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6.1. GCC compiler

You can compile your kernel with your own PA-RISC box. But on old systems, you may prefer to use another - faster - computer to compile your kernel. We will see the two alternatives. Whichever you choose, you need at least gcc-3.0.


By the time this howto is released, only gcc-3.0.X was able to build working kernels. There is a bug in more recent versions that makes the box crash when network activity occurs.

6.1.1. native build

Since Debian is the only distribution supporting PA-RISC architecture, if you want to use the Super Cow powers, you need to have some basic knowledge about the Debian packaging system. We will explain here how to quickly get a gcc compiler ready on your PA-RISC box. apt-get and friends

apt-get is a simple command line utility that manages Debian package system. Gustavo Noronha Silva wrote the APT HOWTO that you should read for sharper details. Actually, we just want to build a kernel, so we will tell you the bare minimum needed to do that. First, setup your sources.list in order to fetch the needed archives from the Internet. Here is a sample configuration for /etc/apt/sources.list, using a German Debian mirror═:

# Binary packages
deb unstable main contrib non-free
# non-US packages
deb unstable/non-US main non-free contrib
# source packages
deb-src unstable main contrib non-free
# non-US source packages
deb-src unstable/non-US main contrib non-free update your gcc

If you are using your own PA-RISC box, you only need the good old GCC compiler. We recommend to keep it up-to-date with the latest version uploaded by the developers.

bash# apt-get update
bash# apt-get upgrade

If you do not want to upgrade all your system, according to the package description of kernel-source, you need to get those packages updated═:

  • binutils

  • fileutils

  • gcc

  • libc-dev

  • make

When this is done, you can proceed to the kernel settings.

6.1.2. cross compiled build

In this kernel build method, everything depends on the architecture of your building machine. For x86 computers, you can download a ready-to-use cross compiler archive on the PA/Linux FTP server. You can also find some "exotic" (like for MacOS X) cross-compilers archives on the PA/Linux ESIEE Team website. For other architectures or if you want to compile your own toolchain, please refer to Carlos O'Donell's HOWTO.


As there is not yet a 64bit userspace on HP-PA, you have to cross-compile 64bit kernel even if you are building on a 64bit PA-RISC box. You can get unofficial debs for hppa64 compilers and binutils at See PA-RISC Linux Website for details.

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