RPi Linaro GCC Compilation

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This page explains how to build yourself a version of Linaro GCC specifically for building software for the RPi.

From the Linaro website: "Linaro GCC is performance focused branch of the current GCC stable release and includes backports of the improvements and bug fixes that Linaro and others have done upstream" [1]


This process should be carried out on the Linux system you wish to compile RPi software on. Therefore, you will require a reasonably powerful computer (preferably 64bit). If you are running on Windows, it is possible to use a linux virtual machine running on Virtualbox. The only software required is crosstool-NG (plus its dependencies).


The whole process takes about an hour on a dual-core 2.8GHz 64-bit AMD system using an 8Mbit ADSL connection. NOTE: This procedure was tested on 24th November 2012 using crosstool-ng 1.17.0. It may not be accurate for newer versions of the software.

Install crosstool-NG

tar -xjvf crosstool-ng-1.17.0.tar.bz2
  • Or clone a more recent version from git, I saw this newest version work as well:
git clone https://github.com/crosstool-ng/crosstool-ng.git
cd crosstool-ng
git checkout 1.22
  • Change to the extracted directory, then configure it. You should specify an installation prefix to keep it separate from the OS in case you want to run multiple versions - we are using /opt/crosstool-ng-1.17.0 in this example:
 ./configure --prefix=/opt/crosstool-ng-1.17.0
  • If configure fails due to missing dependencies, install them for your platform using the package manager (i.e. yum install, apt-get install, etc.)
  • during the build you might need packages for expat, libexpat1-dev, python-dev
  • When configure completes successfully, make and install it:
make install
  • Add the crosstool-NG bin folder to your path. The easiest way to do this is add it to PATH in your .profile, for example:

Build GCC Linaro

  • Make a new directory in your home directory where you want to run crosstool-NG, then change to it.
  • Configure crosstool-NG:
ct-ng menuconfig
  • Set the following options (derived from the arm-bcm2708hardfp-linux-gnueabi build on GitHub):
    • Paths & Misc:
      • Check "Try features marked as EXPERIMENTAL"
      • Set "Prefix directory" to whereever you want the finished toolchain to be placed (e.g. /home/<yourname>/crosscompile)
      • Set "Number of parallel jobs" to be the number of processor cores in your system x1.5
    • Target options:
      • Set "Target architecture" to "ARM"
      • Set "Endianness" to "Little endian"
      • Set "Bitness" to "32-bit"
      • Set "Architecture level" to "armv6zk"
      • Set "Emit assembly for CPU" to "arm1176jzf-s"
      • Set "Tune for CPU" to "arm1176jzf-s"
      • Set "Use specific FPU" to "vfp"
      • Set "Floating point" to "hardware (FPU)"
      • Set "Default instruction set mode" to "arm"
      • Check "Use EABI"
    • General toolchain:
      • Set "Tuple's vendor string" to "rpi" - you can choose whatever you like here and it will appear in the compiler filenames.
    • Operating system:
      • Set "Target OS" to "linux"
      • Set "Linux kernel version" to match that running on the RPI (it was tested with the 3.6 branch patched to version 3.6.3)
    • Binary utilities:
      • Set "Binary format" to "ELF"
      • Set "binutils version" to "2.22"
    • C compiler:
      • Check "Show linaro versions"
      • Set "gcc version" to "linaro-4.7-2012.10"
      • Check "C++"
      • Set "gcc extra config" to "--with-float=hard" (Note: see "Discussion" page)
      • Check "Link libstdc++ statically into gcc binary"
    • C-library:
      • Set "C library" to "eglibc", or, as eglibc gets deprecated[2], glibc from version 2.19 up.
      • Set "eglibc version" to "2_13", however, to reduce the size of your executables you could also try to match it with the libc already present on the Pi and select a custom libc-version here, for example the exact commit your libc was build from if you can reveal that. The major version of libc can be made visible with
  • Build it:
ct-ng build
  • All the required source will now be downloaded and built - exact times vary according to processing power and internet connection speed.

Configure system to use new compiler

Your compiler will be located in /home/<yourname>/crosscompile (or whereever you specified in the configuration). You can choose to move it to another location (e.g. /opt/arm) if you want to. Then, add that location to your PATH:


Now if you run:

arm-rpi-linux-gnueabi-gcc -v

you should get the version information from your new build. It should end something like:

gcc version 4.7.3 20121001 (prerelease) (crosstool-NG 1.17.0)

By the way, this manual also works for the newest stable gcc-linaro-5.3-2016.05 at http://releases.linaro.org/components/toolchain/gcc-linaro/5.3-2016.05/