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Downloading and Installation

These instructions describe how to download and install recent versions of the eCos real-time operating system.

Host support

The eCos net distribution is available in both Linux and Windows versions. The Linux version is tested under recent versions of the Fedora, openSUSE and Ubuntu distributions for x86 and should work under most Linux variants. The Windows version has been tested under Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP and Windows Vista. It should also work under Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 with SP6a. Please note that eCos is no longer supported under Windows 95/98/ME.

Downloading and installation instructions


Developers wishing to use the pre-built eCos 3.0 host tools on a 32-bit Linux host (i686) must first ensure that they have libstdc++ v3 (/usr/lib/ installed. Users of Linux distributions which provide a more recent libstdc++ may need to install a libstdc++ v3 compatibility package. Installation of the compatibility package may be achieved as follows:

    Fedora i686: yum install compat-libstdc++-33
    openSUSE i686: zypper install libstdc++33
    Ubuntu 9.10 i686 (and later): dpkg -i libstdc++5_3.3.6-17ubuntu1_i386.deb
    Ubuntu 9.04 i686 (and earlier):   apt-get install libstdc++5

Note: Snapshot builds of the eCos host tools which use the more recent shared library are now available.

Developers working with a 64-bit Linux host (x86_64) should use the above snapshot build and will also need to install 32-bit libraries as follows:

    Fedora x86_64: yum install libstdc++.i686
    openSUSE 12.x x86_64: zypper install libstdc++46-32bit
    openSUSE 11.x x86_64:   zypper install libstdc++45-32bit
    Ubuntu 13.10 x86_64 (and later): apt-get install lib32stdc++6
    Ubuntu 13.04 x86_64 (and earlier):   apt-get install ia32-libs

The Linux-hosted eCos Configuration Tool also requires the GTK+ toolkit version 2.0 or later.


Developers wishing to install eCos on a Windows host must first install a recent version of the Cygwin UNIX emulation system. Full instructions on installing Cygwin for use with eCos are available. The following instructions assume that Cygwin has already been installed (where necessary) and that the reader is familiar with invoking a bash shell.

Note: Snapshot builds of the eCos host tools which use the more recent libtcl8.5.dll shared library are now available.

eCos and Toolchain

The most recent eCos release (eCos 3.0) may be installed using an installation tool which simplifies the downloading and installation of the eCos sources, host tools and documentation. The installation tool can optionally download one or more pre-built GNU cross toolchains (contributed by eCosCentric Limited and others) for use in conjunction with eCos. At present, toolchains for the following target architectures are available for download in pre-built form:

ArchitectureTargetGCC version
ARM (ARM7TDMI, ARM9, Cortex-M, XScale)arm-eabi4.6.3
ARM (ARM7DI, StrongARM)arm-elf3.2.1
Intel x86i386-elf4.3.2

Developers targetting one of the other architectures must build a toolchain themselves at present. Full instructions for downloading source code and building a toolchain are available.

We recommend that eCos is installed to /opt/ecos where it will be accessible by all users. This may require installation by a user with suitable privileges. First, download the eCos installation tool by using the following command at a bash prompt:

    wget --passive-ftp

The installation tool may then be invoked as follows:

    sh ecos-install.tcl

The installation tool will present a list of mirror sites from which the software may be downloaded. For best results, please select a mirror site in your own geographical region. The tool will then prompt for an installation location. Finally, the tool will present a list of pre-built GNU toolchains available for download. Select each toolchain you wish to download by entering the corresponding number. When all required toolchains have been selected, enter q. Downloading and installation of the software will then commence.

Note: Following installation of eCos, most users will need to replace their eCos host tools with more recent snapshot builds. Download instructions for the most recent snapshot builds are available in the ecos-discuss mailing list archives:

Windows users should note that POSIX-style paths are relative to the root of their Cygwin installation (typically c:\cygwin) by default. For example, /opt/ecos might be located at c:\cygwin\opt\ecos in the Windows Explorer.

Users may wish to create a shortcut to the eCos Configuration Tool on their desktop. Typically, this may be achieved by dragging the configtool or configtool.exe executable file from the file manager provided by your operating system onto the desktop and dropping it while holding down the shift and ctrl keys. This file is located in the ecos-version/tools/bin directory under the location at which eCos was installed. On Windows hosts, it will be necessary to modify the "Start in" property of the shortcut to specify the Cygwin /bin directory (typically c:\cygwin\bin) as the working directory.

Users who have downloaded eCos previously and now wish to download additional toolchains should re-invoke the eCos installer, specifying the -t switch on the installer command line as follows:

    sh ecos-install.tcl -t


Full documentation is available online. It is included within the eCos net distribution in HTML format only.

New users are encouraged to follow the programming tutorial in the appropriate Getting Started with eCos document which guides the reader through the stages involved in building and running an eCos application.

Previous releases

Downloading and installation of the latest version of eCos using the eCos installer described above is recommended. However, current and previous public releases of eCos and the pre-built toolchains (including arm-eabi-gcc 4.3.2) are also available for downloading directly via one of the eCos mirror sites. Users of eCos 1.3.1 may refer to the eCos 1.3.1 installation instructions for Linux and Windows.