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How To Build On ARM


This document contains information about building/testing LLVM and
Clang on an ARM machine.

This document is *NOT* tailored to help you cross-compile LLVM/Clang
to ARM on another architecture, for example an x86_64 machine. To find
out more about cross-compiling, please check :doc:`HowToCrossCompileLLVM`.

Notes On Building LLVM/Clang on ARM
Here are some notes on building/testing LLVM/Clang on ARM. Note that
ARM encompasses a wide variety of CPUs; this advice is primarily based
on the ARMv6 and ARMv7 architectures and may be inapplicable to older chips.

#. The most popular Linaro/Ubuntu OS's for ARM boards, e.g., the
   Pandaboard, have become hard-float platforms. There are a number of
   choices when using CMake. Autoconf usage is deprecated as of 3.8.

   Building LLVM/Clang in ``Relese`` mode is preferred since it consumes
   a lot less memory. Otherwise, the building process will very likely
   fail due to insufficient memory. It's also a lot quicker to only build
   the relevant back-ends (ARM and AArch64), since it's very unlikely that
   you'll use an ARM board to cross-compile to other arches. If you're
   running Compiler-RT tests, also include the x86 back-end, or some tests
   will fail.

   .. code-block:: bash

     cmake $LLVM_SRC_DIR -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release \

   Other options you can use are:

   .. code-block:: bash

     Use Ninja instead of Make: "-G Ninja"
     Build with assertions on: "-DLLVM_ENABLE_ASSERTIONS=True"
     Force Python2: "-DPYTHON_EXECUTABLE=/usr/bin/python2"
     Local (non-sudo) install path: "-DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=$HOME/llvm/instal"
     CPU flags: "DCMAKE_C_FLAGS=-mcpu=cortex-a15" (same for CXX_FLAGS)

   After that, just typing ``make -jN`` or ``ninja`` will build everything.
   ``make -jN check-all`` or ``ninja check-all`` will run all compiler tests. For
   running the test suite, please refer to :doc:`TestingGuide`.

#. If you are building LLVM/Clang on an ARM board with 1G of memory or less,
   please use ``gold`` rather then GNU ``ld``. In any case it is probably a good
   idea to set up a swap partition, too.

   .. code-block:: bash

     $ sudo ln -sf /usr/bin/ld /usr/bin/ld.gold

#. ARM development boards can be unstable and you may experience that cores
   are disappearing, caches being flushed on every big.LITTLE switch, and
   other similar issues.  To help ease the effect of this, set the Linux
   scheduler to "performance" on **all** cores using this little script:

   .. code-block:: bash

      # The code below requires the package 'cpufrequtils' to be installed.
      for ((cpu=0; cpu<`grep -c proc /proc/cpuinfo`; cpu++)); do
          sudo cpufreq-set -c $cpu -g performance

   Remember to turn that off after the build, or you may risk burning your
   CPU. Most modern kernels don't need that, so only use it if you have

#. Running the build on SD cards is ok, but they are more prone to failures
   than good quality USB sticks, and those are more prone to failures than
   external hard-drives (those are also a lot faster). So, at least, you
   should consider to buy a fast USB stick.  On systems with a fast eMMC,
   that's a good option too.

#. Make sure you have a decent power supply (dozens of dollars worth) that can
   provide *at least* 4 amperes, this is especially important if you use USB
   devices with your board. Externally powered USB/SATA harddrives are even
   better than having a good power supply.