4. Cross compile DPDK for ARM64

This chapter describes how to cross compile DPDK for ARM64 from x86 build hosts.


Whilst it is recommended to natively build DPDK on ARM64 (just like with x86), it is also possible to cross-build DPDK for ARM64. An ARM64 cross compile GNU toolchain is used for this.

4.1. Obtain the cross tool chain

The latest cross compile tool chain can be downloaded from: https://developer.arm.com/open-source/gnu-toolchain/gnu-a/downloads.

It is always recommended to check and get the latest compiler tool from the page and use it to generate better code. As of this writing 8.3-2019.03 is the newest, the following description is an example of this version.

wget https://developer.arm.com/-/media/Files/downloads/gnu-a/8.3-2019.03/binrel/gcc-arm-8.3-2019.03-x86_64-aarch64-linux-gnu.tar.xz

4.2. Unzip and add into the PATH

tar -xvf gcc-arm-8.3-2019.03-x86_64-aarch64-linux-gnu.tar.xz
export PATH=$PATH:<cross_install_dir>/gcc-arm-8.3-2019.03-x86_64-aarch64-linux-gnu/bin


For the host requirements and other info, refer to the release note section: https://releases.linaro.org/components/toolchain/binaries/

4.3. Getting the prerequisite library

NUMA is required by most modern machines, not needed for non-NUMA architectures.


For compiling the NUMA lib, run libtool –version to ensure the libtool version >= 2.2, otherwise the compilation will fail with errors.

git clone https://github.com/numactl/numactl.git
cd numactl
git checkout v2.0.13 -b v2.0.13
autoconf -i
./configure --host=aarch64-linux-gnu CC=aarch64-linux-gnu-gcc --prefix=<numa install dir>
make install

The numa header files and lib file is generated in the include and lib folder respectively under <numa install dir>.

4.4. Augment the cross toolchain with NUMA support


This way is optional, an alternative is to use extra CFLAGS and LDFLAGS, depicted in Cross Compiling DPDK using Meson below.

Copy the NUMA header files and lib to the cross compiler’s directories:

cp <numa_install_dir>/include/numa*.h <cross_install_dir>/gcc-arm-8.3-2019.03-x86_64-aarch64-linux-gnu/aarch64-linux-gnu/libc/usr/include/
cp <numa_install_dir>/lib/libnuma.a <cross_install_dir>/gcc-arm-8.3-2019.03-x86_64-aarch64-linux-gnu/lib/gcc/aarch64-linux-gnu/8.3.0/
cp <numa_install_dir>/lib/libnuma.so <cross_install_dir>/gcc-arm-8.3-2019.03-x86_64-aarch64-linux-gnu/lib/gcc/aarch64-linux-gnu/8.3.0/

4.5. Cross Compiling DPDK using Meson

Meson depends on pkgconfig to find the dependencies. The package pkg-config-aarch64-linux-gnu is required for aarch64. To install it in Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install pkg-config-aarch64-linux-gnu

To cross-compile DPDK on a desired target machine we can use the following command:

meson cross-build --cross-file <target_machine_configuration>
ninja -C cross-build

For example if the target machine is arm64 we can use the following command:

meson arm64-build --cross-file config/arm/arm64_armv8_linux_gcc
ninja -C arm64-build

4.6. Configure and Cross Compile DPDK using Make

To configure a build, choose one of the target configurations, like arm64-dpaa-linux-gcc and arm64-thunderx-linux-gcc.

make config T=arm64-armv8a-linux-gcc

To cross-compile, without compiling the kernel modules, use the following command:

make -j CROSS=aarch64-linux-gnu- CONFIG_RTE_KNI_KMOD=n CONFIG_RTE_EAL_IGB_UIO=n

To cross-compile, including the kernel modules, the kernel source tree needs to be specified by setting RTE_KERNELDIR:

make -j CROSS=aarch64-linux-gnu- RTE_KERNELDIR=<kernel_src_rootdir> CROSS_COMPILE=aarch64-linux-gnu-

To compile for non-NUMA targets, without compiling the kernel modules, use the following command:



1. EXTRA_CFLAGS and EXTRA_LDFLAGS should be added to include the NUMA headers and link the library respectively, if the above step Augment the cross toolchain with NUMA support was skipped therefore the toolchain was not augmented with NUMA support.

2. “-isystem <numa_install_dir>/include” should be add to EXTRA_CFLAGS, otherwise the numa.h file will get a lot of compiling errors of Werror=cast-qual, Werror=strict-prototypes and Werror=old-style-definition.

An example is given below:

make -j CROSS=aarch64-linux-gnu- CONFIG_RTE_KNI_KMOD=n CONFIG_RTE_EAL_IGB_UIO=n EXTRA_CFLAGS="-isystem <numa_install_dir>/include" EXTRA_LDFLAGS="-L<numa_install_dir>/lib -lnuma"