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This is the RetroBSD source directory.

Source Roadmap

bin         User commands.
etc         Template files for /etc.
include     System include files.
lib         System libraries.
libexec     System binaries.
sbin        System administration commands.
share       Shared resources.
sys         Kernel sources.
tools       Build tools and simulators.

Supported hardware

  • Fubarino SD board.
  • Olimex Duinomite, Duinomite-Mini, Duinomite-Mega and Duinomite-eMega boards.
  • Olimex Pinguino-Micro board with PIC32MX795F512H microcontroller.
  • Maximite and Colour Maximite computers.
  • Majenko SDXL board.
  • 4D Systems Picadillo-35T board.
  • MikroElektronika MultiMedia Board for PIC32MX7.
  • chipKIT Max32 board with SD card shield.
  • chipKIT WF32 board with 2.4" LCD TFT display shield.
  • Sparkfun UBW32 board with SD card slot.
  • Microchip Explorer 16 board, with PIC32 CAN-USB plug-in module and SD & MMC pictail.
  • Microchip PIC32 USB or Ethernet Starter Kit, with I/O Expansion board and SD & MMC pictail.


To compile everything from sources, you'll need some packages installed, namely: Berkeley YACC, GNU bison, flex, groff, ELF library and FUSE library. Under Ubuntu, for example, you can do it by command:

$ sudo apt-get install bison byacc flex groff-base libelf-dev

You can change a desired filesystem size and swap area size, as required. Default is:

FS_MBYTES   = 100

To compile the kernel and build a filesystem image, run:

$ make

A resulting root filesystem image is in file sdcard.img. A kernel is in file unix.hex in your target board subdirectory.

Filesystem image

You need to put a filesystem image on a SD card. On Windows, use Win32DiskImager utility ( On Linux, run:

$ sudo dd if=sdcard.img of=/dev/XYZ

Here XYZ is a device name of SD card, as recognized by Linux (sdb in my case).

Install kernel

Kernel image should be written to PIC32 flash memory. The procedure depends on a board used.

Max32 board:

Use a pic32prog utility ( and a USB cable to install a kernel:

$ pic32prog -d /dev/ttyUSB0 sys/pic32/max32/unix.hex

Here you need to change AVRTOOLS path and tty name according to your system.

UBW32 board:

Use a pic32prog utility ( and a USB cable to install a kernel:

$ pic32prog sys/pic32/ubw32/unix.hex


Use the bootload program for Windows, available for download by link:

Explorer 16 board:

There is an auxiliary PIC18 chip on the Explorer 16 board, which can be used as a built-in programmer device. You will need a PICkit 2 adapter to install a needed firmware, as described in article: (section "Hack #2: Lose the PICkit 2, Save $35"). This should be done only once.

Then, you can use a pic32prog utility ( and a USB cable to install a kernel:

$ pic32prog sys/pic32/explorer16/unix.hex

PIC32 Starter Kit:

Use PICkit 2 adapter and software to install a boot loader from file sys/pic32/starter-kit/boot.hex. This should be done only once.

Then, you can use a pic32prog utility ( and a USB cable to install a kernel:

$ pic32prog sys/pic32/starter-kit/unix.hex


You can use a MIPS32 simulator to develop a debug a RetroBSD software, without a need for hardware board. By default, a simulator is configured to imitate a Max32 board. To build it:

$ cd tools/virtualmips
$ make

Run it:

$ ./pic32

Configuration of simulated board is stored in file pic32_max32.conf.