Getting started

To start using musl, you have three choices.

Using the musl-gcc wrapper

This allows you to test and use musl on a glibc/uclibc system with no great effort. You cannot, however, use C++ with it.

When building musl, there are 3 important flags to pass to configure:

You can omit shared library support (static linking only) and cut musl’s build time in half using --disable-shared.

This configure run will generate a config.mak file, which contains your settings.

Now run make && make install.

Now you can use musl-gcc instead of gcc to compile things against musl. Use -static to build static binaries. For example, to compile a software package that uses autoconf statically against musl:

CC="musl-gcc -static" ./configure --prefix=$HOME/musl && make

Building a cross compiler targeting musl libc

Use the pre-built cross compilers at musl-cross or built it yourself using the supplied scripts (git mirror). This gives you a full musl toolchain, including C+ support. Note that although the scripts are capable of building compilers targeting other architectures, a cross compiler targeting your host architecture with musl libc is also useful, as the whole toolchain is aware of its target libc.

Notes on ARM Float Mode

There are three float modes available on modern ARM SoC’s:

On modern armv6 and armv7 chips, hardware floating point is usually implemented on chip. If someone is planing to compile musl-cross with hardware floating point, add the following to your config.sh:

ARCH=arm
TRIPLE=arm-linux-musleabihf
GCC_BOOTSTRAP_CONFFLAGS="--with-arch=armv7-a --with-float=hard --with-fpu=vfpv3-d16"
GCC_CONFFLAGS="--with-arch=armv7-a --with-float=hard --with-fpu=vfpv3-d16"

This should produce a cross-toolchain that is compatible at least with: Marvell Dove, Freescale i.MX5x, TI OMAP3+4, Qualcomm Snapdragon, nVidia Tegra2+3 and probably all other modern Cortex-A8, Cortex-A9 and Cortex-A15 SoC’s on the market. If you plan to compile for older armv6 SoC’s, like the one found on the RasperryPi, use --with-arch=armv6-a --with-float=hard --with-fpu=vfpv2. VFPv3 contains the VFPv2 subset, so you can also use the armv6 binaries on a more modern armv7 system, but losing some performance. On contrary, for Cortex-A15 SoC’s like the new Samsung Exynos 5, you can activate the even more powerful VFPv4.

Using a distro targeting musl

If your distro uses musl natively, then naturally, anything compiled on that distro will use musl. Several distros using musl, such as sabotage, are listed on the Projects using musl page of this wiki.