Blackfin cross development in Linux

Linux is growing attractive for Embedded engineers everyday. One good thing about Linux is that GNU C compiler is available for almost any CPU architecture you can name. Blackfin has got a lot of open source support. This post is about setting up the development environment to cross compile applications for Blackfin processor.

Cross compiling is the process in which code for a target processor is compiled in a different host processor. This is usually done because the target processor might not have enough resources to be able to compile applications on it. In our case target processor is Blackfin and host processor is x86.

First you need to download the cross compiler toolchain. You can either build your own tool chain or download prebuilt tool chain. I prefer using the prebuilt version. To download the toolchain, visit

Once you have downloaded the toolchain, uncompress it in the place of your choice. I uncompressed it in /usr/cross/. Now add the following line to the end of .bashrc file in your home directory.

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/cross/bfin-elf/bin/

Replace the /usr/cross/bfin-elf/bin with the path to the bin directory where you have extracted your toolcahin. Now test tool chain by typing the following

bfin-elf-gcc -v

This should print out some information regarding your tool chain. If it prints out Command not found, then you have entered wrong path in the export statement. In our next post let us code and compile our application for Blackfin processor.


Ravi Teja is a technology entrepreneur with interest in Embedded Systems, Software engineering, Operating Systems, Web development, Cloud computing, Machine learning, etc.

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