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This page describes setup of a crosscompiling environment (Host is Win32)

Download cross compiler

The easiest way to start development for WinCE is to download the latest release version of FPC for Win32 and arm-wince cross compiler for Win32.

Download them here:

First install FPC for Win32, then install arm-wince cross compiler as add-on package.

Building WinCE cross compiler from sources

During the tutorial some paths will be supposed to demonstrate the build process. Just substitute those paths with the ones on your system.

This tutorial demonstrates how to build arm-wince crosscompiler.

Step 1 - Cross binutils

These are the basic tools necessary to create executables, such as: Linker (ld), Assembler (as), Archiver (ar) (Creates smartlinking .a files), strip and some others.

You need cross binutils for arm-wince, get them from for Win32.

Extract them to some dir in the path on your machine. We will suppose that you extracted the cross binutils to: C:\Programas\arm

Step 2 - Cross compiler

Now you need to build fpc cross compiler for ARM processor. To do that you need fpc 2.2.0 or later sources and working installation of fpc 2.2.0 for Win32.

You can get the latest fpc source repository from Subversion:

We will suppose that your Win32 fpc compiler is located here: C:\Programas\fpc\bin\i386-win32

And your Free Pascal source code is located here: C:\Programas\fpc

Step 3 - The Build process

In order to build the cross compiler it is necessary to have a correct PATH environment variable. On Windows it is very easy to get a PATH crowded with information put by installers. To ensure that your path is correct, create a batch file with the following code:

make cycle CPU_TARGET=arm OS_TARGET=wince

Put this file on C:\Programas\fpc\compiler, open the Windows command line, go to this folder and execute the batch file.

On the end of the compile you should not see any errors.

You should have a ppccrossarm.exe in C:\Programas\fpc\compiler and some .o and .ppu files in C:\Programas\fpc\rtl\units\arm-wince

Now copy those files to your Free Pascal installation. The cross compiler ppccrossarm.exe should go to C:\Programas\fpc\bin\arm-wince and the units to C:\Programas\fpc\units\arm-wince

Step 4 - Configuration file

Now you need to create fpc.cfg configuration file in C:\Programas\fpc\bin\arm-wince folder in order to use ppccrossarm.exe easy.

Create empty fpc.cfg file in C:\Programas\fpc\bin\arm-wince folder and add the following lines to it:


Finally add C:\Programas\fpc\bin\arm-wince and C:\Programas\fpc\bin\i386-win32 to your PATH environment variable.

Remember to substitute the paths with the ones on your system.

Alternative Step 4 - Configuration file for hybrid compilation

If you want to compile your projects with the same "fpc" for both win32 and winCE platforms, you can do the following:

  • copy ppcrossarm.exe into your fpc/bin/i386-win32 directory
  • edit your fpc.cfg in that directory and add:

Remember to substitute the paths with the ones on your system.

Now when you want to compile for WinCE you just have to specify the OS and Arch targets to fpc.

NOTE: if you use Lazarus this will work flawlessly, but make sure to point lazarus to "fpc.exe" not "ppc386.exe".

Building FPC libraries

If you want to build libraries available with FPC just go to library folder and execute:

make OS_TARGET=wince CPU_TARGET=arm PP=ppcrossarm.exe

Compiling a Test Project

You compiled the compiler! Now, what can I do with it? This is a tutorial to create a hello world like software with your new compiler.

Step 1 - Installing and Configuring the Emulator

You will need a Windows CE Emulator configured for ActiveSync. The ActiveSync is necessary to install PocketCMD, a command line tool to run our hello world software.

Download the free Pocket PC device emulator from Microsoft. It emulates ARM CPU.

There is a tutorial on how to set up the Emulator for ActiveSync here.

Step 2 - Installing the command line

Download and install PocketCMD by SymbolicTools. Get it here (this site seems to be gone) but try here [1]

To enable the console on newer devices (I needed it in my 6.1CE pro), you may to set the following registry value link

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Drivers\Console\OutputTo -> 0

Check WinCE_port_Hints for more details on programming under Windows CE platform.

Step 3 - Compiling

A example file to compile:

program test;

{$apptype console}

  Str: string;
  WriteLn('Software Developed with:');
  WriteLn('The Free Pascal Compiler');
  WriteLn('Please, enter your name:');
  WriteLn('Your name is: ' + Str);

Sample command line to compile test.pas:

ppcrossarm test.pas

You will get test.exe executable file. Copy it to your Windows CE device and run.

Here is a screenshot of a software created this way.