How to build Linux kernel user space tools

1 Article purpose

This article provides the basic information needed to build the user space tools available on the Linux® kernel.

2 Introduction

The Linux kernel provides some user-space tools that are available in the tools directory [1] of the source tree.

These tools are not compiled by default when compiling the Linux kernel for the target board. They can be compiled independently, depending on the user's needs.

3 Installing the trace and debug tool on your target board

3.1 Using the STM32MPU Embedded Software distribution

3.1.1 Developer Package

Prerequisites, please ensure:

The available user space tools can be listed by using the following commands in the Linux kernel source root path:

PC $> cd <Linux_kernel_source_path>
PC $> make tools/help O="<Linux_kernel_build_dir>" (optional)
Possible targets:

 acpi                   - ACPI tools
 cgroup                 - cgroup tools
 cpupower               - a tool for all things x86 CPU power
 firewire               - the userspace part of nosy, an IEEE-1394 traffic sniffer
 freefall               - laptop accelerometer program for disk protection
 gpio                   - GPIO tools
 hv                     - tools used when in Hyper-V clients
 iio                    - IIO tools
 kvm_stat               - top-like utility for displaying kvm statistics
 leds                   - LEDs  tools
 liblockdep             - user-space wrapper for kernel locking-validator
 bpf                    - misc BPF tools
 perf                   - Linux performance measurement and analysis tool
 selftests              - various kernel selftests
 spi                    - spi tools
 objtool                - an ELF object analysis tool
 tmon                   - thermal monitoring and tuning tool
 turbostat              - Intel CPU idle stats and freq reporting tool
 usb                    - USB testing tools
 virtio                 - vhost test module
 vm                     - misc vm tools
 wmi			- WMI interface examples
 x86_energy_perf_policy - Intel energy policy tool

Note: some tools are made for specific platforms (ARM, x86, RISC, and so on), so cannot be used on STM32MPU systems

The following basic steps must be done :

  • Compiling the application:
- Refer to <Linux kernel installation directory>/README.HOW_TO.txt helper file to know how to compile (the latest version of this helper file is also available in this user guide: README.HOW_TO.txt).
- Ensure at least that the kernel configuration file is generated (.config) (information available in README.HWO_TO file previously mentioned)
- Compile the expected tool (i.e. iio, spi...)
PC $> cd <Linux_kernel_source_path>/tools
PC $> make <tool> [O=<Linux_kernel_build_dir>]

Note: The 'O' option can be used to specify the output directory

  • Deploying the application on a board:
-The binary is generated in the directory path <Linux_kernel_build_dir>/<tool>
-Push it onto the board.
PC $> scp <tool_binary> root@<board ip address>:/<dest_path>

PS: please ensure that the <dest_path> is known in the $PATH to execute the tool binary from anywhere on the target board.

3.1.2 Distribution Package

There is currently no recipe to build the Linux kernel user space tools, so the Developer package has to be used.

4 References


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