Symbian development on Linux and OS X


Since version 1.03 of my gnupoc package, I've combined SDK patches, updated tool sources and gcc patches into one (slighly larger) package, instead of distributing lots of patches separately. People interested in the old approach can read the old version of this page.

The main goal of this gnupoc patch collection is to be able to build symbian projects on unix-like systems with as little changes as possible to the actual projects. This means that it e.g. uses the same mmp files and external makefiles for icons as on Windows.

My patches and tools are based on the original GnuPoc project.

Using this package, you can build applications for S60 1st, 2nd, 3rd ed and 5th ed, Symbian^3, and UIQ 3, on Linux and OS X. The SDKs can be unpacked and binaries and sis packages be built completely without wine.

The latest, unreleased version is available on GitHub. If you're having problems, you may want to check whether it already has been fixed here.


Download the latest package above. First you'll have to install a toolchain for the SDK you want to use. For S60 1st and 2nd ed, you need the EKA1 toolchain, for S60 3rd ed and UIQ 3, you need the EKA2 toolchain.

Installing the EKA1 toolchain

Refer to the tools/README file for more details on this process.

In addition to the GnuPoc archive, you need the source to the modified gcc release (local copy).

Unpack the GnuPoc archive, enter the tools directory, and compile gcc using the install_gcc_539 script:

tar -zxvf gnupoc-package-1.03.tar.gz
cd gnupoc-package-1.03
cd tools
./install_gcc_539 ../../gcc-539-2aeh-source.tar.bz2 ~/symbian-gcc

If you want to have a compiler for the THUMB target, build that with the isntall_gcc_539_thumb script similarly.

Then you can install the rest of the tools. These aren't strictly necessary if wine is available, but recommended. (If omitted, the build scripts uses the exe versions in the SDK instead.)

./install_eka1_tools ~/symbian-gcc

Installing the EKA2 toolchain

Refer to the tools/README file for more details on this process.

In addition to the GnuPoc archive, you need CodeSourcery's GCC. For Linux, you can choose to download the binaries, for other platforms you can compile it from source. (There's also local copies of the Linux binaries and the source.)

To install the binaries, just unpack them (in your home directory):

mkdir csl-gcc
cd csl-gcc
tar -jxvf ../gnu-csl-arm-2005Q1C-arm-none-symbianelf-i686-pc-linux-gnu.tar.bz2

To compile it from source instead, unpack the GnuPoc archive and use the install_csl_gcc script:

tar -zxvf gnupoc-package-1.03.tar.gz
cd gnupoc-package-1.03
cd tools
./install_csl_gcc ../../gnu-csl-arm-2005Q1C-arm-none-symbianelf.src.tar.bz2 ~/csl-gcc

Then you can install the rest of the tools. These aren't strictly necessary if wine is available. (If omitted, the build scripts uses the exe versions in the SDK instead.)

cd gnupoc-package-1.03
cd tools
./install_eka2_tools ~/csl-gcc

Note, this requires openssl libraries to be installed.


Refer to the sdks/README file for more details on this process.

After downloading the GnuPoc package above, you still need to get the SDK you want to use from Forum Nokia. (The UIQ SDKs were available from earlier, but are no longer available.) The following versions are supported at the moment:

Version File name Install script Comments
S60 1st Edition, FP1, WINS install_gnupoc_s60_12
S60 2nd Edition, WINS install_gnupoc_s60_20 Working emulator
S60 2nd Edition, FP1, WINS install_gnupoc_s60_21
S60 2nd Edition, FP1, CW install_gnupoc_s60_21_cw Working emulator
S60 2nd Edition, FP2, WINS install_gnupoc_s60_26 Working emulator
S60 2nd Edition, FP2, CW install_gnupoc_s60_26_cw Working emulator
S60 2nd Edition, FP3 install_gnupoc_s60_28
S60 3rd Edition, Maintenance Release install_gnupoc_s60_30
S60 3rd Edition, FP 1 install_gnupoc_s60_31
S60 3rd Edition, FP 2 install_gnupoc_s60_32
S60 5th Edition install_gnupoc_s60_50
N97 SDK install_gnupoc_s60_50
Symbian^3 install_gnupoc_symbian3
UIQ 3.0 UIQ3.0SDK.exe install_gnupoc_uiq_30
UIQ 3.1 UIQ3.1SDK.exe install_gnupoc_uiq_31

(Everything is tested using Wine 0.9.15 and remote X to on OS X, things might work better or worse on other setups.)

The installation script uses included prebuild binaries of p7zip and a specially patched version of unshield for linux/x86. If you can't run these, see sdks/unshield/README and sdks/7z/README for instructions on compiling native versions of them.

Example on installing an SDK:

tar -zxvf gnupoc-package-1.03.tar.gz
cd gnupoc-package-1.03
cd sdks
./install_gnupoc_s60_26 ../../ ~/symbian-sdks/s60_26

The install scripts makes almost all files lowercase and patches the build scripts. The exception to the lowercase rule is the GLES include directory and libGLES_CM.lib, for compatibility reasons.

In order to use the SDK, you'll have to set the EPOCROOT environment variable to point to your SDK and add the toolchain directory and the epoc32/tools directory of the SDK to your PATH. This might be cumbersome if frequently switching between different SDKs. To ease that situation, you can install some wrapper scripts:

./install_wrapper ~/gnupoc

If you've installed the toolchains to other directories than mentioned here, edit ~/gnupoc/ and set EKA1TOOLS and EKA2TOOLS to point to where you've installed them. With these wrappers, you only have to have this single directory in your PATH, and depending on the EPOCROOT variable, the correct toolchain is included and scripts from the current SDK are called.

Wine setup

If you're going to use some tools through wine, you have to copy uidcrc.exe from the epoc32/tools directory in the SDK to a directory in the wine path, e.g. ~/.wine/drive_c/windows. By default, wine is only needed for using the windows compilers, but you might use it to run the original tools instead of the native replacements, if you have problems with the native ones.

If using external makefiles (as for building icons in 3rd edition) with wine, copy make.exe and mifconv.exe, too. make.exe probably can be used from any SDK version, but you'll need mifconv.exe from the 3.0 SDK, since mifconv.exe in 3.1 has some problems starting within wine. Note, this is only needed if omitting the extra EKA2 tools above.

In order to build binaries for the emulator, you'll need a windows compiler. Unfortunately, these have to be copied from a real installation. (Perhaps it's possible to do the complete installation of them within wine?)

For the WINS compiler, I've used Visual C++ Toolkit 2003, set up according to this page. Just copy over the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual C++ Toolkit 2003 directory to e.g. ~/.wine/drive_c/msvcpp2003.

For the WINSCW compiler, you can install Carbide C++ from Forum Nokia. These instructions apply to Carbide C++ 1.0, for newer versions you might need to use slightly different paths. Copy C:\Program Files\Carbide\plugins\ to e.g. ~/.wine/drive_c/codewarrior.

These have to be added to the wine path. Edit ~/.wine/user.reg, and add this after the WINE REGISTRY Version 2 line:


(Of course, if you've already got a similar environment definition in that file, add it there instead.)

When using the CW compiler, you'll also need to add these variables to your unix environment (the perl build scripts need them, adding them to the wine environment isn't enough, and if set in the unix environment, they're also automatically available in wine):

export MWCSym2Includes="c:\\codewarrior\\symbian_support\\MSL\\MSL_C\\MSL_Common\\include;c:\\codewarrior\\symbian_support\\MSL\\MSL_C++\\MSL_Common\\include;c:\\codewarrior\\symbian_support\\MSL\\MSL_Extras\\MSL_Common\\include"
export MWSym2Libraries="+c:\\codewarrior\\symbian_support"
export MWSym2LibraryFiles="MSL_All_MSE_Symbian.lib;gdi32.lib;user32.lib;kernel32.lib"

Using it

After installing everything, you're able to compile things in the same way as on windows.

In order to compile most projects, the usage of upper/lowercase for filenames must be cleaned up somewhat. The install scripts clean up the usage of lower/upper case in the bundled examples (by forcing them to lowercase), so the should all be buildable directly. (Or at least it tries to, it might not work reliably in stranger examples.)

To build the hello world example on a S60 3rd edition SDK, do the following:

export PATH=~/gnupoc:${PATH}
export EPOCROOT=~/symbian-sdks/s60_30/
cd ${EPOCROOT}/s60ex/helloworldbasic/group
bldmake bldfiles
abld build gcce urel
cd ../sis
makesis helloworldbasic_gcce.pkg helloworldbasic.sis

For 1st and 2nd edition, use the paths for those SDKs and build using abld build armi urel instead. The .pkg files for those examples are written for the THUMB target. Either update the .pkg file and replace all occurrances of thumb with armi or build them using abld build thumb urel (which requires that you built a thumb compiler).

On 3rd edition, all sis files must be signed before they can be installed. If you haven't already got a key and certificate pair, generate them:

makekeys -cert -expdays 3650 -password mykey.key mycert.cer

This will prompt for information to enter into the certificate, and create a certificate valid for 10 years. (To create a certificate without a password, just leave out -password. The makekeys tool included in this package has a similar but not identical syntax compared to the makekeys tool in the real SDKs.) Then sign the sis file using this certificate:

signsis helloworldbasic.sis helloworldbasic.sisx mycert.cer mykey.key

The newly generated .sisx file can then be installed on a device.

The version of makesis for Symbian 9 included in this package is also able to sign the package directly when creating it, using a built-in certificate. To use this feature, just add the command line parameter -c.


// Martin Storsjö ()