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DPC+ARM - Part 1, Virtual Machine and Linux



NOTE: This blog series is obsolete.  Head on over to the Harmony/Melody Club where you'll find information on the new Linaro compiler and the new CDFJ coprocessor/bankswitch scheme that has many improvements over DPC+.


If you're running Linux, you can skip Part 1.


First off, head over to VirtualBox and download the version for your OS. Install it.




download VirtualBox


Download the Ubuntu ISO image (an ISO image is basically a CD/DVD/Blu-ray in file form). While you're free to use any Linux Distribution you wish, if you don't use Ubuntu then some of the steps will probably be different. Also note that because the compiler is 32 bit software, it's easier to get running if you install the 32-bit version of Ubuntu. The download defaults to 64-bit, so be sure to use the dropdown to change that:




download 32-bit Ubuntu


Run VirtualBox and click on the New button.




Welcome to VirtualBox!


Fill in the Name, Type and Version.




Name and operating system


Set memory size. The default is 512 MB. That's probably plenty, but my Mac Pro has 16 GB, so I went ahead and increased it to 2048 MB (2 GB).




Memory size


Create the Hard Drive. Take the defaults on the next 4 forms.




Hard drive



Hard drive file type



Storage on physical hard drive



File location and size


At this point your VM (Virtual Machine) has been created, along with a VDI file. Just like the ISO is a CD/DVD in a file, you can consider the VDI as a Hard Drive in a file.


Your VM is currently powered off, hit Start to power it on.




hit start


VirtualBox knows it's a new VM, so it displays a dialog that's basically asking you to "Insert CD".




"insert CD"


Select the ISO image for Ubuntu that you downloaded, if you downloaded what I did then the filename will be ubuntu-14.04.1-desktop-i386.iso




select ISO


NOTE: If you accidentally canceled the dialog you'll end up seeing a message FATAL: No bootable medium found! System halted. If that happens, do the following steps to get back on track:

  1. Select the Devices menu
  2. Select the CD/DVD Devices menu option
  3. Select the Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk file... submenu option
  4. Select the ISO image
  5. Select the Machine menu
  6. Select the Reset menu option

After a little bit, you VM will finish booting from the ISO and you'll see the Try/Install screen. Click Install.






Take the defaults on the Preparing to install Ubuntu form




Preparing to install Ubuntu


Take the defaults on the Installation type form




Installation type


There will be a short delay while your VDI file is formatted. After that you'll set where you are. It's really just setting your time zone, so it's OK that it auto-detected Chicago even though I'm in Houston.




Where are you?


Next you'll select your keyboard layout.




Keyboard layout


Then you'll need to fill in your name and create a password




Who are you?


Ubuntu will now install




Welcome to Ubuntu 14.04


After awhile it'll finish. Click Restart Now.




Installation Complete


Eventually you'll see the following. VirtualBox will automatically "eject the CD" so just hit ENTER to restart the VM.




press ENTER


Login to your VM




Logon screen


Have you noticed the messages at the top of the VM? You can click on them to show more detail.




expand message


There's also two buttons on the right side of each message that will dismiss them. The left button closes it for now, but the message will show back up again later. The right button will permanently dismiss the message.




dismiss message buttons


After you've logged on, you'll see the following. That's it for today though, so click on the gear like icon in the top-right:





Select the Shut Down... menu option





Then select the right icon to shut down. The left icon will do a reboot.





In part 2 we'll cover:

  • Installing Guest Additions - this will let you resize the VM window and have Ubuntu automatically resize it's screen.
  • turn on clipboard sharing
  • share a folder/directory between your OS and Ubuntu

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If you're running Linux, you might like to install the Linux version of VirtualBox anyway. There's a few versions of the C compiler and each one optimizes the code different, which can result in the compiled ARM code being smaller when using one version vs another. Having a different version installed in each VM makes it easier to quickly compare the results.


As an example, these games used these versions of the compiler:

  • Stay Frosty 2 - 2011.03-42
  • Space Rocks - 2012.09-63
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