Ubuntu Tool-Building Blues

Robert S. Grimes rsg at alum.mit.edu
Mon Sep 15 12:11:30 UTC 2008

Ralf Corsepius wrote:
>> 1. I had hoped to use the prebuilt RPMs, but it seems Ubuntu is not
>> supported :-(
> You've got it conversed: Ubuntu doesn't support rpm.
Fair enough!  :-)

>> 2 .  So I must build them myself, right?
> Does Ubuntu have alien? If so you could give it a try.
I had not heard of alien.  Seems interesting, but perhaps it is easier 
to build myself?

>> 3. Because I've been using 4.8, and need to update to use Sebastian's
>> spi-sd-card driver - as well as possibly the nvdisk with FRAM), and am
>> thinking of the future, I thought I'd try to build the 4.10 tools in
>> /ftp/pub/rtems/SOURCES/4.10 - is that a good idea, or should I use 4.9?
> The 4.10 series is the next generation of the RTEMS "unstable" and
> experimental" branch. It might eat your children, pets or wife and is
> not unlikely to explode into your face :)
> The 4.9 series is the soon to be expected "proclaimed stable" series,
> supposed to soon replace the rtems-4.8 series.
Thanks, Ralf - in spite of my poorly-worded question, you have given me 
the exact explanation I needed!  :-)

> ATM, the difference between both toolchain series is pretty small, but
> the rtems-4.10 series can be expected to be closely following
> gcc/binutils/gdb upstreams, while the rtems-4.9 series will probably be
> applied a much more conservative upgrade-policy. I.e. the rtems-4.10
> series can be expected to rapidly diverge from the rtems-4.9 series.
> My recommendation: Which to choose depends on your intention:
> - If you are actively developing, plan to actively participate in
>   RTEMS, are using very new hardware, are interested in new features
>   => rtems-4.10
> - If you have a product in "stable maintenance mode", do not plan to
>   participate, are using "old and stable" hardwarde, are not interested
>   in new features
>   => rtems-4.9
My situation is in the gray area between your two options (my project is 
very near to the end of development, yet needs newer features (mentioned 
above) that are new to 4.9.  Probably what will happen is I'll end up 
with 4.9 in the final product, which suggests using 4.9 tools. 

FWIW - I did successfully build 4.10, which I will test just for 
completeness. Because there were a number of little gotchas, I'll add a 
How-To to the wiki in the next hour or so.

>> 3. I got binutils-2.18.tar.bz2, unpacked and patched it, confugiured a
>> build directory, and am trying to build.  It failed, suggesting I
>> install texinfo (though that was just a warning).  After installing
>> texinfo, it still fails at the same place, and I can't seem to see the
>> error.  Here is the complete output:
>> make[1]: *** [all-bfd] Error 2
>> make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/rsg/rtems/tools/b-binutils'
>> make: *** [all] Error 2
>> Any ideas?
> This is one of two well known bugs in binutils-2.18:
Well known to some - now including me!  :-[

> 1. Though building binutils claims not to require having texinfo
> installed, it actually requires having texinfo installed.
Yes, this is indeed what I've discovered.

> 2. Certain versions of binutils, gcc, gdb and newlib bomb out from
> building when having a "too new version" of texinfo installed (The cause
> is a defect in the toplevel configure-script, which is shared by all of
> these packages).
> This bug only shows when building on OSes shipping modern tools, e.g.
> newer Fedora or openSUSE, but doesn't show on OSes shipping outdated
> versions (certain versions of RHEL, Debian). Your report indicates your
> version of Ubuntu having joined the club :)
> The rtems-4.9/4.10 patches are supposed to contain fixes to this issue.
> => Make sure to have texinfo installed and the rtems-patches applied.
To be precise, my Ubuntu had no version whatsoever of texinfo 
installed!  Indeed, even gcc didn't appear to be working; while gcc 
existed, it was unable to create executables.  These gotchas will be in 
my How-To.

FWIW, IMHO, what you (Ralf) are doing to provide pre-built tools for a 
reasonable array of hosts is quite admirable and very valuable.  
Clearly, as more people use these, calls for help in building tools will 
lesson - a good thing!  However, because it is unlikely the world will 
converge to just a few hosts any time soon, building from source should 
always be a feasible choice.  So it would seem the RTEMS community at 
large should help maintain this option, and here the Wiki is an 
excellent means of doing so - hence, my How-To.

Thanks again,
> Ralf

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