Here’s the quick version of getting started with NuttX. This is a bare-bones outline for experienced developers– if it’s going too quickly, dive into the following sections. This Quickstart guide assumes you’re on a Linux computer, you’re using an ARM microcontroller on your embedded board, and you’re familiar with using the command line.
Install a Cross-Compiler Toolchain
With NuttX, you compile the operating system and your application on your desktop or laptop computer, then install the binary file on your embedded computer. This guide assumes your computer is an ARM CPU. If it isn’t, you’ll need a different tool chain.
You can download a toolchain from ARM Embedded GNU Toolchain for your embedded processor’s CPU. You can also use a toolchain shipped with your OS for the none-eabi target, such as gcc-arm-none-eabi in Linux.
In the following example, we download
gcc-arm-none-eabiversion 9.0 and unpack it into
$ sudo mkdir /opt/gcc $ sudo chgrp -R users /opt/gcc $ cd /opt/gcc $ wget https://developer.arm.com/-/media/Files/downloads/gnu-rm/9-2019q4/gcc-arm-none-eabi-9-2019-q4-major-x86_64-linux.tar.bz2 $ tar xf gcc-arm-none-eabi-9-2019-q4-major-x86_64-linux.tar.bz2
Then, add the toolchain
bin/directory to your path:
$ echo "export PATH=/opt/gcc/gcc-arm-none-eabi-9-2019-q4-major/bin:$PATH" >> ~/.bashrc
If you are using any other shell, the procedure is similar by editing the corresponding rc file.
Download Apache NuttX
The next step is to download NuttX main repository along the application repository. The latter is technically optional in a very minimal configurations but should be included in normal configuration since it includes the NuttX shell.
$ mkdir nuttx $ cd nuttx $ git clone https://github.com/apache/incubator-nuttx.git nuttx $ git clone https://github.com/apache/incubator-nuttx-apps apps $ git clone https://bitbucket.org/nuttx/tools.git tools
NuttX is configured using
kconfigsystem via an interactive menu system (
menuconfig). It also includes the
kconfig-tweakutility that can be used to quickly change debug settings without going into the menu system.
List Possible Apache NuttX Base Configurations
Find your hardware and a good starting application in the list of base configurations. In the application list,
nshis the Apache NuttX Shell, an interactive commandline that’s a good starting place if you’re new.
$ cd nuttx $ ./tools/configure.sh -L | less
Pick one of the board:application base configuration pairs from the list, and feed it to the configuration script. The
-ltells us that we’re on Linux. macOS and Windows builds are possible, this guide doesn’t cover them yet.
$ cd nuttx $ ./tools/configure.sh -l <board-name>:<config-dir> # for instance: $ ./tools/configure.sh -l sama5d27-xult:nsh
Customize Your Configuration (Optional)
This step is optional. Right now, this is mainly to get familiar with how it works– you don’t need to change any of the options now, but knowing how to do this will come in handy later.
There are a lot of options. We’ll cover a few of them here. Don’t worry about the complexity– you don’t have to use most of the options.
$ make menuconfig
Use your arrows to navigate the menu and Enter key to enable/disable options. To exit and save your configuration, go back to the main menu, choose
<Exit>and select “yes” when asked if you want to save.
Compile Apache NuttX
Install the Executable Program on Your Board
This step is a bit more complicated, depending on your board. It’s covered in the section Running Apache NuttX.
If you want more details, start at Installing.