Build Node.js on Debian ARM

Update 2015-02-15: So far, I have failed building Nodejs v0.12.0 on ARMv5

I have a QNAP TS109 running Debian (port:armel, version:7), and of course I want to run node.js on it. I don’t think there are any binaries, so building from source is the way to go.

About my environment:

$ cat /etc/debian_version
$ gcc --version | head -n 1
gcc (Debian 4.6.3-14) 4.6.3
$ uname -a
Linux kvaser 3.2.0-4-orion5x #1 Debian 3.2.51-1 armv5tel GNU/Linux
$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
Processor       : Feroceon rev 0 (v5l)
BogoMIPS        : 331.77
Features        : swp half thumb fastmult edsp
CPU implementer : 0x41
CPU architecture: 5TEJ
CPU variant     : 0x0
CPU part        : 0x926
CPU revision    : 0

Hardware        : QNAP TS-109/TS-209
Revision        : 0000
Serial          : 0000000000000000

I downloaded the latest version of node.js: node-v0.10.25, and this is how I ended up compiling it (first writing, then executing it as root):

$ cat
export CFLAGS='-march=armv5t'
export CXXFLAGS='-march=armv5t'
make install
$ sudo ./

That takes almost four hours.

A few notes…

make install
Naturally, make install has to be run as root. When I do that, everything is built again, from scratch. This is not what I expect of make install, and to me this seems like a bug. This is why I put the build lines into a little shell script, and ran the entire script with sudo. Compiling as root does not make sense

-march=armv4 and -march=armv4t
Compiling with -march=armv4t (or no -march at all, defaulting to armv4 I believe) results in an error:

../deps/v8/src/arm/ error:
#error "For thumb inter-working we require an architecture which supports blx"

You can workaround this by above line 65 in the above file:


as I mentioned in my old article about building Node.js on Debian ARM.

I first tried building with -march=armv5te (since that seemed closest to armv5tel which is what uname tells me I have). The build completed, but the node binary generated Segmentation fault (however node -h did work, so the binary was not completely broken).

I do not know if this problem is caused by my CPU not being compatible with/capable of armv5te, or, if there is something about armv5te that is not compatible with the way Debian and its libraries are built.

  1. Try compiling without the snapshot feature:

    $ cat
    export CFLAGS=’-march=armv5t’
    export CXXFLAGS=’-march=armv5t’
    ./configure –without-snapshot
    make install
    $ sudo ./

  2. For a while I thought the snapshot feature was part of the compilation problem and did –disable-snapshot as well as –disable-ssl (mostly for a quicker compile). Please explain, why should I use –disable-snapshot? For faster compile, faster execution, better stability or something else? Or do you just want me to try without snapshot to see if it works? (it does)

  3. Nodejs v0.12.0 on ARMv5/QNAP | TechFindings - pingback on 2015/02/28 at 09:23
  4. Nodejs v0.12.0 on Debian ARMv5/QNAP | TechFindings - pingback on 2015/09/27 at 14:38

Leave a Comment

NOTE - You can use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks: