Freeware IDE or GUI for MSP430

Discussions on how to get your MSP JTAG programmer up and running.

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Freeware IDE or GUI for MSP430

Post by marcovansteen » Thu May 29, 2008 3:01 pm

Hi all,

Looking for a good and free way to program MSP430 under Win XP using the Olimex JTAG tiny (via USB), I decided to go for mspgcc plus mspgdb/mspgdb-proxy.

These three parts work well for my MSP430f2013 via spy by wire. Wow!

The main disadvantage now is that the debugger is command line based. So I decided to look for a GUI/IDE.

The web is full of tips and hints.

- I tried GPS (the former GVD). I could not even do a succesful build with this tool. Has this program ever been tested to work with mspgcc and mspgdb? Configuration with XML is rather horrible imho.
- Eclipse is a little better: I managed to have Eclipse build the program. However, debugging via msp430-gdb gives problems. GDB returns errors. I could not figure out how to avoid these.
- DDD only is available for linux/unix/cygwin. Did not try this yet.
- The trial version of NOICE works and does not need any other programs! Hmm, this would cost $249. Not exactly free.
- IAR works great but the code size limit will kill me in the end.

So basically my question is: how can I succeed in installing a freeware toolchain for msp430 on Win XP, including a GUI frontend for debugging or an IDE?

Please let me know how you did it!

Best regards,

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Location: Montgomery, MN

Post by falingtrea » Fri May 30, 2008 9:58 am

The 4k code size limit on IAR is only for C code. Assembly has no limit. Have you tried the new Code Composer? It is Eclipse based and has a 16k limit. Both can be found on the TI website.
Tim Barr

Posts: 104
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Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands

Post by marcovansteen » Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:47 pm

Hi Falingtrea,

Thanks for your suggestions.
I tried to install Code Composer Studio. For some reason it did not find the JTAG target. However, I started uninstalling things, and when I finally gave Eclipse (not CCS) a second chance, I got it working. Hurray!

The most valuable clues came from:
- (dll files)

So the toolchain that I report 'functioning for MSP430F2013' is:

* Hardware / PC:
uC: MSP430F2013, connected via Spy-Bi-Wire
Programmer: Olimex JTAG-Tiny
OS: Win XP SP2, 1.8GHz / 768MB RAM

* Mspgcc:
Build date: 20070216
Binutils version: 2.17
GCC version: 3.2.3
GDB version: 5.1.1
DLLs replaced according to instructions

* Eclipse
Version: 3.3.2
Build id: M20080221-1800

* CDT (Eclipse C/C++ Development Tools)
Build id: 200802251018

* Zylin Embedded CDT Plugin
Version: 4.3.1

Cheers to all. Now let the coding begin :-)

Best regards,

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Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:21 pm

Post by marcusclyne » Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:25 pm

It's not freeware, but you might want to look at NoIce ( We spent a long time using GDB - nothing wrong with it, but I didn't find it as productive as a GUI for debugging. We use the Olimex USB JTAG interface, and MSPGCC, and it integrates really well. I would really recommend downloading it to try, and see if it works for you.

-- Marcus

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Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:09 pm

Freeware IDE or GUI for MSP430

Post by mgruber » Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:20 pm


Try code::blocks. Seems to integrate well with mspgcc and gdb.
This is a multi-platform project! Have seen distributions for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X (official or through MacPorts) and FreeBSD (through ports).
All these platforms also have ports of mspgcc.



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Re: Freeware IDE or GUI for MSP430

Post by bazis » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:56 am

You can try VisualGDB - a Visual Studio plugin that allows using Visual Studio with embedded GCC and GDB.
There is a tutorial on using it with the MSP430 boards here:
Upd: a screenshot of a typical debugging session:

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