxx' library).
Unfortunately, the set of functions used varies across tool-chain versions. For
these reasons, we introduced a custom configured tool chain where we mitigated
those problems by pinning the tools to certain versions and tweaking the
compiler configuration to our needs (i.e., preventing the use of Linux TLS).
That said, the use a our custom configured tool chain was not free from
problems either. In particular, the script for creating the tool chain relied
on a libc being present on the host system. The header files of the libc would
be used to build the GCC support libraries. This introduced two problems. When
adding Genode's libc to the picture, which is based on FreeBSD's C library, the
expectations of the GCC support libraries did not match 100% with the semantics
implemented by Genode's libc (e.g., the handling of 'errno' differs). The
second problem is the limitation that the tool chain could only be built for
the platform that corresponds to the host. For example, on a Linux-x86_32
system, it was not possible to build a x86_64 or ARM tool chain. For this
reason we used the ARM tool chains provided by CodeSourcery.
With Genode 11.11, we addressed the root of the tool-chain problem by
completely decoupling the Genode tool chain from the host system that is used
to build it. The most important step was the removal of GCC's dependency on
a C library, which is normally needed to build the GCC support libraries. We
were able to remove the libc dependency by sneaking-in a small custom libc stub
into the GCC build process. This stub comes in the form of the single header
file 'tool/libgcc_libc_stub.h' and brings along all type definitions and
function declarations expected by the support-library code. Furthermore, we
removed all GNU-specific heuristics from the tool chain. Technically, the
Genode tool chain is a bare-metal tool chain. But in contrast to existing
bare-metal tool chains, C++ is fully supported.
With the libc dependency out of the way, we are now free to build the tool
chain for arbitrary architectures, which brings us two immediate benefits. We
do no longer have to rely on the CodeSourcery tool chain for ARM. There is now
a 'genode-arm' tool chain using the same compiler configuration as used on x86.
The second benefit is the use of multiarch libs on the x86 platform. The
genode-x86 tool chain can be used for both x86_32 and x86_64 as build target,
the latter being the default.
Since we introduced GDB support into Genode, we added GDB in addition to GCC
and binutils to the Genode tool chain. The version is supposed to match the one
expected by Genode's GDB facility, avoiding potential problems with mismatching
protocols between GDB monitor and GDB.