VxWorks 7 SDK for RISC-V (SiFive HiFive / QEMU)


The VxWorks 7 SDK is a development environment dedicated to VxWorks application developers which includes the following features:

This guide helps you get up and running with developing applications for platforms running VxWorks. You can use it for creating new applications, or just exploration of VxWorks capabilities.

Setting up the development environment

You should start by downloading a VxWorks SDK for your platform of choice from https://labs.windriver.com and unpacking it. Refer to the documentation in docs in the unpacked SDK for additional information on creating and debugging applications.

OS requirements

The SDKs are meant to run on Linux hosts. Some of the examples in this document are specific to Debian derivatives.


Host dependencies

On Debian derivatives, the following packages need to be installed:

sudo apt install build-essential libc6:i386 uml-utilities nfs-kernel-server

Having an FTP server installed on your development host will make application deployment easier and allow you to access the host file system from a VxWorks target.

To accommodate for the varying runtime configurations of the VxWorks kernel images included in the SDKs, you may be interested in using an FTP server option based on pyftpdlib.

Install pyftpdlib:

sudo apt install python-pip
sudo pip install pyftpdlib

Booting VxWorks

Prebuilt VxWorks binaries can be located in <SDK_DIR>/bsps/sifive_generic_1_0_0_0/uboot.

A recent version of QEMU can be used to run the VxWorks kernel included in the SDK and to deploy VxWorks applications.

Build QEMU for RISC-V

git clone https://git.qemu.org/git/qemu.git
cd qemu
./configure --target-list=riscv64-softmmu,riscv32-softmmu
make -j`nproc`
sudo make install

Create a tap interface to enable networking for the VxWorks guest:

sudo -- sh -c "tunctl -d tap0 >/dev/null; tunctl -u $USER -t tap0; ifconfig tap0 up"

Open a Linux terminal window and navigate to the location of your unpacked VxWorks SDK. The following command can be used to start a VxWorks instance.

qemu-system-riscv64 -nographic -M sifive_u -smp 5 -m 2G -bios default \
-nic tap,ifname=tap0,script=no,downscript=no \
-append "gem(0,0)host:vxWorks h= e= u=target pw=vxTarget f=0x01" \
-kernel bsps/sifive_generic_1_0_0_0/uboot/uVxWorks

Customizing the values for the user (u) and password (pw) parameters to the ones matching a valid FTP user on your development host will allow you to access the host file system from the VxWorks instance running in QEMU. The VxWorks instance will have access to the root folder of your FTP server.

Application development

Start by opening a Linux terminal window and going to the location of your unpacked VxWorks SDK.

Source the SDK environment file to update your PATH and environmental variables, gaining direct access to the tools included within the SDK.

$ source <SDK_DIR>/toolkit/wind_sdk_env.linux 

Building applications

Sample applications are available in /examples.

A "hello world" C application can be built as:

$ $CC hello.c -static -o hello

Running applications

After you have started VxWorks on your target, start an FTP server on port 21 with user "target" and password "vxTarget" and FTP root in the current user's home.

sudo python -m pyftpdlib -p 21 -u target -P vxTarget -d $HOME &

Switching to the "cmd" shell will allow you to navigate to the location of your application with greater ease.

-> cmd
[vxWorks *]# 

Assuming the application is located in $HOME/opt:

[vxWorks *]# cd opt
[vxWorks *]# ls
[vxWorks *]# more hello.c
#include <stdio.h>

int main(int argc, char **argv) {
    printf("Hello World\n");
    return 0;
[vxWorks *]# hello
Launching process 'hello' ...
Process 'hello' (process Id = 0xffff8000004bb6e0) launched.
Hello World

Creating and deploying Python applications


Setup an NFS server in order to allow the VxWorks target to access the Python sysroot included in the VxWorks SDK.

Adapt the SDK path and add the following line to /etc/exports.

/home/dan/opt/wrsdk-vxworks7-sifive-hifive/bsps/sifive_generic_1_0_0_0/sysroot *(rw,no_root_squash,no_subtree_check)

Restart the NFS server.

systemctl restart nfs-server.service

Prepare the environment on your running VxWorks target.

[vxWorks *]# C
-> hostAdd "dl",""
-> nfsMount "dl", "/home/dan/opt/wrsdk-vxworks7-sifive-hifive/bsps/sifive_generic_1_0_0_0/sysroot", "/sysroot"
-> fsSymlinkConfig "<def>=/sysroot;/lib=<def>/lib;/usr=<def>/usr"
-> cmd
[vxWorks *]# 

Launch Python from the cmd shell to print the Hello World! string:

[vxWorks *] python3
Launching process 'python3' ...
Process 'python3' (process Id = 0x805a9ad0) launched.
Python 3.8.0a4+ (default, Jun 122019, 10:59:47)
[Clang (ssh://diabuild@stash.wrs.com:7999/llvm/clang.git 0a578b9ee67aa4 on vxworks
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license"for more information.

>>> import sys
>>> print("Hello World!")
Hello World!
>>> print (sys.platform)

Python scripts can be executed as

[vxWorks *] python3 helloworld.py

Hello World!


If you launch Python from the shell, you may need to set the value of rtpSpStackSize before starting Python (for example, set the rtpSpStackSize to 0x1000000). For more information, see rtpSp( ) in the API reference.

Refer to the documentation in docs for additional information on creating and debugging applications.