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.

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

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