This document contains information about building LLVM and Clang on host machine, targeting another platform.
For more information on how to use Clang as a cross-compiler, please check http://clang.llvm.org/docs/CrossCompilation.html.
TODO: Add MIPS and other platforms to this document.
In this use case, we’ll be using CMake and Ninja, on a Debian-based Linux system, cross-compiling from an x86_64 host (most Intel and AMD chips nowadays) to a hard-float ARM target (most ARM targets nowadays).
The packages you’ll need are:
- ninja-build (from backports in Ubuntu)
For more information on how to configure CMake for LLVM/Clang, see Building LLVM with CMake.
The TableGen options are required to compile it with the host compiler, so you’ll need to compile LLVM (or at least llvm-tblgen) to your host platform before you start. The CXX flags define the target, cpu (which defaults to fpu=VFP3 with NEON), and forcing the hard-float ABI. If you’re using Clang as a cross-compiler, you will also have to set -ccc-gcc-name, to make sure it picks the correct linker.
Most of the time, what you want is to have a native compiler to the platform itself, but not others. It might not even be feasible to produce x86 binaries from ARM targets, so there’s no point in compiling all back-ends. For that reason, you should also set the TARGETS_TO_BUILD to only build the ARM back-end.
You must set the CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX, otherwise a ninja install will copy ARM binaries to your root filesystem, which is not what you want.
There are some bugs in current LLVM, which require some fiddling before running CMake:
If you’re using Clang as the cross-compiler, there is a problem in the LLVM ARM back-end that is producing absolute relocations on position-independent code (R_ARM_THM_MOVW_ABS_NC), so for now, you should disable PIC:
This is not a problem, since Clang/LLVM libraries are statically linked anyway, it shouldn’t affect much.
The ARM libraries won’t be installed in your system, and possibly not easily installable anyway, so you’ll have to build/download them separately. But the CMake prepare step, which checks for dependencies, will check the host libraries, not the target ones.
A quick way of getting the libraries is to download them from a distribution repository, like Debian (http://packages.debian.org/wheezy/), and download the missing libraries. Note that the libXXX will have the shared objects (.so) and the libXXX-dev will give you the headers and the static (.a) library. Just in case, download both.
The ones you need for ARM are: libtinfo, zlib1g, libxml2 and liblzma. In the Debian repository you’ll find downloads for all architectures.
After you download and unpack all .deb packages, copy all .so and .a to a directory, make the appropriate symbolic links (if necessary), and add the relevant -L and -I paths to -DCMAKE_CXX_FLAGS above.
Finally, if you’re using your platform compiler, run:
$ cmake -G Ninja <source-dir> <options above>
If you’re using Clang as the cross-compiler, run:
$ CC='clang' CXX='clang++' cmake -G Ninja <source-dir> <options above>
If you have clang/clang++ on the path, it should just work, and special Ninja files will be created in the build directory. I strongly suggest you to run cmake on a separate build directory, not inside the source tree.
To build, simply type:
It should automatically find out how many cores you have, what are the rules that needs building and will build the whole thing.
You can’t run ninja check-all on this tree because the created binaries are targeted to ARM, not x86_64.
After the LLVM/Clang has built successfully, you should install it via:
$ ninja install
which will create a sysroot on the install-dir. You can then tar that directory into a binary with the full triple name (for easy identification), like:
$ ln -sf <install-dir> arm-linux-gnueabihf-clang $ tar zchf arm-linux-gnueabihf-clang.tar.gz arm-linux-gnueabihf-clang
If you copy that tarball to your target board, you’ll be able to use it for running the test-suite, for example. Follow the guidelines at http://llvm.org/docs/lnt/quickstart.html, unpack the tarball in the test directory, and use options:
$ ./sandbox/bin/python sandbox/bin/lnt runtest nt \ --sandbox sandbox \ --test-suite `pwd`/test-suite \ --cc `pwd`/arm-linux-gnueabihf-clang/bin/clang \ --cxx `pwd`/arm-linux-gnueabihf-clang/bin/clang++
Remember to add the -jN options to lnt to the number of CPUs on your board. Also, the path to your clang has to be absolute, so you’ll need the pwd trick above.