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Build tools

Mbed OS includes tools for building itself in the tools directory. These build tools include target-specific postbuild scripts. When adding a target, you may need to add a postbuild script. Use a postbuild script to modify a linked application binary in ways that the linker cannot, such as inserting a checksum at a specific offset. Postbuild scripts are rarely exportable, and you should use them only when you have exhausted all other options.

Postbuild scripts

The tools include postbuild scripts for tasks that modify an application binary after it is linked. These tasks are written in Python as static methods of a class within the tools.targets module. The tasks are specified as Class.method in targets.json.

The tools call the static method with 4 parameters:

  1. Toolchain object. You may use this object for logging.
  2. Resources object used for this build. This contains all of the C, C++ and ASM sources.
  3. Path to the .elf file the linker generates.
  4. Path to the binary file generated after link, or the .elf file if the code did not generate a binary.


To add a postbuild script, add a class with a single method into the tools/targets/__init__.py python file, such as:

class LPCTargetCode(object):
    """General LPC Target patching"""
    def lpc_patch(t_self, resources, elf, binf):
        """Patch an elf file"""
        t_self.debug("LPC Patch: %s" % os.path.split(binf)[1])
        from .LPC import patch

A target that needs this postbuild script run must contain this snippet in targets/targets.json:

"post_binary_hook": {"function": "LPCTargetCode.lpc_patch"}

When implementing a postbuild script, please be aware of the following considerations:

  • You may use a . in a project name.
  • You may change the output file type to any of binary, Intel Hex and .elf.
  • The Arm compiler generates a directory containing a .bin file for each loadable section when there is more than one loadable section.
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