How to install the Raspberry Pi cross compiler on my Linux host machine?


I am attempting to get cross-compiling for Raspberry Pi working on my Ubuntu machine.

During my initial attempts I was using the arm-linux-gnueabi compiler, which is available in the Ubuntu repo. I got this working. I was able to build all my dependencies and use the cross-compiler in my cmake project.

However, I believe I should be using the hf version, so I switched to arm-linux-gnueabihf. Then I realized that this does not work with Raspberry Pi since it is armv6.

After some Googling, I then found the pre-built toolchain from GitHub.

I downloaded the toolchain, but I don’t really understand how to “install” it. I extracted the files to my home directory. The directory structure looks like this:

            (contains g++, gcc, etc)
            (contains libstdc++ library)
        (contains arm-linux-gnueabihf-g++, arm-linux-gnueabihf-...)
        (gcc lib stuff)

If I change directory to the INNER bin folder I am able to compile a test program from the terminal without any problems.

arm-linux-gnueabihf/bin$ g++ test.cpp -o test

I then tried to compile a test program in the OUTER bin folder, which contains the prefixed versions of the tools.

 arm-linux-gnueabihf-g++ test.cpp -o test

However, when I try to use the compiler now (from outside the inner bin directory), it is unable to find the libstdc++ shared library that comes with the toolchain:

arm-linux-gnueabihf-gcc: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory.

Furthermore, I want to be able to use the compiler without having to navigate to the bin directory. So I tried adding the OUTER bin directory (since I want the prefixed versions) and both lib directories to my PATH:

export PATH=$PATH:~/tools/.../bin
export PATH=$PATH:~/tools/.../lib
export PATH=$PATH:~/tools/.../.../lib

However, this results in the same error. How should I “install” the toolchain so that I can use the toolchain from everywhere, just like I can when I use the cross-compilers from the Ubuntu repo?


I’m gonna try to write this as a tutorial for you so it becomes easy to follow.

This tutorial only works for older raspbian images. For the newer Raspbian based on Debian Buster see the following how-to in this thread:


Before you start you need to make sure the following is installed:

apt-get install git rsync cmake libc6-i386 lib32z1 lib32stdc++6

Let’s cross compile a Pie!

Start with making a folder in your home directory called raspberrypi.

Go in to this folder and pull down the ENTIRE tools folder you mentioned above:

git clone git://

You wanted to use the following of the 3 ones, gcc-linaro-arm-linux-gnueabihf-raspbian, if I did not read wrong.

Go into your home directory and add:

export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/raspberrypi/tools/arm-bcm2708/gcc-linaro-arm-linux-gnueabihf-raspbian/bin

to the end of the file named ~/.bashrc

Now you can either log out and log back in (i.e. restart your terminal session), or run . ~/.bashrc in your terminal to pick up the PATH addition in your current terminal session.

Now, verify that you can access the compiler arm-linux-gnueabihf-gcc -v. You should get something like this:

Using built-in specs.
Target: arm-linux-gnueabihf
Configured with: /cbuild/slaves/oort61/crosstool-ng/builds/arm-linux-gnueabihf-raspbian-linux/.b
 uild/src/gcc-linaro-4.7-2012.08/configure --build=i686-build_pc-linux-gnu --host=i686-build_pc-
 linux-gnu --target=arm-linux-gnueabihf --prefix=/cbuild/slaves/oort61/crosstool-ng/builds/arm-l
 inux-gnueabihf-raspbian-linux/install --with-sysroot=/cbuild/slaves/oort61/crosstool-ng/builds/
 arm-linux-gnueabihf-raspbian-linux/install/arm-linux-gnueabihf/libc --enable-languages=c,c++,fo
 rtran --disable-multilib --with-arch=armv6 --with-tune=arm1176jz-s --with-fpu=vfp --with-float=
 hard --with-pkgversion='crosstool-NG linaro-1.13.1+bzr2458 - Linaro GCC 2012.08' --with-bugurl= --enable-__cxa_atexit --enable-libmudflap --enable-libgom
 p --enable-libssp --with-gmp=/cbuild/slaves/oort61/crosstool-ng/builds/arm-linux-gnueabihf-rasp
 bian-linux/.build/arm-linux-gnueabihf/build/static --with-mpfr=/cbuild/slaves/oort61/crosstool-
 ng/builds/arm-linux-gnueabihf-raspbian-linux/.build/arm-linux-gnueabihf/build/static --with-mpc
 gnueabihf/build/static --with-ppl=/cbuild/slaves/oort61/crosstool-ng/builds/arm-linux-gnueabihf
 -raspbian-linux/.build/arm-linux-gnueabihf/build/static --with-cloog=/cbuild/slaves/oort61/cros
 stool-ng/builds/arm-linux-gnueabihf-raspbian-linux/.build/arm-linux-gnueabihf/build/static --wi
 rm-linux-gnueabihf/build/static --with-host-libstdcxx='-L/cbuild/slaves/oort61/crosstool-ng/bui
 lds/arm-linux-gnueabihf-raspbian-linux/.build/arm-linux-gnueabihf/build/static/lib -lpwl' --ena
 ble-threads=posix --disable-libstdcxx-pch --enable-linker-build-id --enable-plugin --enable-gol
 d --with-local-prefix=/cbuild/slaves/oort61/crosstool-ng/builds/arm-linux-gnueabihf-raspbian-li
 nux/install/arm-linux-gnueabihf/libc --enable-c99 --enable-long-long
Thread model: posix
gcc version 4.7.2 20120731 (prerelease) (crosstool-NG linaro-1.13.1+bzr2458 - Linaro GCC 2012.08

But hey! I did that and the libs still don’t work!

We’re not done yet! So far, we’ve only done the basics.

In your raspberrypi folder, make a folder called rootfs.

Now you need to copy the entire /liband /usr directory to this newly created folder. I usually bring the rpi image up and copy it via rsync:

rsync -rl --delete-after --safe-links [email protected]:/{lib,usr} $HOME/raspberrypi/rootfs

where 192.168.1.PI is replaced by the IP of your Raspberry Pi.

Now, we need to write a cmake config file. Open ~/home/raspberrypi/pi.cmake in your favorite editor and insert the following:

SET(CMAKE_C_COMPILER $ENV{HOME}/raspberrypi/tools/arm-bcm2708/gcc-linaro-arm-linux-gnueabihf-raspbian/bin/arm-linux-gnueabihf-gcc)
SET(CMAKE_CXX_COMPILER $ENV{HOME}/raspberrypi/tools/arm-bcm2708/gcc-linaro-arm-linux-gnueabihf-raspbian/bin/arm-linux-gnueabihf-g++)
SET(CMAKE_FIND_ROOT_PATH $ENV{HOME}/raspberrypi/rootfs)

Now you should be able to compile your cmake programs simply by adding this extra flag: -D CMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=$HOME/raspberrypi/pi.cmake.

Using a cmake hello world example:

git clone 
cd cmake-hello-world
mkdir build
cd build
cmake -D CMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=$HOME/raspberrypi/pi.cmake ../
scp CMakeHelloWorld [email protected]:/home/pi/
ssh [email protected] ./CMakeHelloWorld

Answered By – Stenyg

This Answer collected from stackoverflow, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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