Free PalmOS Development Tools

These instructions are quite dated. My last use of the tools was in the middle of 1997. None the less, they appear to still be helpful to people, so here they are.

Sources for stuff

My platform for developing Pilot applications is a PC running Linux, which I bought from VAResearch back when they were still called Fintronic. The tools which I use to build doodle are:

Routines and programs for talking to the Pilot and manipulating Pilot databases. Available from Jeff Dionne's archives.
Patches to gcc and programs for assembling Pilot applications. Available from Jeff Dionne's archives.
The GNU C compiler. Available from
The GNU binary object utilities. Available from
A collation of the free graphics image processing tools available for Unix. Available from
Palmos Documents
The documentation for PalmOS is available in Acrobat format at
Jeff Dionne's archives
The primary resources for developing pilot applications under Linux and other Unix systems are collected on Jeff Dionne's PalmOS archive, which is now mirrored in two additional locations:

Compiling with gcc under Linux, version 2

Here is Blake Winton's most recent summary of how to build the Linux based development tools for the Pilot:

  1. Get:
    • prc-tools-0.5.0.tar.gz
    • binutils-2.7.tar.gz
    • gcc-
    • optionally, gdb-4.16.tar.gz
  2. Edit the makefile,
    • change "PREFIX" to reflect where you plan to install,
    • change "GNUARCH" to reflect where you put the gcc, binutils, and gdb archives,
  3. As root, if your PREFIX requires root privilege for install, type "make doeverything"
  4. You're done! :) (well, modulo some chmod's anyways, but those should be easy enough to figure out.)
Blake hopes that his instructions may soon be obsolete. :) Yea! I think they nearly are, but one never knows, do one?

Compiling with gcc under Linux, version 1

Here is Blake Winton's original summary of how to build the Linux based development tools for the Pilot:

  1. Get:
    • prc-tools.0.4.2.tar.gz
    • binutils-2.7.tar.gz
    • gcc-
  2. tar xvzf prc-tools.0.4.2.tar.gz
    • cd prc-tools-0.4.2
    • vi gcc-
    • :%s/Lenght/Length/g
    • :wq
    • cd ..
  3. tar xvzf binutils-2.7.tar.gz
    • cd binutils-2.7
    • ./configure --prefix=/usr/local --target=m68k-palmos-coff
    • su
    • make all; make install
    • exit
    • cd ..
  4. tar xvzf gcc-
    • patch -p < prc-tools-0.4.2/gcc-
    • cd gcc-
    • ./configure --prefix=/usr/local --target=m68k-palmos-coff
    • su
    • make LANGUAGES=c install
    • cd /usr/local/lib
    • chmod -R a+rX .
    • exit
  5. cd prc-tools-0.4.2
    • vi 'find . -name "Makefile" -print'
    • remove all gdb hooks.
    • su
    • cd /usr/local/m68k-palmos-coff/lib
    • cp /pilot/prc-tools-0.4.2/lib* .
    • chmod a+r *
    • cd /pilot/prc-tools-0.4.2
    • make install
    • exit
  6. You're done!!! :)

The last three steps of number 5 should, in theory, be enough, but I've found that for one reason or another, they didn't work for me, and I needed to copy over the lib files myself.

Roger E Critchlow Jr
Last modified: Sun Aug 22 14:33:20 MDT 1999