[Buildroot] User-enabled host packages?

Thomas De Schampheleire patrickdepinguin+buildroot at gmail.com
Fri Sep 30 12:50:03 UTC 2011


On Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 9:46 AM, Thomas Petazzoni
<thomas.petazzoni at free-electrons.com> wrote:
> Hello,
> Le Thu, 22 Sep 2011 22:53:42 +0200,
> Arnout Vandecappelle <arnout at mind.be> a écrit :
>> On Wednesday 21 September 2011 15:31:33, Thomas Petazzoni wrote:
>> > > So the big question is: do we want some host packages to be enabled
>> > > vie a user option?
>>  We already have one: BR2_PACKAGE_GDB_HOST.
> Right. And also binutils uses the package infrastructure, and its host
> variant is visible in menuconfig. But we can argue that binutils/gdb
> being part of the toolchain, those are "special".
>>  Other possible candidates are the installers for boot loaders (grub,
>> syslinux), target image manipulation programs (parted, fdisk, e2fsprogs,
>> uboot-tools), tools to communicate with the target (openocd, tftpd), and maybe
>> even scripting languages for running test suites (expect, python).
> Right.
>>  However, I'm not sure of the value of having these in the .config.  If I need
>> them, it's anyway for use in build scripts that run on top of buildroot, and
>> then I can just run a "make world host-e2fsprogs".  The paths to the host
>> tools are anyway so long that even when you need them in your shell, typing an
>> additional make host-xxx first is really no effort.
> Well, I guess it's slightly more convenient. I regularly ship
> customized Buildroot configurations as development environment for
> embedded projects, and it would definitely be nice to be able to keep
> the simple :
>        make blabla_defconfig
>        make
> documentation, and allow the user to have all needed host tools in
> $(HOST_DIR), including tools to reflash the firmware on the device, or
> other utilities as you mentioned. Of course, I can document to run
> "make world host-foobar", but that sounds less integrated. But I have
> no strong opinion here.

I also prefer this simple approach. If for a certain project, host
tool X is needed, putting that dependency in the defconfig file:
* makes the build steps easy and short
* avoids putting too much knowledge in the build scripts that sit on
top of buildroot

>>  That would mean they don't sit in their package's Config.in.  Still, it would
>> be the most logical place.  Anyway there normally is no impact on the
>> package's makefile since the config option is taken care of by GENTARGETS.
> For those packages, we could have a separate Config.in.host in the
> package directory, which would be included by the top-level
> package/Config.in to make the host package appear in this new "Host
> tools" menu.

I'm currently in need of the dtc compiler, which is only really
relevant to the host. I followed the approach suggested above of a
Config.in.host file that includes the appropriate dtc/dtc.mk file.
Config.in.host is then included from the top-level Config.in.
I can submit a patch with this if you like.

>> > And also:
>> >
>> > If we decide to show some host tools (but not all) in menuconfig, what
>> > is the boundary between host tools visible in menuconfig and those not
>> > visible in menuconfig ?
>>  Similar as for the boundary between when to have a configuration option for
>> different versions of a package.  Depends on what users need.
> Ok, but I'd for example like to avoid having the myriad of X11
> libraries that we need to build for the host visible in the menuconfig.
>>  Can someone summarize the arguments that were used when this discussion took
>> place a few years ago?
> As far as I remember, host utilities have almost never been visible
> into menuconfig, besides a few exceptions (fakeroot comes to mind). At
> the time, there was only the AUTOTARGETS infrastructure (non-autotools
> packages were handled by hand-written makefiles) and the AUTOTARGETS
> infrastructure did support only target packages (host autotools
> packages were handled by hand-written makefiles). When we started
> to support host packages into the package infrastructure, we clearly
> stated that those would not be visible, as they were only necessary as
> mere dependencies for the rest of the build process, and that for this
> reason, the user had no need to see them, because he wouldn't
> use/interact with them directly.

Best regards,

More information about the buildroot mailing list