Converting an EPICS R3.13 application to R3.14

This document describes how to convert a R3.13 vxWorks application so that it builds with release R3.14. It describes procedures such that:

Gnumake clean uninstall

First do a gnumake clean uninstall in the application's root directory to remove all files created by earlier builds.

Create a new R3.14 application

We will remove junkApp later.

mkdir top
cd top
/path/to/base-3.14/bin/host_arch/ -t example junk

Copy all *App and iocBoot directories and files to the new top directory

cd oldtop 
find *App iocBoot -print | cpio -pvmd /path/to/new/top

Modify top/configure/RELEASE

Copy definitions of external modules excluding EPICS_BASE and TEMPLATE_TOP from your old application config/RELEASE file. In many cases the modules you actually use under R3.14 will be different to the R3.13 modules, but the old module names here give you a starting-point for what there replacements will be.

If any sequence programs (*.st or *.stt files) exist in your application, add the SNCSEQ location definition for the R3.14 sncseq external module.

SNCSEQ = /path/to/sncseq

The R3.14 sncseq module must exist and be built with the same EPICS base R3.14 release.

Modify the Makefiles in top/*App directories.

Change include $(TOP)/config/CONFIG_APP to include $(TOP)/configure/CONFIG

Change include $(TOP)/config/RULES_DIRS to include $(TOP)/configure/RULES_DIRS

Modify the Makefiles in top/*App/*Db directories.

Remove existing Makefile.

Rename Makefile.Host to Makefile

Modify the Makefile as follows:

Change TOP=../../.. to TOP=../..

Change include $(TOP)/config/CONFIG_APP to include $(TOP)/configure/CONFIG

Change include $(TOP)/config/RULES.Dbto include $(TOP)/configure/RULES

Place all definitions between the include lines.

Place any rules after the last include line.

Modify the Makefiles in top/*App/src directories.

This is the hardest step. The definitions in Makefile.Host and Makefile.Vx must be manually converted to the new configure definitions.

First replace Makefile with the Makefile from junkApp/src.

rm Makefile
cp ../../junkApp/src/Makefile .

We can remove the junkApp now (unless you have other App/src directories still to convert):

rm -rf ../../junkApp

This new Makefile has comments explaining how to build the various host and IOC products. Lets consider some examples

After these changes are made the following files are no longer needed: baseLIBOBJS, Makefile.Host, and Makefile.Vx

File base.dbd no longer needed

You now can add the line

include "base.dbd"

to your appnameInclude.dbd file and remove the file nameApp/src/base.dbd from your src directory. The base.dbd file from $(EPICS_BASE)/dbd will be used instead. If you only want to load a subset of the record definitions from base you can keep a local edited copy of the base.dbd file but you should copy it from $(EPICS_BASE)/dbd and edit that rather than trying to re-use the R3.13 version from your old application area.

Record support

Add the following header file inclusion after all other #include statements:

#include "epicsExport.h"

The struct rset is now available as a typedef so change

struct rset recordnameRSET = { ... };


rset recordnameRSET = { ... };

and add the following line immediately after that definition:

epicsExportAddress(rset, recordnameRSET);

Device support

Add the following header file inclusion after all other #include statements:

#include "epicsExport.h"

and add the following line after every dset definition struct { ... } devname = { ... }; in the file.

epicsExportAddress(dset, devname);

Driver support

Add the following header file inclusion after all other #include statements:

#include "epicsExport.h"

and add the following line after the drvet drvname definition:

epicsExportAddress(drvet, drvname);

Registration code changed

Registration code for application specific functions, e.g. subroutine record init and process functions, must be changed as follows

  1. Add the following header file inclusions after all other #include statements:
    #include "registryFunction.h"
    #include "epicsExport.h"
  2. Mark the application specific functions as static, e.g.
    static long mySubInit(subRecord *precord)
    static long mySubProcess(subRecord *precord)
  3. Add an epicsRegisterFunction statement for each of the functions to be registered, e.g.
  4. Add a function statement for each of the functions to be registered in a .dbd file that is included in the application, e.g.

Additional Headers

It may be necessary to add one or more of the following header file inclusions to any C source file if you get warnings or errors from the compilation process. The most likely file missing is errlog.h.

Modify the Makefiles in top/iocBoot directory.

Change include $(TOP)/config/CONFIG_APP to include $(TOP)/configure/CONFIG

If they do not already exist, add the lines

DIRS += $(wildcard *ioc*)
DIRS += $(wildcard as*)

Change include $(TOP)/config/RULES.iocBoot to include $(TOP)/configure/RULES_DIRS.

Modify the Makefiles in top/iocBoot/ioc* directories.

Change include $(TOP)/config/CONFIG_APP to include $(TOP)/configure/CONFIG


ARCH = <old arch specification e.g. mv167>


ARCH = <new arch specification e.g. vxWorks-68040>

Change include $(TOP)/config/RULES.ioc to include $(TOP)/configure/RULES.ioc

If it exists remove the line

buildInstall: cdCommands

Add the line

TARGETS = cdCommands

before the include for RULES.ioc line.

Modify st.cmd in top/iocBoot/ioc* directories.

Remove the lines

ld < seq
ld < iocCore

The ld command in vxWorks 5.5.2 doesn't clean up its standard input stream properly, so we now recommend passing the filename to it as an argument instead. Change ld < nameLib to

ld 0,0, "name.munch"

Change cd appbin to cd topbin

Change the statement:


where name is replaced with the name of your dbd file.

recGbl calls

If any source file makes calls to recGbl routines make sure it includes recGbl.h. If it doesn't the compiler will issue warning messages and the IOC may not compile properly, or on vxWorks you could see the load-time error: undefined symbol: _recGblSetSevr.

Record support changes

The steppermotor, scan, and pid records are no longer in base. If these record types are used at your site, their unbundled modules should be downloaded from the EPICS website and built with base R3.14 by your EPICS administrator. To use these record types in your application you must add them to the application just like any other external support module. Most modules provide instructions on how to use them in an IOC application.

Consider changing any existing old steppermotor records to the EPICS motor record module supported by the Beamline Controls and Data Acquisition group at APS.

RecDynLink.o and devPtSoft changes

recDynLink.o and devPtSoft.o are no longer in EPICS base and now exist as separate unbundled EPICS modules. As with the three record types described above these must now be built separately and added as support modules to any applications that need them.

Hardware support changes

All hardware support (dev, drv and dbd files) except soft support has been unbundled from base R3.14. This support includes the files symb.dbd, drvHp1404a.o, drvEpvxiMsg.o, and drvEpvxi.o. If these are not used by your application, remove any references to them from your dbd files.

Hardware support now exists as separate EPICS modules. The hardware support modules used at your site should be downloaded and built with base R3.14 by your EPICS administrator. To use them, add the appropriate module full path definitions to your application configure/RELEASE file, and make the documented changes to your Makefile to link their binaries into the your IOC executable.

For example, remove


from baseLIBOBJS and add


to your application src/Makefile, and add the line

SYMB = <full path definition for the built module SYMB>

into your application configure/RELEASE file.

dbLoadtemplate tool changes

The host tool dbLoadTemplate has been replace by a new EPICS extension called msi, which should be downloaded and built with base R3.14 by your EPICS administrator. dbLoadTemplate is still supported on IOCs. If the msi executable is not in your default search path and in your application db files are created from template and substitution files, you should add the definition

MSI = <full path name to msi executable>

to your application's configure/RELEASE file.

Optional top/configure/CONFIG_SITE changes

Review and optionally modify site build settings.