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HelenOS helper scripts

This repository contains scripts that could be useful when developing or running HelenOS. These scripts are not inside the official repository because they lack the proper documentation, are dangerous or simply too specific for concrete hosting environment.

You are free to use these scripts but at your own risk!

Below is a short description of what each of the scripts does.

This script copies currently compiled HelenOS into existing GRUB on your real harddisk. For details see my blogpost (currently, HelenOS uses GRUB 2 so some information is out-dated).

Note script has been superseded by HelenOS coastline. It is recommended to switch to Coastline.

This script prepares variables such as CC, LD or CFLAGS to launch a configure script of some program that shall be cross-compiled to HelenOS.

For example, it is possible to build zlib with following command:

~/bin/ \
        -d /path/to/HelenOS/root/directory \
        --run-with-env \
        --link-with-cc \
        --ldflags-ignored \
        --verbose \
        -- \
                ./configure \

The created minigzip actually works when copied to HelenOS image!

Quick explanation of used arguments follows.

  • path to HelenOS root directory
  • HelenOS shall be already configured (i.e. Makefile.config shall be present)
  • launch the program as env CC=... ./configure instead of ./configure CC=...
  • the program is linked with call to compiler (not linker directly)
  • not only linking is done with CC (see link-with-cc) but the script completely ignores LDFLAGS
  • this appends the LDFLAGS to normal CFLAGS (and prepend them with -Wl,)
  • be a bit more verbose on what the script is doing
-- ./configure --static
  • the program to call (we are interested only in static libz.a)

GMP compilation

Compiling of this GCC prerequisite is also possible but following patch has to be applied first:

--- gmp-5.1.0/  2012-12-18 20:05:09.000000000 +0100
+++ gmp-5.1.0/  2013-01-18 18:27:45.965852213 +0100
@@ -24,6 +24,8 @@
 #if defined (__cplusplus)
 #include <iosfwd>   /* for std::istream, std::ostream, std::string */
 #include <cstdio>
+#include <stdio.h>

To actually configure GMP run:

~/bin/ \
        -d /path/to/HelenOS/root/directory \
        --link-with-cc --ldflags-ignored \
        --cflags="-D_STDIO_H -DHAVE_STRCHR -Wl,--undefined=longjmp" \
        -- \
        ./configure \
                --host=i686-pc-linux-gnu \

Explanation for individual flags:

  • first of all, stdio.h is not included for plain C compilation (see patch)
  • next, presence of stdio.h is guessed from a list of known names for guard macros
  • HelenOS uses different guard naming, we have to add one of the known ones
  • configure is not able to recognise HelenOS strchr()
  • somehow the longjmp is dropped from the static library when linking
  • alternative solution is to put the libc as the last library (probably impossible to achive through configure)
  • probably not needed when not running make check

MPFR compilation

This is yet another GCC prerequisite:

~/bin/helenos-scripts/ \
        -d /path/to/HelenOS/root/directory/ \
        --arch-arg=--host= \
        --link-with-cc \
        --cflags="-DCHAR_BIT=8 -D_MPFR_H_HAVE_FILE \
                -DDBL_MIN=2.22507e-308 -DDBL_MAX=1.79769e+308 -DDBL_EPSILON=2.22045e-16 \
                -DLDBL_MIN=3.3621e-4932 -DLDBL_MAX=1.18973e+4932 -DLDBL_EPSILON=1.0842e-19 \
                -DFLT_MIN=1.17549e-38 -DFLT_MAX=3.40282e+38 -DFLT_EPSILON=1.19209e-07" \
         -- \
         ./configure \
                --with-gmp-lib=/tmp/gmp-5.1.0/.libs/  \
                --with-gmp-include=/tmp/gmp-5.1.0 \

Where arch-arg is automatically appends the target architecture to the given option (i.e. the result would be --host=i686-pc-linux-gnu when ia32 is selected).

It is necessary to define double and float limits (we need to compute these properly and add them to float.h). Arguments to configure just specify path to previously compiled GMP.

There is some problem (probably related to the constant definitions and also something with printf) because some of the tests from make check failed when run in HelenOS.

Failed tests:

  • tfprintf (Error in test #8: mpfr_vfprintf printed 22 characters instead of 2)
  • tget_d (MPFR_DOUBLE_SPEC not defined, a lot of "got 3.78262555946224235000e-307 instead of -3.78261899999999968000e-307")
  • tget_flt (expected 3.40282002e+38, got 3.40282347e+38)
  • tget_set_d64 (no reason printed)
  • tget_sj (no reason printed)
  • tout_str (killed manually, took too much time)
  • tprintf (NULL pointer dereference)
  • tset_sj (no reason printed)
  • tsprintf (expected: "00000010610209857723, -1.2345678875e+07, 0.032258" got: "00000010610209857723, -1.2345678875e+07, %Lf")

Install older versions of HelenOS toolchain (GCC, binutils, ...) in order to correctly compile older revisions of HelenOS.

Available versions are in toolchain/versions, to select only specific versions, create copy toolchain/install and leave only relevant lines.

The tools are installed into /usr/local/cross-legacy/ where for each version combination new directory is created. Changing this directory is possible by overwriting the LEGACY_CROSS_PREFIX variable in the script.

Currently, amd64 is built only. To choose a different target, overwrite the BUILD_TARGET in the script. Do not use parallel or 2-way as older toolchain builders do not support this.


Various helper scripts that might be useful for several specific tasks when developing HelenOS.



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