vbcc 0.9b: An Amiga Cross Compiler for Mac OS X


On my neverending quest to have a powerful cross compiler for m68k Classic Amiga (i.e. OS <= 3.x) for my Mac I had a closer look on the fresh new release of Volker Barthelmann’s C Compiler.

In this post I’ll describe how to install this nice piece of code on your machine in a few easy steps!

1. vasm 1.5b

First we build the cross assembler to assemble the output of vbcc.

Download the source code from the above link. Now extract it:

tar xvfz vasm.tar.gz
cd vasm

Build the binary with:

make CPU=m68k SYNTAX=mot

Finally install with (note we use /opt/vbcc as the location for all this):

mkdir -p /opt/vbcc/bin
cp vasmm68k_std vasmm68k_mot vobjdump /opt/vbcc/bin

Ok, the assembler is ready!

2. vlink 0.14

vlink’s homepage and the source can also be found on Frank Wille’s site:

Same game here: download source and untarring:

tar xvfz vlink.tar.gz
cd vlink


mkdir objects


mkdir -p /opt/vbcc/bin
cp vlink /opt/vbcc/bin


3. vbcc 0.9b

Finally, the compiler itself:


tar xvfz vbcc.tar.gz
cd vbcc

I removed the -DHAVE_AOS4 in the Makefile just to be sure.


mkdir bin
make TARGET=m68k
make TARGET=m68ks


cp bin/vbcc* bin/vc bin/vprof /opt/vbcc/bin

The compiler is in place now…

4. Target Environment

A cross compiler needs a target environment. This includes the system headers and libraries here for the m68k Amiga platform. Also the implementation for the c standard library (think of printf…) are required for the target.

Here I only install the amiga m68k target but vbcc supports also other targets. See the following homepage for more details:

Download the given archives, one for the m68k target the other for the vbcc descriptions how to run the compiler on a unix-like operating system.

Unzip the archives (If you don’t have lha on your machine. Have a look in MacPorts!):

lha x vbcc_target_m68k-amigaos.lha
unzip vbcc_unix_config.zip

Now install the files into our destination directory:

export VBCC=/opt/vbcc
mv config $VBCC/
mv vbcc_target_m68k-amigaos/targets $VBCC/

Done! Now all components are in place and we are ready for our first compile…

5. First Test

Ok, for the first test, a simple hello world is fine (file hello.c):

#include <stdio.h>
int main(int argc, char **argv)
  printf("hello, world!\n");
  return 0;

To compile make sure you have the environment variable VBCC set to the install directory and tha PATH holds the bin directory there:

export VBCC=/opt/vbcc
export PATH=$VBCC/bin:$PATH

The compiler always needs the target platform specified with the + switch:

cv +aos68k -o hello hello.c

If all went well you have created a Amiga OS LoadSeg’able binary called hello:

> file hello
hello: AmigaOS loadseg()ble executable/binary

Now launch your favorite amiga emulator (e.g. P-UAE) and give it a try!

More information on the compiler and its options can be found in the documentation on the official home page of Volker:

6. Amiga OS Development

If you want to use the Amiga Libraries in your Programs you will need the OS headers and libraries from a NDK. For the last OS 3.9 you can download it here: NDK 3.9. Simply untar the contents somewhere and define the following environment variables:

export NDK=/path/to/NDK_3.9
export NDK_INC=$NDK/include/include_h
export NDK_LIB=$NDK/linker_libs

Now a typical compile line looks like:

vc +aos68k -I$NDK_INC -L$NDK_LIB -o test test.c -lamiga

Use this to compile a sample taken from the NDK:

cd $NDK/Tutorials/ARexx/Host
vc +aos68k -I$NDK_INC -L$NDK_LIB RexxShell.c -lamiga

You can compare your compile (a.out) with the official binary:

> ls -la RexxShell a.out
-rwxr-xr-x  1 chris  staff  6652  1 Nov  1999 RexxShell*
-rwxr-xr-x  1 chris  staff  5988 18 Aug 20:38 a.out*

Quite nice small result! Now head on to some own code and enjoy your new compiler!

2 thoughts on “vbcc 0.9b: An Amiga Cross Compiler for Mac OS X

  1. Did the following things to make it default to aos68k:
    cd $VBCC/config
    ln -s aos68k vc.config

    Then made it use NDK includes per default also by adding “-I$NDK_INC” to the end of the -cc and -ccv lines of $VBCC/config/aos68k.

  2. Pingback: Directory trouble compiling latest m68k cross-compiler.

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