Build PandA framework in container environment

The PandA framework also features a Docker build environment to allow easy and automated build environment setup.

The Docker build container method is strongly recommended if you need to build the PandA framework to easly allow reproducibility of any issues and avoid compatibility issues with the host machine.


Before you begin, be sure you have installed both Docker and Docker Compose following the official install guide at

Clone PandA repository

Firstly, you may clone the git repository of the PandA framework on your machine and enter the root directory:

git clone
cd PandA-bambu

Docker environment overview

The PandA build container environment is defined in the .devcontainer/docker-compose.yml file that is reported here:

version: '3'

    name: bambu_compilers
    external: true

    image: bambuhls/dev:bionic-23.10
    command: tail -f /dev/null
      - bambu_compilers:/compilers
      - ../:/mirror:ro
      - ../build:/workspace/build
      - ../panda_dist:/panda_dist

There is a single docker container with four mounting points:

The base container is derived from Ubuntu 20.04 Bionic, but you may also chose an Ubuntu 22.04 Focal based container replacing bambuhls/dev:bionic-23.10 with bambuhls/dev:focal-23.10.

NOTE: the -23.10 suffix in the container tag refers to the build date of the container, not the Ubuntu OS version.

Docker environment setup

Basic prerequisites for the PandA framework build are already installed in the base container image, while frontend compilers for the PandA Bambu HLS tool must be downloaded manually.
The download and installation of compilers inside the build container is automated, thus you are just required to supply a comma-separated list of the compilers you need.
Available GNU GCC compilers are: gcc-4.9,gcc-5,gcc-6,gcc-7,gcc-8.
Available Clang LLVM compilers are: clang-4,clang-5,clang-6,clang-7,clang-8,clang-9,clang-10,clang-11,clang-12,clang-16.

To run the build environment setup procedure you must run the following command (and replace the APP_COMPILERS string with yours):

make -f Makefile.init appimage-setup APP_COMPILERS="gcc-4.9,gcc-8,clang-12,clang-16"

If you wish to add different compilers later you can run the command again with the updated APP_COMPILERS list.

Build PandA framework distribution

Once setup is completed, you need to run the compile command as follows:

make -f Makefile.init appimage-build

This command will automatically run the Automake build configuration script and compile the PandA framework binaries.

You may also specify custom configuration options using the APP_CONFIGURE variable as follows:

make -f Makefile.init appimage-build APP_CONFIGURE="--disable-release"

The Docker build environment generates the PandA AppImage package by default. This implies the packaging procedure is performed at the end of the compilation process: this may take a while and is not necessary unless you need the AppImage to be generated. Thus, if you plan to work on the code and build it frequently, you may want to avoid this step to be executed after each compilation run.
The AppImage package generation may be skipped by adding –skip-package at the beginning of the APP_CONFIGURE string:

make -f Makefile.init appimage-build APP_CONFIGURE="--skip-package <other_options>"

Launch generated PandA binaries

After a successful build, you can run the PandA Bambu HLS tool launching the generated AppImage from the panda_dist directory:

./panda_dist/bambu.AppImage --help

Further information on the AppImage usage are available on the Install PandA framework AppImage distribution page.

If you used the –skip-package flag in the previous step as a configure option, the bambu.AppImage package will not be generated. To run PandA framework tools you must use the following:

APPDIR="/abs/path/to/git_root/panda_dist/distdir" /abs/path/to/git_root/panda_dist/distdir/usr/bin/bambu --help

Next steps

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