Compiling Code for a Target OBC

In order for programs written using a compiled language (Rust, C, etc) to work on a target OBC, they will need to be compiled using the appropriate cross-compile toolchain.

This document covers the process of installing the cross-compile toolchain and compiling a program for a target OBC using a local development environment.

The Kubos SDK comes with the cross-compile toolchains pre-installed, as well as some additional helper tooling. If you are using the SDK as your development environment, please refer to those docs for more specific information.


The toolchains have been generated and tested with a Linux-based host operating system. There may be issues when using them with a Mac-based operating system. If so, please use the SDK in order to cross-compile your projectes instead.


Below are the direct download links for the latest cross-compiling toolchains. These toolchains contain the majority of utilities required to build a KubOS project. They include things like the C and C++ compilers and linkers which are needed to generate executables for the target architecture, as well as tools which the host will use to assemble and package other OS components. If you need a prior version of a toolchain, please contact a Kubos team member for support.


Uncompress the toolchain into your location of choice. We recommend that you choose a location which is outside of your system path, since the toolchains may contain binaries which have duplicate names to those which already exist in the system.


If you are programming in Rust, you will now want to configure Cargo to use the new toolchain.

Navigate to your .cargo directory and edit the config file (or create one if it doesn’t already exist)

Add a new [target.*] section with a linker variable which points to the toolchain’s gcc file:

linker = "/path/to/{obc}_toolchain/usr/bin/{arch}-gcc"

Please refer to the Kubos SDK’s Cargo config file for reference. You should be able to directly copy the lines pertaining to your target OBC.

Using the Toolchains


The new toolchains can be used by specifying the previously-defined target triple in the --target argument when running cargo build.

For example:

$ cargo build --target arm-unknown-linux-gnueabihf

More specific information about how to set up and use a Rust project can be found in the Getting Started with KubOS and Rust doc.


To use the toolchains with C, define the CC and CXX envars with the path to the appropriate binary prior to compiling your code.

For example:

$ export CC=/home/user/bbb_toolchain/usr/bin/arm-linux-gcc
$ export CXX=/home/user/bbb_toolchain/usr/bin/arm-linux-g++
$ cmake .. && make

More specific information about how to set up and use a C project can be found in the Using C with the Kubos SDK doc.