cross compile Python to Linux-ARM

JanC usenet at janc.invalid
Sat Mar 21 04:22:13 CET 2009

jefm wrote:

> We are looking to use Python on an embedded Linux ARM system.
> What I gather from googling the subject is that it is not that
> straight forward (a fair amount of patching & hacking).
> Nobody out there that has done it claims it is easy, which makes me
> worried.
> What would it take for the Linux version of Python to be easily cross
> compiled (i.e. would the Linux-Python maintainers be willing to
> include and maintain cross-compilation specific functions) ?
> Let's say we can get it done.
> How is the performance and stability of a working Python on an
> embedded ARM-Linux system ?
> Does cross compiling Python automatically include the standard Python
> library, or is that yet another adventure ?

Python (including (most of) the standard library) is available for several
linux distributions for ARM:
- Debian (see
- OpenWRT, e.g.
- the next Ubuntu release will support some ARM chips
- several other (embeded) distributions...

You should check whether your specific hardware is supported though.  There
are several ARM designs from very simple embeded systems with very limited
CPU & memory resources and lacking a FPU up to chips for netbooks and
low-end desktop/server systems that have built-in 3D graphics.
Obviously, python won't work if your system doesn't even have enough space
to store python... ;-)

BTW: you can run many of those linux distributions on qemu too, if you want
to test some things before you have the hardware (it's obviously only an
emulation though).


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