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Including External Libraries in Processes

Tock can be a little particular about how things are built, specifically Tock requires flags to correctly build position independent code and prefers to build for all supported architectures to create TABs.

To make things a little easier, Tock supplies userland/ that will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you.

Building Libraries Dynamically

Sometimes you’ll have a library that you’re working on that’s seeing heavy, frequent development. In this case, you would likely prefer that this library is checked and rebuilt as needed every time you compile your application. libtock is set up this way.

First, inside the library folder, you’ll need to create a Makefile:

LIBNAME := libtock

# List all C and Assembly files
$(LIBNAME)_SRCS  := $(wildcard $($(LIBNAME)_DIR)/*.c) $(wildcard $($(LIBNAME)_DIR)/*.s)


The required variables are:

Then simply include $(TOCK_USERLAND_BASE_DIR)/ and Tock will take care of the rest!

In applications that use this library, you simply need to include the library Makefile:

include $(TOCK_USERLAND_BASE_DIR)/libtock/Makefile

With this setup, you can run make in the library directory to simply build the library, or you can run make in any application that include’s this library and the library will automatically rebuild as needed.

The libtock Makefile is included by the global for you, as every Tock application leverages libtock.

Pre-built / External Libraries

Often you’ll want to pull in an external library that’s pretty stable, and it’s not worth having everyone build the library. In that case, you can simply point Tock at the prebuilt archives using the EXTERN_LIBS variable. The ble-env-sense does this with libnrfserialization:

# External libraries used
EXTERN_LIBS += $(TOCK_USERLAND_BASE_DIR)/libnrfserialization

In this case, EXTERN_LIBS expects a list of folders, where each folder contains a build directory, with an archive for all supported TOCK_ARCHS, i.e.:

$ tree
├── build
│   ├── cortex-m0
│   │   └── libnrfserialization.a
│   └── cortex-m4
│       └── libnrfserialization.a

Note: The library name must match the folder name.

In addition, if there are any header (.h) files in the library root, or a include/ folder within the library, the Tock build system will automatically add those to the C/C++ compiler’s search path.

If your external library has additional build rules that need to be handled, the Tock build system will automatically include if it is present.

Finally, to make all this easier, external libraries can use the same as regular libraries. In fact, you can switch between a pre-built and a runtime built library simply by switching between

# Dynamic build
include $(TOCK_USERLAND_BASE_DIR)/libtock/Makefile
# Use prebuilt archive (do not build)

in your application Makefile (but be sure to commit the built .a’s if you change to the prebuilt approach).

For more details or other customizations, you can read all about the Tock Userland Compilation Environment.