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GNUARM for ARM microcontrollers

In this article you’ll find some information about how to configure GNUARM toolset for compiling ARM7 microcontrollers.
GNUARM is the open source toolset for ARM7 MCUs. It has GCC compiller and debugger. Our purpose now is to set up tools in Windows environment and compile one project.
First of all download compiled toolset from https://www.gnuarm.com:


Select the newest [GCC-4.0 toolchain] located bellow Cygwin.
After it is downloaded, start the installation:


  1. Start window


  1. Accept license agreement.


  1. Select folder where do you want GNUARM to be installed:


  1. Select the components. You can select all of them.


  1. Chose Start menu folder name – just leave as it is.


  1. Select desktop shortcut to be placed. I higly recoment to check Cygwin DLL, because despite I had cygwin installed, but I had to copy DLLs to copy manually. If this option ischecked, DLL files will be copied without bothering you.


  1. And press install..


  1. Select checkbox in order to create system variable: PATH=c:\gnuarm\bin

After we have GNUARM installed, download binutils from https://optimize.ath.cx/ARM7/src/utils.zip. Download this archive and unpack all contents to c:\gnuarm\bin folder. Also download https://optimize.ath.cx/ARM7/src/cygncurses-8.dll and put it in c:\gnuarm\bin folder. Now we are set to start compillation.

Lets try test compillation. Jus download project from https://optimize.ath.cx/ARM7/src/lpc2214_blink.zip and extract in any folder. Here you’ll find few files:

lpc2214.h LPC2214 header. You can also download from www.gnuarm.com page where support files are.
blink.c LED blink example program.
boot.s The startup routine which first is executed after the resetting CPU. From among these C main function is called.
makfile makefile
lpc2214-rom.ld The load script file which linker usesThe start address size and the like of ROM/RAM is described. Necessity to ROM conversion binary is drawn up.
setenv.cmd Configuration file, where you have to show path to C:\GNUARM\bin and bin C:\GNUARM\bin\utils
jtag_flash.exe The tool, which writes the flash by way of jtagWriting the hex file, which it appoints, it executes.When ‘N’ is appointed in 2nd parameter, after the writing in, it does not execute.
jtag_stub.exe The JTAG debugger for GDB/Insight.

Because setenv.cmd is used to show path to C: when GCC is installed in different location, you have to edit it. If you left default settings, then don’t edit this file.
Lets try to compile this program. Start DOS console window:

Lets create hex file. I leave make file not edited. So I will have to use commands: make and once again make.hex. That’s it hex is done.
Here is a table with most common make commands:

Command Target (function)
Make Compiling & linking and forming the elf file
Make clean The formation file (o lst elf hex bin) it deletes
Make hex Hex (forming the hexa-) file
Make bin Bin (binary) forming the file
Make lst Listing (assembling) formation of file
Make run Compiling & linking and it writes in to the flash, starts the program
Make debug Compiling & linking and it writes in to the flash, starts Insight/GDB. Because it does not start the program automatically, you indicate with the debugger

If you have programmer adapter, you can flash you ARM7 microcontroller with only one command – make run.
Good luck


  1. You don’t say anything about requiring Cygwin to be installed already.

  2. You don’t need Cygwin to be installed. GnuARM installer has option to add necessary dll’s. And if you have Cygwin installed I recommend to leave this option selected.

  3. Thanks for the directions, which I followed. It wouldn’t make properly so the first thing I had to do was add the path “c:\GNUARM\arm-elf\bin” to the setenv.cmd file so ld, as, etc. could be located. Once that was done I couldn’t get past the “ld: cannot find -lgcc” error. I suspect other environment variables must also be manually set, or files moved, or who knows! It’s probably just me, but everytime I try to set up anything based on GNU in Windows its a battle I usually give up on. It seems that GNU is for real men, not wimps like me!

  4. Pingback: Build Your Own ARM Cross Compiler Toolchain « Computing Freak

  5. Nice link for setting up arm toolchain in windows environment. :):)

    Karthik Balaguru

  6. Pingback: Build Your Own ARM Cross Compiler Toolchain | Embedded

  7. Pingback: Microcontroller Projects » Blog Archiv » Build Your Own ARM Cross Compiler Toolchain

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