I have a device with armel architecture, the file system is running on a VM (amd64 architecture) because the device has not enough space to install compile requirements. The OS is Debian 9 (stretch).

I download the Python, create the file config.site with following content (found it in another answer):


After that i run ./configure. At last with many options (that i found in different forums) like:

CONFIG_SITE=config.site ./configure --target=arm-linux --host=arm-linux-gnu "CFLAGS=-m32" "CXXFLAGS=-m32" "LDFLAGS=-m32" --build=armel --enable-ipv6

At this point, for what i need --[dis|en]able-ipv6?

With different settings it work, if it worked I run make. If this was complete i run

checkinstall -D --install=no --fstrans=yes

If this running successful i install the .deb package on the another device with armel architecure, but if I run python there comes an error: bash: /usr/local/bin/python: cannot execute binary file. Can you explain me why?

UPDATE After the installation of the Debian package the output of file /usr/local/bin/pythonis a symbolic link up to /usr/local/bin/python2.7. The output of the last is:

python2.7: ELF 64-bit LSB shared object, x86-64, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.32, stripped

I found that the gcc use x86-64 to compile is that correct? Or i need to change that? When yes, how i change that?

I want to know more about compiling. Please write detailed answers and/or add source links to your answer.

Many thanks in advance!

  • 1
    Is the Debian 9 python2.7 package for armel not appropriate? – Stephen Kitt Nov 1 '19 at 11:39
  • Please show the output of file /usr/local/bin/python. – JigglyNaga Nov 1 '19 at 12:04
  • StephenKitt: Where I can see this? The python version 2.7.6 works fine as well. @JigglyNaga: Oh I forgot to write it into the question. I'm currently not on the computer. But i know the command says me it was compiled for x86-64. – Luca Nov 3 '19 at 12:57

Compiling is the process of translating a language such as C into instructions for a CPU. Different CPUs have different instruction sets. Think of this as x86_64 being a different CPU language to armel.

While it's technically possible to make a compiler that can write in any instruction set (language), I don't believe there are any that can just switch.

So to use GCC to compile for armel you need a copy of GCC which itself was compiled to write armel. Here's the catch... To achieve what you are trying you need a copy of GCC which will compile for armel, but that copy of GCC needs to run on (be compiled for) x86_64. This is known as a cross compiler: a compiler who's code is compiled for one instruction set that will, when used compile code to a different instruction set.

The compiler you will need is gcc-arm-linux-gnueabi (https://packages.debian.org/buster/gcc-arm-linux-gnueabi). You may find that this get's tripped up with header files (compiling will fail on # include <...>), or libraries (undefined reference to ...). I'm afraid it's so long since I've done this I can't actually remember how to tell the compiler to use the headers and libraries from your target system. This may be something you need to research.

  • First, thanks for the description. There is a large list if i run the command. And I found libgcc1-armel-cross. Now I run make CC=libgcc1-armel-cross but that throw an error: Makefile:676: recipe for target 'Modules/python.o' failed – Luca Nov 4 '19 at 9:04
  • The one you want is gcc-arm-linux-gnueabi. – Philip Couling Nov 4 '19 at 11:13
  • This i tried as well. But i get the same error. Is there perhaps something wrong with the command ./configure? – Luca Nov 4 '19 at 11:37
  • I'm afraid this is rapidly going beyond my knowledge, I'm not going to be able to help you much further. I will say the error you've mentioned should have more information before it. As my edit suggests, I'm half expecting you to have a problem with headers or libraries, but I can't for the life of me remember how to re-configure this. Double check if configure has a --target option. You might need to set this instead of CC. Sorry I can't do more. – Philip Couling Nov 4 '19 at 11:43

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