3.1. Host Operating Systems

A wide range of host operating systems and hardware can be used. The host operating systems supported are:

  • Linux
  • FreeBSD
  • NetBSD
  • Apple OS X
  • Windows
  • Solaris

The functionality on a POSIX operating such as Linux and FreeBSD is similar and most features on Windows are supported but you are best to ask on the Users Mailing List if you have a specific question.

We recommend you maintain your operating system by installing any updates.

We also recommend you keep your environment to the bare minimum, particularly the PATH variable. Using environment variables has been proven over the years to be difficult to manage in production systems.


The RSB assumes your host is set up and the needed packages are installed and configured to work. If your host has not been set up please refer to section that covers your host’s packages you need to install.

Path to use when building applications:

Do not forget to set the path before you use the tools, for example to build the RTEMS kernel.

The RSB by default will install (copy) the executables to a directory tree under the prefix you supply. To use the tools once finished just set your path to the bin directory under the prefix you use. In the examples that follow the prefix is $HOME/development/rtems/4.11 and is set using the --prefix option so the path you need to configure to build applications can be set with the following in a BASH shell:

$ export PATH=$HOME/development/rtems/4.11/bin:$PATH

Make sure you place the RTEMS tool path at the front of your path so they are searched first. RTEMS can provide newer versions of some tools your operating system provides and placing the RTEMS tools path at the front means it is searched first and the RTEMS needed versions of the tools are used.


Do not put spaces or special characters in the directories you use to build RTEMS. Many of the packages built by the RSB use GNU make, which cannot handle spaces in pathnames. If there is a space in the pathname the build will fail. Special characters are also likely to confuse build systems.


RSB and RTEMS have a matching git branch for each version of RTEMS. For example, if you want to build a toolchain for 4.11, then you should checkout the 4.11 branch of the RSB:

$ git checkout -t origin/4.11

Branches are available for the 4.9, 4.10, and 4.11 versions of RTEMS.