Template GBA homebrew program using tonclib
reorder configure script
update Makefile again
rework README


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You can also use your local clone with git send-email.


This template is designed to be used to create gba homebrew using the Tonc Library. The template is written from scratch and is designed to be self-contained (other than devkitPro) and easy to understand and modify.

If you want to make homebrew the tonc tutorial is the best place to learn to do so, even if you intend to use libgba afterwards.


  • Easy to understand and modify build system
  • Very portable, all that's required to build is a POSIX-compatible sh(1), POSIX-compatible make(1), and a devkitARM installation.
  • Includes bundled libgbfs for easily including binary files such as art and music
  • Automatically determines all tool and compiler paths, all you have to do is set the $DEVKITPRO environment variable.



  • POSIX or POSIX-compatible sh.
  • POSIX make. Most makes (including GNU Make and BSD Make) support the POSIX standard.
  • A full devkitARM (gba-dev) installation. See the devkitPro wiki for help on installation.


Set $DEVKITPRO to point to your devkitPro installation (this should be automatically done most of the time). You can also set $CFLAGS, $ASFLAGS, and $LDFLAGS to add additional flags to the C compiler, assembler, and linker, respectively.

Then run:


and the ROM will be output as tonc-template.gba (or PROGNAME.gba if you changed $PROGNAME in the Makefile)


Change the $PROGNAME macro in the Makefile to match your game's name. Then simply add your code to main.c like you normally would. To add more C source files, add them to the $OBJS macro in the Makefile.

In your source code, you can include <tonc.h> to get libtonc functions and "gbfs.h" to get GBFS functions. Also included is a modified version of my own libmisc that provides some useful functions; notably an arena allocator (arena.h) and string utilities (string_util.h).

To use GBFS, first go the $(PROGNAME).gba rule in the Makefile and follow the instructions in the comment to enable GBFS. To add files to be bundled with the ROM with GBFS, add the filename to the $GBFSFILES macro in the Makefile; if you want to include images instead of already binary files, then add the files to the $PNGFILES array instead.


The upstream URL of this project is https://git.sr.ht/~nytpu/tonc-template. Send suggestions, bugs, and other contributions to ~nytpu/public-inbox@lists.sr.ht. For help sending a patch through email, see https://git-send-email.io. You can browse the list archives at https://lists.sr.ht/~nytpu/public-inbox.

Copyright (c) 2021 nytpu <alex [at] nytpu.com>

Licensed under the Boost Software License, version 1.0. You can view a copy of the Boost Software License in LICENSE or at https://www.boost.org/LICENSE_1_0.txt.

This repository contains libmisc, which is also Copyright (c) 2021 nytpu and is licensed under the terms of the Boost Software License, version 1.0.

This repository contains GBFS. GBFS is Copyright 2002 Damian Yerrick and is licensed under the terms of the MIT license. See the header of gbfs.h for a full copy of the MIT license.

All credit for tonc goes to cearn.