Status of the Xtensa Port

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This page provides additional information for software support for the Xtensa architecture. While most applications are written architecture independent, development tools and operating systems must be ported to a new processor architecture. Support for the Xtensa architecture has already been integrated in most Open Source software projects. Development trees that feed to the respective mainline repository and for new development can be found in local GIT repositories.

Toolchain: Compiler (GCC) and various binary utilities (binutils)

All GNU toolchain tools are maintained in OpenSource and can be downloaded from the respective locations.

Additional information to patch these sources for a specific Xtensa processor configuration can be found under Toolchain and Embedded Distributions.

C-Libraries: Glibc, uClibc and uClibc-ng

Xtensa has long been part of uClibc, however, there are a lot of bug fixes pending for the next release ( Support for the Native Posix Thread Library (NTPL) is under development and is expected to be part of the following release. The spin-off uClibc-ng project already contains the experimental NPTL support. Development for Glibc with NPTL (older thread libraries are not supported by Glibc anymore) is also current under way. A development tree can be found in this GIT repository.


GDB is maintained in OpenSource and support for Xtensa in other debugging tools was maintained as patches in local buildroot repositories, and are currently updated and pushed to the respective main repositories.

Linux kernel

Xtensa has been part of the official Linux kernel tree since 2.6.13, however, a lot of patches were maintained in a local stable tree for a long time, and are currently ported to the latest kernel tree. Features, such as large memory support and cache aliasing should be expected to hit the kernel in the 3.10/3.11 time frame. The latest version can be found at

Toolchain creation tools and embedded distributions (crosstool-NG, buildroot, etc)

Xtensa is supported by buildroot, which can be downloaded from Support for crosstool-NG has not been pushed into the official tree yet. A version can be downloaded from local GIT repositories. Additional information to configure these tools for a specific Xtensa processor configuration can be found under Toolchain and Embedded Distributions.

Other Projects

The following list are additional projects that are architecture specific, or that have architecture specific components with additional information how to compile them for Xtensa.

  • LibFFI - LibFFI is a library that provides an interface to execute low-level functions. It is mostly used by scripting or higher-level languages, such as Python, Dalvik, etc.