[coreboot] Now Proposal for cross-compiler Re: Simnow & payloads (Was: something else)

Jordan Crouse jordan.crouse at amd.com
Wed May 14 17:13:48 CEST 2008

On 14/05/08 10:58 -0400, Marc Karasek wrote:
> Jordan, Marc, Ron,  et all.
> I found the problem with building coreboot-v2.  It was the binutils.  I 
> believe the seg fault in linking tint/coreinfo is the same issue.  I will 
> try to verify this soon.
> I would like to propose that we move to a cross-compile type of 
> environment.  We could use crosstools scripts to build a complete 
> environment that would go under /opt/crosstools. This could then be used by 
> buildrom to build with.  The advantage is that everyone will be on the same 
> page in terms of gcc/binutils/glibc versions and we can have a better 
> control over what tools
> are used.  It gets us away from any distro/tools dependencies.  It will 
> also let us test new toolchains in a very controlled environment.  Another 
> added bonus with a common set of tools is that third-party developers
> can use this without worrying about toolchain issues.
> I have some experience in using cross-compilers from other embedded 
> projects.  I have already setup crosstools with gcc 4.1.0 / binutils 2.16 / 
> glibc 2.3.6 on my system.  I could take on the task of modifying buildrom 
> to use this toolchain instead of the "native" toolchain.   I

I feel very strongly that this should not be mandatory.  I appreciate
the trouble you have had, but I think that adding a mandatory cross-compile
toolchain is too high a barrier for entry for novice buildrom users.

I have always believed, and I will always believe that the reason that 
any given toolchain doesn't work out of the box is the fault of the software
you are compiling and not the fault of the toolchain.  The moment we start
to turn a blind eye to our own faults and start blaming toolchains, then we
have started down a slippery slope.  Eventually, coreboot and buildrom and
the payloads will only be compilable with a special toolchain that is six
years old and we'll be content to sit around and blame it all on the compiler
team.  Thats not a future I relish.

If libpayload based payloads are not building, then I consider that a
personal failure, and we need to resolve it.  Please send me the details.

That all said, I would be perfectly happy to let the user specify a 
local toolchain to compile buildrom, as long as that behavior is configurable
and the default remains to use the system toolchain.  I'm sure that your
experience with crosstools will be good for a wiki page describing the 
care and feeding of a cross-compile toolchain and how to use it with
buildrom.  I look forward to seeing that.

But I beg you, please give us as much information as you have about your
failures so that we can try to fix them in the code.  And everybody else,
we need to stop throwing our hands up when we encounter toolchain issues -
we need to understand them and why there is a much better then average
chance that it is our code that is to blame.


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