Compilation speed info and some questions

Asked by viswesr on 2012-06-09

1. Info: Thanks for providing FOSS prebuilt binaries of GCC ARM Cortex- M/R MCUs. I made a blog post about this compiler @ . An user has complained about the speed of compilation of windows binary with respect to CS lite binary. It seems the CS lite compiles twice as fast compared to this binary.

I think, this is mostly to do with the settings used while compiling ARM GCC (like i386, i686 or threading features etc...)

2. Is this project officially supported by ARM Ltd or the community which maintains GCC for ARM ?

3. Are there any plans to provide Mac OS X binaries as well ?

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GNU Arm Embedded Toolchain Edit question
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Terry Guo (terry.guo) said : #1

Hi viswesr,

1. Thanks for making blog for this tool chain. All user experiences of this tool chain are our concerns, including the compilation time. We will try to reproduce this issue and look into it.

2. It is a project officially supported by ARM with a long term focus. We are legal ARM employees :-).

3. I am not so familiar with Mac world. In terms of Mac OS X binaries, can you be more detailed? Because providing mac binaries involves the scripts to build that binaries, do you want a cross build way (building mac binaries from a Ubuntu machine) or native build way (building mac binaries in a Mac OS X machine)?

viswesr (viswesr) said : #2

Hi Terry Guo,

2.Nice to know :-) Before this project, GCC builds for ARM Embedded MCUs were fragmented. Many scripts and how-tos were available on building GCC for Coretex M/R. But, none were tested builds. CS lite can not be used for every project as it comes with its proprietary start-up scripts(CS3). Makefiles, linker-scripts, startup code and linker options are different from vanilla gcc. It really makes a difference when getting an officially tested FOSS build. It is now possible to use GPLed code for open source projects.

3.I do not come from Mac World either. It is a norm for cross-platform tools to support all the three host platforms (GNU/Linux, Windows and Mac OS). BTW, a script is available from for compiling GNU Tools for ARM Embedded Processors for Mac OS X.

Terry Guo (terry.guo) said : #3

Hi viswesr,

About the compilation time, I did some experiments and can't reproduce it. It doesn't looks like a common issue. Anyway we will keep an eye on it.

About the Mac OS support, we are still evaluating the effort and resource. Once we figure it out, we will find a way to announce.

Thanks again for trying and giving us valuable comments.

Michael Smith (drziplok) said : #4


As a happy Mac OS X user of your package, I have patches and a wrapper here:

that you're welcome to consider if you'd like to add Mac OS X support to your build script. It's not straightforward unfortunately because there are pieces of the build that get cut out (mostly the html and pdf document generation) but the overall delta is quite small.

For other Mac OS X users, I am also maintaining a Homebrew tap at MikeSmith/misc that can be used to build and install this toolchain.

viswesr (viswesr) said : #5

Terry and All Developers,

Is there any possibility of having a wiki for this project similar to Linaro. Users can contribute contents, post manuals/guides, builds for platforms not directly supported (like Mac OS by Michael Smith). There is a growing interest in "GNU Tools for ARM Embedded Processors" as Cortex-M0/M3 are becoming popular and vendors introducing sub $10 evaluation kits.

This wiki is not for contributing to upstream ARM GCC support. But, for associated information to make this tool-chain more useful to others. In one other question, some one asked about supporting "make" tool for Windows build. This need not be a priority for "GNU Tools for ARM Embedded Processors " developers. But, these can be contributed by the community. This will reduce the fragmentation of GCC support for ARM Cortex M/R.

This will help downstream Open Source Hardware projects like Leaflabs Maple board, etc.. to adapt this tool. They would also be source of good feedback for this project.

For inspiration, please read free-book and


Terry Guo (terry.guo) said : #6

Good suggestion. I am looking into it.

Joey Ye (jinyun-ye) said : #7

It is a pity that launchpad itself doesn't support wiki.

viswesr (viswesr) said : #8

I think launchpad was intended for supporting Ubuntu packages and other FOSS that had their own website(content management system).

We will have to use some other FOSS hosting service like Sourceforge / Google Code / Git Hub / Savannah for Wiki or CMS. Some of these also allow custom domain name mapping websites.

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