Manual installation using RPM packages

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Manual installation on your host OS with RPMs

Currently, the TinyOS Core Working Group supports TinyOS on two platforms: Cygwin (Windows) and Linux. There have been some successful efforts to getting TinyOS environments working on Mac OSX, but OSX is not supported by the Core WG.

Installing a TinyOS enviromnent has five basic steps; Windows requires an extra step, installing Cygwin, which is a UNIX-like environment. The steps are:

  1. Installing a Java JDK. Java is the most common way of interacting with mote base stations or gateways that are plugged into a PC or laptop.
  2. Windows only. Install Cygwin. This gives you a shell and many UNIX tools which the TinyOS environment uses, such as perl and shell scripts.
  3. Installing native compilers. As you're compiling code for low-power microcontrollers, you need compilers that can generate the proper assembly code. If you using mica-family motes, you need the AVR toolchain; if you're using telos-family motes, you need the MSP430 toolchain.
  4. Installing the nesC compiler. TinyOS is written in nesC, a dialect of C with support for the TinyOS concurrency model and component-based programming. The nesC compiler is platform-independent: it passes its output to the native compilers, so that it can take advantage of all of the effort put into their optimizations.
  5. Installing the TinyOS source tree. If you want to compile and install TinyOS programs, you need the code.
  6. Installing the Graphviz visualization tool. The TinyOS environment includes nesdoc, a tool that automatically generates HTML documentation from source code. Part of this process involves drawing diagrams that show the relationships between different TinyOS components. Graphviz is an open source tool that nesdoc uses to draw the diagrams.

Step 1: Install Java JDK

Download and install Sun's JDK from

Step 2: Install Cygwin

This step is required for Windows installations only. If you are installing on Linux, skip to step 3.

  1. Download setup.exe and run it to install Cygwin.
  2. When the window pops up to allow you to select what packages to install, be sure to select:
    • rpm
    • make
    • perl
    • python

Step 3: Install native compilers

Install the appropriate compiler based on your hardware and operating system.

Atmel AVR Tools

Tool Windows/Cygwin Linux Command
avr-binutils avr-binutils-2.17tinyos-3.cygwin.i386.rpm avr-binutils-2.17tinyos-3.i386.rpm rpm -ivh
rpm -ivh --ignoreos (if Cygwin complains)
avr-gcc avr-gcc-4.1.2-1.cygwin.i386.rpm avr-gcc-4.1.2-1.i386.rpm
avr-libc avr-libc-1.4.7-1.cygwin.i386.rpm avr-libc-1.4.7-1.i386.rpm
avarice avarice-2.4-1.cygwin.i386.rpm avarice-2.4-1.i386.rpm
insight (avr-gdb) avr-insight-6.3-1.cygwin.i386.rpm avr-insight-6.3-1.i386.rpm
avrdude†† avrdude-tinyos-5.6cvs-1.cygwin.i386.rpm avrdude-tinyos-5.6cvs-1.i386.rpm

If you receive an rpm error that indicates that you have a newer version already installed, try rpm -Uvh --force
††If you receive an rpm error that indicates that you are missing /bin/sh, try rpm -Uvh --force --nodeps

PXA27x Tools (iMote2)
Tool Windows/Cygwin Linux Command
xscale-elf-binutils xscale-elf-binutils-2.15tinyos-1.cygwin.i386.rpm xscale-elf-binutils-2.15-2.i386.deb rpm -ivh
rpm -ivh --ignoreos (if Cygwin complains)
xscale-elf-gcc xscale-elf-gcc-3.4.3-1.cygwin.i386.rpm xscale-elf-gcc-3.4.3-2.i386.deb
xscale-elf-newlibc xscale-elf-newlib-1.11.0tinyos-1.cygwin.i386.rpm xscale-elf-newlib-1.13.0-1.i386.deb
jtag jflashmm.tgz†† OpenOCD toolchain

Newer versions of GCC can be installed in certain cases. For further info see section iMote2 Compiler from this wiki.

††Copy jflashmm.tgz to /opt directory, untar it (tar xzf jflashmm.tgz), and make sure it's on your path (see Step 5). If the download link above doesn't work, try the cvs.

TI MSP430 Tools this is outdated. Don't use any of this. Use the debian packages or install from source. See the packaging folder in tinyos-main.

Tool Windows/Cygwin Linux Command
base msp430tools-base-0.1-20050607.cygwin.i386.rpm msp430tools-base-0.1-20050607.i386.rpm rpm -ivh
rpm -ivh --ignoreos (if Cygwin complains)
python tools msp430tools-python-tools-1.0-1.cygwin.noarch.rpm msp430tools-python-tools-1.0-1.noarch.rpm
binutils msp430tools-binutils-2.16-20050607.cygwin.i386.rpm msp430tools-binutils-2.16-20050607.i386.rpm
gcc msp430tools-gcc-3.2.3-20050607.cygwin.i386.rpm msp430tools-gcc-3.2.3-20050607.i386.rpm
libc msp430tools-libc-20080808-1.cygwin.i386.rpm msp430tools-libc-20080808-1.i386.rpm
jtag [1]Not yet available msp430tools-jtag-lib-20031101cvs-20050610.i386.rpm
gdb [2]Not yet available msp430tools-gdb-6.0-20050609.i386.rpm

Renesas M16C (m32c-elf-gcc)

Step 4: Install TinyOS toolchain

The TinyOS-specific tools are the NesC compiler and a set of tools developed in the tinyos-2.x/tools source code repository. They are also installed using rpms.

There are two Linux versions of tinyos-tools, depending on whether you have a 32-bit or 64-bit machine. The first is the i386 RPM and the second is the i686 RPM. If you have a 64-bit Java VM, it is important that you install the i686 RPM or otherwise the Java support may not work properly.

TinyOS-specific Tools

Tool Windows/Cygwin Linux Command
NesC nesc-1.3.1-1.cygwin.i386.rpm nesc-1.3.1-1.fc9.i386.rpm rpm -Uvh
rpm -Uvh --ignoreos (if Cygwin complains)
Deputy tinyos-deputy-1.1-1.cygwin.i386.rpm tinyos-deputy-1.1-1.fc9.i386.rpm rpm -i
rpm -i --ignoreos (if Cygwin complains)
tinyos-tools tinyos-tools-1.4.0-3.cygwin.i386.rpm tinyos-tools-1.4.0-3.ubuntu.i386.rpm
rpm -Uvh

Step 5: Install the TinyOS 2.x source tree

Now that the tools are installed, you need only install the tinyos 2.x source tree and then set your environment variables.

  1. Get the code from the TinyOS release repository:
    tar xf tinyos-2_1_2.tar.gz

    This will extract the actual TinyOS code in a folder named tinyos-release-tinyos-2_1_2 inside the directory the command was iussed. Feel free to rename this folder to tinyos-main.

  2. You will need to add some enviroment variables to your shell. The following file includes the necessary ones. Substitute the placeholder <local-tinyos-path> with the path where you chose to place the code in the previous section (full path recommended).
    # Here we setup the environment
    # variables needed by the tinyos 
    # make system
    export TOSROOT="<local-tinyos-path>"
    export TOSDIR="$TOSROOT/tos"
    export CLASSPATH=$CLASSPATH:$TOSROOT/support/sdk/java
    export MAKERULES="$TOSROOT/support/make/Makerules"
    export PYTHONPATH=$PYTHONPATH:$TOSROOT/support/sdk/python
    echo "setting up TinyOS on source path $TOSROOT"

    Suppose you named this file tinyos.env. There are now at least two possibilites to have these variables accessible in your shell:

    1. Place it as root user in /etc/profile.d/
    2. Place it in <local-tinyos-path> and add the following line to your .bashrc
      source <local-tinyos-path>/tinyos.env

    You can also add the contents of the file directly to the .bashrc.
    To make the changes work, the easiest way is to open a new terminal window.

  3. In order to program motes you will need to access the serial ports. This can be done by joining the group that grants this privilege. sudo gpasswd -a <your-user> dialout This change only takes effect when log out and log in again.

Step 5b (optional): Post-install fixes in Windows/Cygwin environment

If you later experience problems when building some tutorials, running Java tools, ... see Geoffrey Lo's excellent blog post, especially step 2.

Step 6: Installing Graphviz

Go to download page of the Graphviz project and download the appropriate RPM. You only need the basic graphviz RPM (graphviz-); you don't need all of the add-ons, such as -devel, -doc, -perl, etc. If you're not sure what version of Linux you're running,

uname -a

might give you some useful information. Install the rpm with rpm -i rpm-name. In the case of Windows, there is a simple install program, so you don't need to deal with RPMs.

you may need to download graphviz 1.1.0 here