Crosscompilation toolchain in Linux (for building SDL2 applications)

Best crosscompilation choice is MXE project. It is fully automatized Makefile that downloads and builds all needed cross-tools and libraries.

~$ cd /opt/
opt$ git clone -b master
opt$ cd mxe
mxe$ make gcc sdl2 # or just make sdl2, as gcc is listed in its dependencies.

At the time of writing this article, SDL2 was not yet ready to be built. If sdl2 is not installed, download SDL2-devel-mingw from official site and put include/ dir content into ./usr/include/SDL2, lib/ to lib/ etc.

Now that all tools and libraries is installed simple Bash script that wraps normal make invokation would do all the work:

# Define our new tools and libs and stuff for cross-compilation.
export CXX=/opt/mxe/usr/bin/i686-pc-mingw32.static-g++
export CXXFLAGS='-I/opt/mxe/usr/include -L/opt/mxe/usr/lib'
export LIBS='-lmingw32 -lSDL2main -mwindows'
exec make $* # Invoke make with new defines.

All user libs and includes should go to ./usr/{lib,include} dirs resp. Normally any .dll file can be used by linker, so there is no need to make .a files.


Some old MinGW C++ STL versions do not suppport to_string and other standard string conversion routines. Fix for that problem is described here

If Undefined reference to 'SDL_main' errors pop up, make sure that main routine is declared as following:

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) 

If linker is cursing with messages like ‘undefined reference to SDL_Init’ and such, check order of arguments in gcc invokation:

	# Wrong.
	gcc `sdl-config --libs` -o main main.o
	# Right.
	gcc main.o  `sdl-config --libs` -o main