GStreamer development in embedded with sbox2

I’ve heard many people having problems cross-compiling GStreamer on ARM systems so I decided to write a step-by-step guide describing how I do it.

This guide is meant for scratchbox 2. You can read this old post where I explain how to install it. I’m using CodeSourcery 2009q3 but any compiler would do.


I’m going to install everything to “/opt/gst” on the build system, however this should go in the same directory in the target system.

So, in order for the packages to find each other:
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/opt/gst/lib/pkgconfig


git clone git://
cd glib
git checkout -b stable 2.22.3
./ --noconfigure
sb2 ./configure --prefix=/opt/gst --disable-static --with-html-dir=/tmp/dump
sb2 make install


git clone git://
cd gstreamer
git checkout -b stable RELEASE-0.10.25
./ --noconfigure
sb2 ./configure --prefix=/opt/gst --disable-nls --disable-static --enable-binary-registry --disable-loadsave --with-html-dir=/tmp/dump
sb2 make install

That’s it! You have a GStreamer development environment 🙂

Embedded stuff

If you are an embedded developer, chances are you would like to build gst-openmax or gst-dsp, or perhaps your own plugin. So here’s how to do it.


git clone git://
cd gst-openmax
git checkout -b stable v0.10.0.5
./ --noconfigure
sb2 ./configure --prefix=/opt/gst
sb2 make install


git clone git://
cd gst-dsp
git checkout -b stable v0.6.0
sb2 make

note: I forgot to add the install target, just copy the plugin

There. It’s easy to develop your own plugin this way, or contribute to the existing ones 🙂 Note that as long as you are not using esoteric new API’s these binaries should work on any other GStreamer setups. I do this on my N900 for example, which has an older GStreamer, but I still test gst-dsp linked to a newer one.


Perhaps you still don’t have GStreamer in your target environment so you want all the muxers, demuxers, and so on. So let’s build them.

Some plugins have dependencies; if you want them to be built, you would need to install them first.


gst-plugins-base needs liboil, so let’s start there.

git clone git://
cd liboil
git checkout -b stable liboil-0.3.15
sb2 ./configure --prefix=/opt/gst --disable-static --with-html-dir=/tmp/dump
sb2 make install


git clone git://
cd gst-plugins-base
git checkout -b stable RELEASE-0.10.25
./ --noconfigure
sb2 ./configure --prefix=/opt/gst --disable-nls --disable-static --with-html-dir=/tmp/dump --disable-pango
sb2 make install

note: I’m disabling pango because a bug in the build system


git clone git://
cd gst-plugins-good
git checkout -b stable RELEASE-0.10.17
./ --noconfigure
sb2 ./configure --prefix=/opt/gst --disable-nls --disable-static --with-html-dir=/tmp/dump
sb2 make install


git clone git://
cd gst-plugins-ugly
git checkout -b stable RELEASE-0.10.13
./ --noconfigure
sb2 ./configure --prefix=/opt/gst --disable-nls --disable-static --with-html-dir=/tmp/dump
sb2 make install


Not that hard, was it? Just copy all the binaries to your target system on ‘/opt/gst’ and fire up some ‘gst-launch’ commands 🙂 Oh, wait, you’ll need to add /opt/gst/bin to your PATH. Or use sb2 to compile your own plugin and run on any system.


35 thoughts on “GStreamer development in embedded with sbox2

  1. Hi Felipe,
    I cannot compile glib with sb2. When I run
    ./ –noconfigure
    i got this error

    gio/ installing `./depcomp’
    configure: error: unrecognized option: `–noconfigure’
    Try `./configure –help’ for more information.

    So I modified and add exit 0 before it executes ./configure

    autoconf || exit $?
    cd $ORIGDIR || exit $?
    exit 0
    if test -z “$AUTOGEN_SUBDIR_MODE”; then
    $srcdir/configure –enable-maintainer-mode $AUTOGEN_CONFIGURE_ARGS “$@” || exit $?

    and run again ./

    but when i do
    sb2 ./configure –prefix=/opt/gst –disable-static –with-html-dir=/tmp/dump

    I got
    checking if building for some Win32 platform… no
    checking for thread implementation… posix

    and remains here forever…

    Could you give any hint to solve this??

  2. Thanks, changing the version worked fine, now I’m a able to compile gstreamer.

    I’m trying to reproduce first any sound on beagleboard. So the instruction which I’m using to do so is:

    sh-3.2# gst-launch-0.10 audiotestsrc ! audioconvert ! audioresample ! alsasink
    ERROR: pipeline could not be constructed: no element “audiotestsrc”.

    And when I execute
    sh-3.2# gst-inspect-0.10
    staticelements: bin: Generic bin
    staticelements: pipeline: Pipeline object

    Total count: 1 plugin, 2 features
    Do you know how many plugins are suppose to be available??

    Do you have some information that could help me to solve this?

  3. @Carlos I think that’s a question for the GStreamer mailing list. They’ll probably ask you where did you install your plugins, and which options did you use to compile.

  4. Hi,

    i have the same problems as Carlos!! with the older versions of glib

    I tried a new version of glib 2.23.3 and it show me:

    checking for unistd.h… yes
    checking for inflate in -lz… no
    configure: error: *** Working zlib library and headers not found ***

    i have all zlib-dev libraries installed but no

    Can you give some help?!

  5. First of all, Thanks for sharing this usefull information.

    I am trying to use Gstreamer for mini2440 and using arm-linux-gcc-4.3.2.tgz as the cross compiler.

    I followed your other blog for scratchbox2 installation I made only changes in the cross compiler’s path.the changes are as below.

    cd /usr/local/arm/4.3.2/arm-none-linux-gnueabi/libc/
    sb2-init -c /opt/qemu/bin/qemu-arm armv4t /usr/local/arm/4.3.2/bin/arm-none-linux-gnueabi-gcc

    where ‘/usr/local/arm/’ is the path of cross compiler.

    Now when I cross compile Gstreamer,it is compiled using some different compiler.this is conclution I have drawn as we run gst-inspect I get the below message.
    [root@Hiteg bin]# ./gst-inspect
    Illegal instruction

    kindly help me fix this issue.


  6. Hi ,

    I am also getting the same problem as Carlos and Michel.

    Can you give some help?

    Thanks in advance

  7. Everyone:

    Please make sure you copy the binaries to the same location in the target: /opt/gst

    @Michael If new versions of GLib don’t compile that’s a bug for GLib, but there must be a way you can cross-compile them and specify the location to the ‘configure’ script.

  8. Thank for your infomation. When I build glib follow your instruction, I get some error:
    >>/usr/local/arm/4.4.1/bin/arm-none-linux-gnueabi-ld: warning:, needed by ../gobject/.libs/, not found (try using -rpath or -rpath-link)
    >>../gobject/.libs/ undefined reference to `g_thread_init’
    my configure is the same as you but I add option CPPFLAG and LDFLAG.
    Plz help me, sorry for my English.

  9. Thank you for tutorial, it was a huge help. I am able to build gstreamer, but it skips ximagesink and xvimagesink because it can’t find the X11 dev files. I have them and have tried setting CPPFLAGS but it still fails. Do I have to build X11 in the same way as Glib in the tutorial? Thanks in advance

  10. Thanks for the tutorial,this was indeed usefull

    I am presently working on OMAPL138 board,I am using “dvsdk_omapl138-evm_4_02_00_06_setuplinux” for the board.This has “gstreamer-ti_svnr919” TI plugin source and is compiled with build system of the I compiled other gstremer-plugins and make it with work with TI DSP codecs.

    can you tell me how this can be achieved,I am so far not able to put this together.

    Thanks in Advance,

  11. @Pete I guess so. I haven’t tried to build those plug-ins, but perhaps you only need to modify CFLAGS and LDFLAGS to find the right X11 dev files.

    @ravi I am sorry, I don’t know how to compile those plug-ins, maybe you can ask in the #gstreamer-ti IRC channel on Freenode.

  12. hi
    when i want compile glib and run
    ./ –noconfigure
    it give me error:unrecognized option –noconfigure
    what i must do?
    also if i delete this option and run ./ ,my system hangup in checking vs_list.

  13. checking whether I mean va_lists can be copied by value…yes
    I also after reboot computer because hang up,I use sb2 ./configure but it give me this error:
    ./libtool:cannot make pipe for command substitution: too many open files

  14. really I compile gstreamer and good base ugly plugins with other glib source but when i transfer all file with require library and change PKG_CONFIG_PATH to correct address and run qst-inspect and other gstremer files it give illegal command!!!
    i check gste-inspect with file command and it cross compiled for arm.
    BTW,in compiling plugin some Package cannot compile.

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  20. hi felipC,
    I followed your instructions along with one more blog>
    to cross compile gstreamer but the version is 1.0.2 for the beaglebone I’m able to cross compile but the outcome is this
    root@beaglebone:/# gst-inspect-1.0
    staticelements: bin: Generic bin
    staticelements: pipeline: Pipeline object

    Total count: 124 plugins (123 blacklist entries not shown), 2 features

    what may be the issue, any idea??

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