Working with i686

The Redox Build system now supports building for multiple CPU architectures in the same directory tree. Building for i686 or aarch64 only requires that you set the ARCH Make variable to the correct value. Normally, you would do this in .config, but you can also do this temporarily in the environment (export ARCH=i686) or you can use


Bootstrap Pre-Requisites And Fetch Sources

Follow the instructions for running to set up your environment - Building Redox or Podman Build.

Install Emulator Package

The i386 emulator is not installed by You can add it like this:

sudo apt-get install qemu-system-i386

Config Values

Before your first build, be sure to set the ARCH variable in .config to your architecture type, in this case i686. You can change several other configurable settings, such as the filesystem contents, etc. See Configuration Settings.

Add packages to the filesystem.

You can add programs to the filesystem by following the instructions here.


For more details on the build process, please read Advanced Build.

Compiling The Entire Redox Project

Now we have:

  • fetched the sources
  • set the ARCH to i686
  • selected a filesystem config, e.g. desktop
  • tweaked the settings to our liking
  • possibly added our very own source/binary package to the filesystem

We are ready to build the entire Redox Operating System Image.

Building an image for emulation

cd ~/tryredox/redox
time make all

will make the target, e.g. build/i686/desktop/hardrive.img, which you can run with an emulator. See Running Redox.

Building Redox Live CD/USB Image for i686

cd ~/tryredox/redox
time make live

will make the target build/i686/desktop/livedisk.iso, which can be copied to a USB drive or CD for booting or installation. See Running Redox on real hardware.

Give it a while. Redox is big.

The two main targets, e.g. build/i686/desktop/harddrive.img and
build/i686/desktop/livedisk.iso, do the following:

  • fetch some sources for the core tools from the redox-os gitlab servers, then builds them; as it progressively cooks each package, it fetches the respective package's source and builds it
  • creates a few empty files holding different parts of the final image filesystem
  • using the newly built core tools, it builds the non-core packages into one of those filesystem parts
  • fills the remaining filesystem parts appropriately with stuff built by the core tools to help boot Redox
  • merges the the different filesystem parts into a final Redox Operating System image ready to run in Qemu or be written to a USB drive or CD.

Cleaning Previous Build Cycles

Cleaning Intended For Rebuilding Core Packages And Entire System

When you need to rebuild core-packages like relibc, gcc and related tools, clean the entire previous build cycle with:

cd ~/tryredox/redox/
rm -rf prefix/i686-unknown-redox/relibc-install/ cookbook/recipes/gcc/{build,sysroot,stage*} build/i686/*/{harddrive.img,livedisk.iso}

Cleaning Intended For Only Rebuilding Non-Core Package(s)

If you're only rebuilding a non-core package, you can partially clean the previous build cycle just enough to force the rebuilding of the Non-Core Package:

cd ~/tryredox/redox/
rm build/i686/*/{fetch.tag,harddrive.img}

Running Redox

Running The Redox Desktop

To run Redox, do:

make qemu

This should open up a QEMU window, booting to Redox.

If it does not work, disable KVM with:

make qemu kvm=no


make qemu iommu=no

If this doesn't work either, you should go open an issue.

Running The Redox Console Only

We disable to GUI desktop by passing "vga=no". The following disables the graphics support and welcomes you with the Redox console:

make qemu vga=no 

It is advantageous to run the console in order to capture the output from the non-gui applications. It helps to debug applications and share the console captured logs with other developers in the redox community.

Running The Redox Console With A Qemu Tap For Network Testing

Expose Redox to other computers within a LAN. Configure Qemu with a "TAP" which will allow other computers to test Redox client/server/networking capabilities.

Join the Redox chat if this is something you are interested in pursuing.


If you encounter any bugs, errors, obstructions, or other annoying things, please report the issue. Thanks!