4. RTEMS Specific Utilities

This section describes the additional commands available within the RTEMS Development Environment. Although some of these commands are of general use, most are included to provide some capability necessary to perform a required function in the development of the RTEMS executive, one of its support components, or an RTEMS based application.

Some of the commands are implemented as C programs. However, most commands are implemented as Bourne shell scripts. Even if the current user has selected a different shell, the scripts will automatically invoke the Bourne shell during their execution lifetime.

The commands are presented in UNIX manual page style for compatibility and convenience. A standard set of paragraph headers were used for all of the command descriptions. If a section contained no data, the paragraph header was omitted to conserve space. Each of the permissible paragraph headers and their contents are described below:


describes the command syntax


a full description of the command


describes each of the permissible options for the command


lists any special noteworthy comments about the command


describes all environment variables utilized by the command


illustrates the use of the command with specific examples


provides a list of major files that the command references


lists any relevant commands which can be consulted

Most environment variables referenced by the commands are defined for the RTEMS Development Environment during the login procedure. During login, the user selects a default RTEMS environment through the use of the Modules package. This tool effectively sets the environment variables to provide a consistent development environment for a specific user. Additional environment variables within the RTEMS environment were set by the system administrator during installation. When specifying paths, a command description makes use of these environment variables.

When referencing other commands in the SEE ALSO paragraph, the following notation is used: command(code). Where command is the name of a related command, and code is a section number. Valid section numbers are as follows:


Section 1 of the standard UNIX documentation


Section 1 of the GNU documentation


a manual page from this document, the RTEMS Development Environment Guide

For example, ls(1) means see the standard ls command in section 1 of the UNIX documentation. gcc020(1G) means see the description of gcc020 in section 1 of the GNU documentation.

4.1. packhex - Compress Hexadecimal File


packhex <source >destination


packhex accepts Intel Hexadecimal or Motorola Srecord on its standard input and attempts to pack as many contiguous bytes as possible into a single hexadecimal record. Many programs output hexadecimal records which are less than 80 bytes long (for human viewing). The overhead required by each unnecessary record is significant and packhex can often reduce the size of the download image by 20%. packhex attempts to output records which are as long as the hexadecimal format allows.


This command has no options.


Assume the current directory contains the Motorola Srecord file download.sr. Then executing the command:

packhex <download.sr >packed.sr

will generate the file packed.sr which is usually smaller than download.sr.


The source for packhex first appeared in the May 1993 issue of Embedded Systems magazine. The code was downloaded from their BBS. Unfortunately, the author’s name was not provided in the listing.

4.2. unhex - Convert Hexadecimal File into Binary Equivalent


unhex [-valF] [-o file] [file [file ...] ]


unhex accepts Intel Hexadecimal, Motorola Srecord, or TI ‘B’ records and converts them to their binary equivalent. The output may sent to standout or may be placed in a specified file with the -o option. The designated output file may not be an input file. Multiple input files may be specified with their outputs logically concatenated into the output file.


This command has the following options:



a base

First byte of output corresponds with base address


Linear Output

o file

Output File

F k_bits

Fill holes in input with 0xFFs up to k_bits * 1024 bits


The following command will create a binary equivalent file for the two Motorola S record files in the specified output file binary.bin:

unhex -o binary.bin downloadA.sr downloadB.sr