DTC(1) BSD General Commands Manual DTC(1)
dtc -- device tree compiler
dtc [-fhsv] [-b boot_cpu_id] [-d dependency_file] [-E [no-]checker_name] [-H phandle_format]
[-I input_format] [-O output_format] [-o output_file] [-R entries] [-S bytes] [-p bytes]
[-V blob_version] [-W [no-]checker_name] [-P predefined_properties] input_file
The dtc utility converts flattened device tree (FDT) representations.
It is most commonly used to generate device tree blobs (DTB), the binary representation of
an FDT, from device tree sources (DTS), the ASCII text source representation.
The binary can be written in two formats, binary and assembly. The binary is identical to
the in-memory representation and can be used directly by firmware, loaders, and so on. The
assembly format, documented in ASM FORMAT, will produce the same binary format when assem-
bled, but also includes some global variables that refer to parts of the table. This format
is most commonly used to produce a kernel specific to a device, with the device tree blob
The options are as follows:
Writes a dependency file understandable by make to the specified file. This file
can be included in a Makefile and will ensure that the output file depends on the
input file and any files that it includes. This argument is only useful when the
input is DTS, as only the source format has a notion of inclusions.
Enable or disable a specified checker. The argument is the name of the checker.
The full list of checkers is given in CHECKERS.
-f Force the tool to attempt to generate the output, even if the input had errors.
-h Display the help text and exit.
Specifies the type of phandle nodes to generate in the output. Valid values are:
linux Generate the legacy linux,phandle nodes expected by older systems.
epapr Generate the phandle nodes, as described in the ePAPR specification. This
is the most sensible option for device trees being used with FreeBSD.
both Generate both, for maximum compatibility.
Specifies the input format. Valid values are:
dtb Device tree blob. The binary representation of the FDT.
dts Device tree source. The ASCII representation of the FDT. This is the
default if the input format is not explicitly stated.
Specifies the output format. Valid values are:
asm Assembler source for generating a device tree blob, as described in ASM
dtb Device tree blob. The binary representation of the FDT. This is the
default if the output format is not explicitly stated.
dts Device tree source. The ASCII representation of the FDT.
The file to which to write the output.
Defines a macro, in the form name=value or name to be used for device tree source
files that contain conditional components. This tool supports two extensions to the
standard to support conditional compilation of device trees. The first is an
/include/if [property]/ file.dts directive that is allowed at the start of a file
and which will only include the specified file if it the specified property is
passed with this flag. The second is the $NAME format for property values. These
allow property value to be specified on the command line.
The number of empty reservation table entries to pad the table with. This is useful
if you are generating a device tree blob for bootloader or similar that needs to
reserve some memory before passing control to the operating system.
The minimum size in bytes of the blob. The blob will be padded after the strings
table to ensure that it is the correct size. This is useful for environments where
the device tree blob must be modified in place.
The number of bytes of padding to add to the blob. The blob will be padded after
the strings table to ensure that it is the correct size. This is useful for envi-
ronments where the device tree blob must be modified in place.
Enable or disable a specified checker. This is an alias for -E.
-s Sorts the properties and nodes in the tree. This is mainly useful when using tools
like diff(1) to compare two device tree sources.
The version of the format to output. This is only relevant for binary outputs, and
only a value of 17 is currently supported.
-v Display the tool version and exit.
The source file.
The assembly format defines several globals that can be referred to from other compilation
units, in addition to any labels specified in the source. These are:
dt_blob_start start of the device tree blob.
dt_header start of the header, usually identical to the start of the blob.
dt_reserve_map start of the reservation map.
dt_struct_start start of the structure table.
dt_struct_end end of the structure table.
dt_strings_start start of the strings table.
dt_strings_end end of the strings table.
dt_blob_end end of the device tree blob.
The utility provides a number of semantic checks on the correctness of the tree. These can
be disabled with the -W flag. For example, -W no-type-phandle will disable the phandle type
check. The supported checks are:
type-compatible Checks the type of the compatible property.
type-model Checks the type of the model property.
type-compatible Checks the type of the compatible property.
Checks that all nodes with children have both #address-cells and
dtc -o blob.S -O asm device.dts
will generate a blob.S file from the device tree source device.dts and print errors if any
occur during parsing or property checking. The resulting file can be assembled and linked
into a binary.
dtc -o - -O dts -I dtb device.dtb
will write the device tree source for the device tree blob device.dtb to the standard out-
put. This is useful when debugging device trees.
This utility is intended to be compatible with the device tree compiler provided by
elinux.org. Currently, it implements the subset of features required to build FreeBSD and
others that have been requested by FreeBSD developers.
The fs input format is not supported. This builds a tree from a Linux /proc/device-tree, a
file system hierarchy not found in FreeBSD, which instead exposes the DTB directly via a
The warnings and errors supported by the elinux.org tool are not documented. This tool sup-
ports the warnings described in the CHECKERS section.
The device tree formats understood by this tool conform to the Power.org Standard for Embed-
ded Power Architecture Platform Requirements (ePAPR), except as noted in the BUGS section
and with the following exceptions for compatibility with the elinux.org tool:
o The target of cross references is defined to be a node name in the specification, but is
in fact a label.
The /include/ directive is not part of the standard, however it is implemented with the
semantics compatible with the elinux.org tool. It must appear in the top level of a file,
and imports a new root definition. If a file, plus all of its inclusions, contains multiple
roots then they are merged. All nodes that are present in the second but not the first are
imported. Any that appear in both are recursively merged, with properties from the second
replacing those from the first and properties child nodes being recursively merged.
A dtc tool first appeared in FreeBSD 9.0. This version of the tool first appeared in
David T. Chisnall
Note: The fact that the tool and the author share the same initials is entirely coinciden-
The device tree compiler does not yet support the following features:
o Labels in the middle of property values. This is only useful in the assembly output,
and only vaguely useful there, so is unlikely to be added soon.
o Full paths, rather than labels, as the targets for phandles. This is not very hard to
add, but will probably not be added until something actually needs it.
The current version performs a very limited set of semantic checks on the tree. This will
be improved in future versions.
BSD January 1, 2013 BSD