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General Game development

Just start basic. Follow the Jump'n'Run tutorial (or any of the others). Copy their code. Change bits. Break it.. fix it. Write it over and over until you know what is happening where and why. Get a pandora or GP2X and cross-compile it for those platforms. Run your little creations on other devices (Android phones and iPhones are great). Little milestones like this will keep you motivated to continue learning.

Making a game, or programming a whole project is a massive undertaking. Be prepared to fail the first few attempts... quit at least 5 times only to come back and give it another go... and even then you might have only programmed Mahjong. If, at the end of all this, you are still keen, you can step it up to 3D graphics and start working on "bigger projects".

Remember.. no one can learn to program in a day... and I wouldn't expect anyone who started programming tomorrow to be able to produce a Mario clone, let alone quake 4 in a month.

Porting and Writing Software

Distributing Software

Kernel and Firmware

Compiling Software

development tutorials

PND Quickstart

See Introduction to PNDs for a nice and welcoming intro. quick make pnd tutorial For common tasks, see the PND Cookbook.


There is a GLBasic tutorial on this wiki which is still a work in progress, but should get new parts fairly frequently. More information can be found on the GLBasic forums.

SDL on Pandora

SDL is NOT a game engine, but it will provide you with the foundations for putting stuff on the screen, getting keyboard and controller input and making sounds. All of these are basics in programming games.

You can locate a lot of SDL specific information at [1]

Getting started with SDL on the Pandora

(This portion assumes you already have a dev environment ready)

First, you need to grab the SDL libraries, you can either compile them yourself or grab some pre compiled libs. You can get the sources for SDL here and compile it yourself.


You can get the pre compiled libraries here (they are named libSDL... etc). These are ipk files so windows user might need 7zip in order to open them. You will need both the 'normal' lib and the -dev library. You might want to get the SDL_image, SDL_mixer and other SDL_* libraries, since these add to general functionality of SDL.

Basic Pandora specific SDL Information

See SDL Controls

SDL Tutorials

These tutorials assume you know the basics of C++ programming, and know your way around a C++ compiler.

OpenGL on the Pandora

The Kernel

The Chipset

development tools

Official Pandora Source Code Repository

The official source is under GIT revision control; EvilDragon is the admin, but the repo has a web based browser built in.===

The actual GIT repository is here: [2] It is recommended that you read the git structure information before going too far.

For stable released images, see other OpenPandora support pages. E.g. official forum software - pandora OS news.

Pandora Specific Libraries

libpnd - the Pandora Library

Libpnd hub‏‎ is a collection of utilities that Pandora developers may find useful, as well as including the daemons and tools for creating and working with PXML.xml based applications (pnd files or unpacked application directories.)

It is hoped the community will continue to expand this library over time!

Some stubs are included as hints .. for instance, the first dev to build a clean /dev/gpio based input library should slip it into libpnd so that others may benefit as well, avoid fragmentation and application bugs.

Continue into the main libpnd documentation hub.

Notaz SDL - improved SDL for Pandora

SDL on this wiki
enhanced SDL thread, on the boards

This library is very very useful for SDL-based ports and new games / apps.

  • hardware scaling support (up and down)
  • doublebuffering support (can eliminate tearing)
  • vsync support (can give smooth scrolling if done right)
  • keymap change with a config file (porting aid)

Tentative Library Environment


Please note, that this information is hearsay/guesswork, and is yet to be confirmed on a production unit.

For Pandora (Out-Of-The-Box)

  • glibc (at a guess, version 2.6.1 or whatever is compatible with OpenEmbedded)
  • libSDL (also a guess, latest available version of 1.2)

For those interested in creating libraries, or needing more low-level access, read about the kernel interface.

Tools for Pandora Software Development

  • OpenEmbedded cross-compile environment (and Angstrom distro) [3]
  • CodeSourcery gcc[4]
    • [5] - NB: OpenEmbedded uses the CodeSourcery 2007q3 to build the kernel, but uses gcc 4.3.1 to compile everything else.
  • TI CodeComposer Studio: Free Evaluation Tools[6]
  • TI c6x Codegen tools for Linux[7]; License [8]; TI account required; this is *only* for Open Source development
  • Das U-boot: The Universal Bootloader[9]
  • Git - Fast Version Control System [10]; Good tuto: [11]

Kernel Source

  • A read-only GIT repository for the kernel source has been made available (November 2008); the note from ED is:

If anybody wants to take a sneak peek at the current kernel, we've got a read-only GIT setup which features the most recent version of the MK2 OpenPandora Kernel.

The git is: [12]

Use the pandora-27-omap1 branch for the moment, there will soon be a 2.6.28.

OpenGL and ES

  • GLES 2.0 emulator for PC[13] This works both on Linux and Windows. One needs to register with imgtec before downloading.
    • To build the applications a few environment variables need to be set (tested on Ubuntu Gutsy). Note that to run them, you do need an OpenGL 2.0 compliant gfx card.
      • LD_LIBRARY_PATH needs to be set to the folder holding the important libraries, such as ($SDK_PATH/Builds/OGLES2/LinuxPC/Lib might be enough)
      • To run the makefiles in the Training section you need to set a PLATFORM variable to either LinuxPC or LinuxGeneric. I have had success with LinuxPC.
      • See [14] for a script that you can run to set these for you.
  • PowerVR Texture creation tool
    • "PVRTexTool enables conversion of standard bitmap files (e.g. BMP, JPG, PNG, TGA, etc.) to any texture type supported by POWERVR MBX or POWERVR SGX hardware including PVRTC, DXT and ETC compressed formats. Both a GUI and command line version are supplied for Windows and Linux. There are also plug-ins for Autodesk 3ds Max, Maya and Adobe Photoshop." - requires imgtec registration.
    • Note, this is part of the main SDK - (Linux path to it is /SDKPackage/Utilities/PVRTexTool/)


(See also Make and run simple PND‏‎ and the PND package format)


If you need performance analysis, you can find a compiled version of the "perf" tool there :
Just unzip the tool somewhere and launch it with LD_LIBRARY_PATH set.

See to learn how to use it and happy optimizations!