BSP structure and contents

All QNX BSPs use the same basic directory structure, with variations to accommodate the needs of the different supported board architectures and variations, and the components needed for particular QNX implementations.

For most BSP components, QNX provides both the binary files and the source code. However, if there are restrictions on the distribution of the source code, only the binary files are made available. The “About this BSP” chapter of every BSP User's Guide lists the BSP components and specifies which components are provided as binary files only.

If you use the QNX Momentics IDE to extract the BSP contents, the IDE places the BSP contents in the directory you specify when you import the BSP archive. Unless you specify otherwise, the IDE uses a sub-directory in the ide-version-workspace directory of your host environment (see the IDE User's Guide). If you use the command-line unzip utility to extract the BSP, the utility places the BSP contents in the directory where you extract the archive (see Building a BSP).

BSP directories

The BSP structure and contents aren't affected by the method you use (command line or IDE) to extract the BSP from its archive, or by the location to which you extract it.

All QNX BSPs use the same basic directory structure, and have the same contents: IPL, startup code, IFS, drivers, etc. However, since BSPs are hardware-specific, every BSP is in some way unique, not just in its contents, but also in the organization of its directories.

Typically, extracting a BSP's .zip archive creates the following directories in the directory you chose on your host system:


The /images directory is the location of:

  • the BSP's default build file after the BSP has been built

  • any boot images (such as the IFS image, the IPL binary, etc.) after they have been generated

The /install directory is empty until the BSP is built. When the BSP is built, the contents of the /prebuilt directory are copied into the /install directory.

When the IFS image is being generated, the /install directory is the first location the IFS generation process scans for the components specified in the BSP's build file. If the IFS generation process doesn't find a component in the /install directory, it scans the QNX SDP's /target directory for the component.

Note: If you have modified any BSP component's source code, you must run make install to rebuild the source code. Using the make utility's install option instructs the utility to copy your modified components to the BSP's /install directory, which overwrites the prebuilt versions that were supplied with the BSP.
The /prebuilt directory includes all the BSP components, prebuilt and ready to use. When you build the BSP, the contents of the /prebuilt directory are copied to the BSP's /install directory (see Prebuilt binaries and libraries below).
The /src directory contains all source code that ships with the BSP. Source code is organised into sub-directories, such as /hardware, /lib, /utils, etc. When the BSP is built, all the source code in the BSP (including the source code in these sub-directories) is built.
For information about the Makefiles in these directories, see Conventions for Recursive Makefiles and Directories in the QNX Neutrino Programmer's Guide.
Figure 1. BSP directory structure

The diagram above shows the directory structure of a BSP for the NEXCOM VTC 1010, a board with an x86 architecture. Not all subdirectories are shown, and not all BSPs will have exactly the same directories. For example, at time of writing, the generic x86 BSP doesn't have a prebuilt/etc/ directory. A BSP for an ARM board will look similar, but will usually have an additional IPL directory: src/hardware/ipl/.

Component locations

The table below shows the default locations of common BSP components. ${BSP_ROOT_DIR} is the name of the directory where you extracted the BSP archive. ${CPU_VARIANT} is the specific CPU architecture for which this BSP was developed (e.g., ARMLE-v8).

File Location
Prebuilt OS image ${BSP_ROOT_DIR}/images
IPL and/or startup binaries ${BSP_ROOT_DIR}/install/${CPU_VARIANT}/boot/sys
Source code for device drivers, libraries, and utilities




Prebuilt libraries



Prebuilt binaries




Generic header files (not architecture- specific) ${BSP_ROOT_DIR}/install/usr/include

File naming conventions

Files included in a BSP archive use the following naming conventions to identify the different types of files:

Prefix Description Example
efs- Embedded Filesystem file; generated by mkefs efs-board_name.raw
ifs- Image filesystem (IFS) file; generated by mkifs ifs-board_name.elf
ipl- Initial Program Loader (IPL) file ipl-board_name.raw
.bin Binary format file ifs-board_name.bin
.build Buildfile
.efs Embedded Filesystem file; generated by mkefs efs-flash_filesystem.efs
.elf ELF (Executable and Linking Format) file ipl-ifs-board_name.elf
.raw Raw binary data (no jump-to information) ifs-board_name.raw
.srec S-record format file ifs-board_name.srec

Prebuilt binaries and libraries

Prebuilt binaries and libraries are packaged with the BSP, regardless of whether or not the source code for these components is also included with the BSP. Starting with SDP 6.6, QNX supplies prebuilt binaries and libraries for all BSP components (device drivers, libraries, utilities, etc.).

The BSP's /images directory includes a prebuilt QNX IFS image. This prebuilt IFS image allows you to quickly verify the operation of the QNX OS on your target board by simply transferring the prebuilt image directly to your target, without first building the BSP.

Because this prebuilt image is overwritten by a new IFS when you build the BSP, you may want to make a copy of the prebuilt image for future reference. If you forget to make a copy of the prebuilt image, you can recover it by extracting the BSP from the original .zip archive into a new directory.