You need to perform some basic preparation to get started with RTEMS development. You need tools from your host’s operating system to build the RTEMS tool suite from source. The RTEMS tools you build are used to build the Board Support Package (BSP) libraries for your target hardware from source. The BSP libraries contain the RTEMS operating system. This is not a one-click installation process, but there are good reasons to build everything from source.
During this Quick Start guide you will:
- Select a suitable place to install RTEMS.
- Select if you download all the source code before you start building RTEMS or the source is downloaded on demand as it is needed. If you do not have a reliable internet connection we recommend you download all the source before starting a build.
- Build a tool suite.
- Build and test a BSP.
- Optionally build additional packages.
Alternatively you can build a BSP as a package using the RSB. This is covered in Build an RSB Package
2.1.1. Host Computer¶
The host computer is a computer you use to develop applications. It runs all your tools, editors, documentation viewers, etc. You need a native C, C++, and Python development environment. Please make sure you can build native C/C++ applications on your host computer. You must be able to build native Python C modules as some RTEMS tools contain these modules. Usually, you have to install a Python development package for this. Please have a look at the Host Computer chapter for the gory details. In particular Microsoft Windows users should do this.
2.1.2. Selecting a BSP¶
If you are new to RTEMS and you are looking to try RTEMS then the best suited
Board Support Package (BSP) is the SPARC ERC32
erc32). The SPARC ERC32 BSP has a robust simulator that runs the example
and test executables on your host computer. This Quick Start guide will build
erc32 BSP and run RTEMS tests executables in the simulator. The ERC32
BSP is a SPARC architecture BSP so the tool suite name is
If you are looking for a hardware target to run RTEMS on we recommend the
BeagleBone Black (
BSP. The BeagleBone Black support includes the RTEMS BSD Library (
and networking. The BeagleBone Black BSP is an ARM architecture BSP so the tool
suite name is
2.1.3. Selecting a Version of RTEMS¶
In the examples of this manual we will often refer to a specific version of RTEMS, which will usually be the version that accompanied the publication of this documentation manual. That may not be the appropriate version for you to use, for example, it may be too old (or too new) depending on what you are trying to do. If you’re not sure what version to use, we generally recommend using the most recent release or the development head (master), and you may want to consult with the same version of the documentation. We hope that newer is better.
An RTEMS release involves the creation of a single downloadable file, normally a compressed tarball, that packages the source of all the repositories in a state consistent with the time the release is created. A release branch is a git branch pushed to the repositories named with the numeric identifier of the branch. A release branch release is a git tag on a release branch with the tags pushed to the repositories.
Numbering for RTEMS versions beginning with RTEMS 5 uses a format as follows. The master branch has the version N.0.0 with N being the next major release number. The first release of this series has the version number N.1.0. and there is exactly one commit with this version number in the corresponding repository. The first bugfix release (minor release) of this series will have the version number N.2.0. The release branch will have the version number N.M.1 with M being the last minor release of this series.
For example: + 5.0.0 is the version number of the development master for the 5 series. + 5.1.0 is the first release of the 5 series. + 5.1.1 is the version number of the 5 series release branch right after
the 5.1.0 release until 5.2.0 is released.
- 5.2.0 is the first bugfix release of the 5 series
- 5.2.1 is the version number of the 5 series release branch right after the 5.2.0 release until 5.3.0 is released.
- 6.0.0 is the version number of the development master for the 6 series.
RTEMS development tools use N as the version number and are expected to
work with all releases and the release branch of the N series.
So to build tools for compiling RTEMS version number 5.1.0 for SPARC use
sparc-rtems5. Despite the number not increasing, the tools may change
within a release branch, for example the tools packaged with 5.1.1 still use
sparc-rtems5 moniker, but are likely not the same as the tools used
in version 5.1.0. This tool mismatch can be a source of confusion. Be sure to
use the toolchain that matches your release.