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The Arm Mbed OS codebase is hosted on GitHub, and you can submit new features or bug fixes. Please follow the guidelines for GitHub pull requests and the coding style guide in your submissions.

Tip: Please also read the workflow section for a review of the process and legal requirements.

Code acceptance

After the code has gone through automated testing, developers will take a look and comment on the pull request. If all is well and acceptable, your code will be ready for merging into the central development branch.

Coding style

Whether you're writing new code or fixing bugs in existing code, please follow the Mbed OS coding style.

Mbed OS follows the K&R style, with at least two exceptions (see Rules).

The only exception to this coding style involves third-party code. Third-party code should be added to the .astyleignore file located in the Mbed OS root directory.

You can use Artistic Style (AStyle) to format your code. Use the command-line switch to select the correct style and point to the file you want to edit:

astyle -n --options=.astylerc $(full_path_to_file)

File .astylerc defines Mbed OS code style and it's in the Mbed OS root directory.

Code sample

static const PinMap PinMap_ADC[] = {
    {PTC2, ADC0_SE4b, 0},
    {NC , NC , 0}

uint32_t adc_function(analogin_t *obj, uint32_t options)
    uint32_t instance = obj->adc >> ADC_INSTANCE_SHIFT;
    switch (options) {
        case 1:
            timeout = 6;
            timeout = 10;

    while (!adc_hal_is_conversion_completed(instance, 0)) {
        if (timeout == 0) {
        } else {

    if (obj->adc == ADC_CHANNEL0) {
    } else {
        error("channel not available");

    for (uint32_t i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
        printf("Loop : %d", i);
    return adc_hal_get_conversion_value(instance, 0);


  • Indentation - four spaces. Please do not use tabs.
  • Braces - K&R style.
  • One true brace style (1TBS) - use braces for statements of type if, else, while and for (exception from K&R).
  • One line per statement.
  • Preprocessor macro starts at the beginning of a new line; the code inside is indented according to the code above it.
  • Cases within switch are indented (exception from K&R).
  • Space after statements of type if, while, for, switch. The same applies to binary operators (like, + and *) and the ternary operator (? and :).
  • Each line preferably has at most 120 characters.
  • Comments should use proper spelling and grammar.
  • For pointers or references, the symbols * or & are adjacent to a name (analogin_t *obj. analogin_t &obj). If you omit the name, place the space between the type and * (such as int * or int &).
  • For function return pointers or references, the symbols * or & are adjacent to a function name (int *func() or int &func()).
  • Don't leave trailing spaces at the end of lines.
  • Empty lines should have no trailing spaces.
  • Unix line endings are default option for files.
  • Use capital letters for macros.
  • A file should have an empty line at the end.

Naming conventions


  • Begin with a capital letter, and each word within a class also begins with a capital letter (AnalogIn, BusInOut).
  • Methods contain small letters, with words separated by underscore.
  • Private members start with an underscore: __User defined types (typedef))).
  • Structures - suffix _t - to denote it is a user-defined type.
  • Enumeration - the type name and values name - same naming convention as classes (for example MyNewEnum).


  • Contain lower case letters (as methods within classes).
  • Words separated by underscore (wait_ms, read_u16).

An example:


class AnalogIn {
    /** Create an AnalogIn connected to the specified pin.
     * @param pin AnalogIn pin to connect to
     * @param name (optional) A string to identify the object
    AnalogIn(PinName pin)
        analogin_init(&_adc, pin);

    /** Read the input voltage, represented as a float in the range [0.0, 1.0].
     * @returns
     * 	A floating-point value representing the current input voltage, measured as a percentage
    uint32_t read()
        return analogin_read(&_adc, operation);
    analogin_t _adc;

typedef enum {
    ADC0_SE0 = (0 << ADC_INSTANCE_SHIFT) | 0,
} ADCName;

struct analogin_s {
    ADCName adc;

typedef struct analogin_s analogin_t;


Namespaces used to group subsystems are lower case, such as rtos and event. If not in a specific subsystem, C++ APIs are in namespace mbed. A few APIs remain in the global namespace for backward compatibility.

Occasionally, namespaces are used to act as-if "static singleton" objects. One example is namespace ThisThread in rtos (which was modeled after C++11 std::this_thread). These namespaces follow the class naming convention, so calls to their functions look like calls to static class methods.

Below is an example of typical namespace use in a source file:

    using namespace rtos; // for ThisThread
    using namespace std::chrono_literals; // for 1s


Doxygen documentation

All functions and methods should contain documentation using Doxygen.


Mbed OS offers a tracing facility through mbed-trace/mbed_trace.h. It offers several levels of tracing and toggling groups.

For details please refer to the documentation in the README.md file in the Mbed OS repository.

Please consider adding traces to your code. Make sure the group you use is unique. If the module you're working on already has traces, adding traces with your changes is required.

Compiler settings

All C and C++ code submitted to Mbed OS must compile with GCC Arm Embedded and Arm Compiler 6. Mbed OS:

  • Uses the GNU11 standard for C.
  • Uses the GNU++14 standard for C++.
  • Sets the char type to unsigned.
  • Disables C++ exceptions.
  • Disables C++ runtime type information.
  • Disables variable length arrays (C++ only).
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