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Debugging with third party tools

There are extensive instructions on debugging Arm Mbed OS applications with Keil uVision 5, Eclipse and Visual Studio Code, but you can use any IDE that supports GDB to debug Mbed OS applications. This document gives advice on how to configure these IDEs. Before starting, first configure your local debug toolchain.

Exporting your project with Mbed CLI

You can use Mbed CLI to generate Makefiles. Almost any C/C++ IDE can use Makefiles to build a project.

In your project folder, run:

## alternatively, use -i make_armc5 for ARMCC, or -i make_iar for IAR
## replace K64F with your target board

$ mbed export -i make_gcc_arm -m K64F

Building your project

You can now configure your IDE to build this project by setting the build command to:

make -j

The resulting binary will end up at BUILD\projectname.elf.

Debugging your project

To debug your project, you first need to start a debug server. This is often exposed as a setting in your IDE under 'Remote debugging' or 'Debug server'.

  • When using pyOCD, set the full path to the pyocd-gdbserver binary, and do not set arguments.
  • When using OpenOCD, set the full path to the openocd binary, and set the arguments for your development board. (See the instructions.)

Next, you need to configure GDB.

  • Set the program to be debugged to the location of the .elf file.

  • Set the remote target to localhost:3333.

  • Set the following options as 'set up commands' (to execute right after the connection to GDB):

    -target-select remote localhost:3333
    -file-exec-and-symbols YOUR_PROJECT_ROOT\BUILD\projectname.elf"
    -interpreter-exec console "monitor reset"
    -interpreter-exec console "monitor halt"
    -interpreter-exec console "monitor arm semihosting enable"

    Make sure to update the path on line 2 to your .elf file.

This starts a debug server, attaches GDB to your development board, flashes the binary using GDB and starts a debug session.

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