Installing OpenOCD from sources

linux embedded

Most GNU/Linux distributions offer the possibility to install OpenOCD directly using their packages management system, however these package may refer to not so updated releases of the software and this means that some CPUs may not be supported at all! That’s way could be very useful to know how to install OpenOCD from sources in order to get its latest release!

Downloading the code

First of all we need to download the official GIT source or a related mirror (I’m going to use the Spen’s Official OpenOCD Mirror):

git clone

The needed extra packages

Once the sources have been downloaded we need some extra packages in order to get them compiled. On my Ubuntu Xenial I used the following command to install such software:

$ sudo apt-get install libtool automake libhidapi-dev

Compiling OpenOCD

Now we are ready! Just enter into the openocd directory and executing the bootstrap script as follow:

$ cd openocd
$ ./bootstrap

After that we can start configuring the sources by using the usual configure script which is able to auto detect our hardware. However we can force any special feature we want by simply adding one or more option arguments as shown below:

$ ./configure --enable-cmsis-dap

In the command above I force the  CMSIS-DAP compliant debugger support which I need to program my SAME70 based board.

When configure script has finished its job we can start the OpenOCD compilation and installation with the usual UNIX commands:

$ make -j8
$ sudo make install

Please, note that I used the -j8 option argument in order to have 8 compilation threads and the sudo command to be able to install the software into the system without permissions erros.

Testing the code

Once the compilation is finished we can test our new OpenOCD as follow (remeber that for this test I used my SAME70 based board). On a terminal we have to execute OpenOCD specifying the board’s script we wish to manage:

$ sudo openocd -f /usr/local/share/openocd/scripts/board/atmel_same70_xplained.cfg

Note that the sudo command may be mandatory in case you need to use an USB connection!

Note also that the path /usr/local/share/openocd/scripts/board/atmel_same70_xplained.cfg may vary in case you decide to install OpenOCD into a custom directory.

If everything works well you should see something like the following:

$ sudo openocd -f /usr/local/share/openocd/scripts/board/atmel_same70_xplained.cfg
Open On-Chip Debugger 0.10.0+dev-00512-gfd04460 (2018-08-09-18:25)
Licensed under GNU GPL v2
For bug reports, read
Info : auto-selecting first available session transport "swd". To override use 'transport select <transport>'.
adapter speed: 1800 kHz
cortex_m reset_config sysresetreq
Info : flash bank command
srst_only separate srst_gates_jtag srst_open_drain connect_deassert_srst
Info : Listening on port 6666 for tcl connections
Info : Listening on port 4444 for telnet connections
Info : CMSIS-DAP: SWD  Supported
Info : CMSIS-DAP: FW Version = 02.09.0169
Info : CMSIS-DAP: Serial# = ATML2637010000000000
Info : CMSIS-DAP: Interface Initialised (SWD)
Info : SWCLK/TCK = 1 SWDIO/TMS = 1 TDI = 1 TDO = 1 nTRST = 0 nRESET = 1
Info : CMSIS-DAP: Interface ready
Info : clock speed 1800 kHz
Info : SWD DPIDR 0x0bd11477
Warn : Silicon bug: single stepping will enter pending exception handler!
Info : atsame70q21.cpu: hardware has 8 breakpoints, 4 watchpoints
Info : Listening on port 3333 for gdb connections

Now we can use different connections types to control OpenOCD. I use the telnet connection as below:

$ telnet localhost 4444
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.
Open On-Chip Debugger

Then I can easily reprogram the CPU’s internal flash with the following commands:

> halt
> flash write_image erase unlock /tmp/nuttx.hex 0 ihex
auto erase enabled
auto unlock enabled
device id = 0xa1020e00
erasing lock regions 0-8...
erasing lock region 0
erasing lock region 1
erasing lock region 2
erasing lock region 3
erasing lock region 4
erasing lock region 5
erasing lock region 6
erasing lock region 7
erasing lock region 8
wrote 147456 bytes from file /tmp/nuttx.hex in 3.278660s (43.920 KiB/s)
> reset

Note that file /tmp/nuttx.hex is the new image I wish to program into my CPU.