IAR Eclipse Setup Guide Part 3 — Makefile Project

A PDF version of this guide, including project setup and debugging is available in the Documentation section

This guide is aimed at IAR Embedded Workbench users who are interested in integrating the IAR tools within Eclipse. For instructions relating to integrating GCC within Eclipse see this guide.

This is the third guide in this series of step-by-step guides on setting up and using the IAR Embedded Workbench within the Eclipse IDE. In part 1 we installed and configured the IAR toolchain, the Eclipse IDE as well as the IAR Eclipse Plugin. Part 2 went over how to create a managed build project in Eclipse using the IAR tools. In this guide we’ll look at how to setup a Makefile project where the user is responsible for providing a suitable Makefile to build the application or library.

This guide will focus on the steps that must be performed within Eclipse to get a Makefile project working. Additional information on how to write a Makefile for the IAR tools can be found in another article on the subject.

Makefile Project

Creating a Makefile project with the IAR Eclipse Plugin is slightly different from creating the usual Makefile project using Eclipse CDT. The first step is to create a managed build project in the exact same way as was done in the previous section. Then we’ll modify the project configuration to use a custom Makefile instead of auto-generating one.

Start by opening the new C/C++ Project dialog from the “File->New->C/C++ Project” menu item.

Eclipse New C/C++ Project menu item.
New C/C++ project menu item

This should open the new project dialog.

Eclipse "New C/C++ Project" selection dialog with a list of possible project templates. The "C Managed Build" project template is highlighted.
New C/C++ project dialog

Select “C Managed Build” and click “Next” to go to the project type and name configuration.

New C project name and type dialog. The top text box is used to set the project name while an optional text box with browse button is used to set the project directory. A checkbox is available to use the default directory. On the bottom two selection boxes shows on the right the category of supported project types and on the right the compatible toolchains. The "Empty Project" type from the "Executable (IAR)" category is highlighted on the left while on the right the "IAR Toolchain for ARM- (8.x) toolchain is selected.
New project name and type

Type a name for the new project, this example uses “iar_makefile” as a project name.

In the project type panel (the left pane) expand the “Executable (IAR)” category and select “Empty Project”. In the right pane make sure to select “IAR Toolchain for ARM – (8.x)”.

Click “Next” to continue the wizard. The project build configurations panel should be displayed.

New project build configurations showing the default "Debug" and "Release" configurations.
New project build configurations

No changes should be performed in this panel so click “Next” again to continue.

IAR Device Selection dialog with the "NXP MCIMX7D7_A7" device selected. A browse button can be used to select a device from the various drop down menues.
New project device selection dialog

From the device selection dialog click “Browse” to select the MCU or SoC to target with this project. This example will use the NXP i.MX 7 SoC but any other supported MCU can be used.

Click “Finish” to end the wizard and create the new project. The newly created project should appear in the workspace.

Project context menu with the "Properties" item highlighted.
Project properties context menu item

Right click the newly created project and select the “Properties” item from the context menu.

Tool Chain Editor configuration panel from the Project Properties dialog. The pane contains a selection box to select the current toolchain and a second selection box to select the current builder. The "GNU Make Builder" selection is highlighted.
Project properties tool chain editor

In the project properties screen navigate to the “C/C++ Build->Tool Chain Editor” category. In the displayed panel change the “Current builder:” selection to “Gnu Make Builder”.

Now open the “Settings” category and open the “Error Parsers” pane. It’s possible that the pane isn’t displayed in which case two arrows will be displayed next to the panes tabs that can be used to navigate through the tabs.

"Error Parsers" panel from the Project Properties Build Settings category. The "GNU gmake Error Parser" item is highlighted.
Project properties error parsers settings

In the Error Parsers panel make sure that “GNU gmake Error Parser 7.0” and “IAR Error Parser” are checked. This will help CDT parse the build errors correctly and enable jumping to the source of an error from the console by double clicking on a displayed build error.

Now open the “C/C++ Build” root category.

"Builder Settings" configuration panel from the project C/C++ build settings category.
Project properties build settings

From the “Builder Settings” pane uncheck “Generate Makefile automatically”. Also modify the build location to point to the root of the project created earlier in this section. For the example project that was named “iar_makefile” the resulting path should be “${workspace_loc:/iar_makefile}/“.

Click “Apply and Close” to save the settings and return to the workspace.

Eclipse New File context menu item.
Add new file context menu item

Now let’s create a dummy source file to build. Right click on the project and select the “New->File” context menu item.

"Create New File" dialog with a project tree to select the location of the new file to create and a textbox to set the name of the file to create.
Add new file dialog

Type the name “main.c” as the source file name and click “Finish”. The new empty file should open in the IDE.

Example main with infinite loop

For the purpose of this example let’s populate the source file with a dummy main function with an infinite loop.

void main(void)
    for(;;) {
Eclipse IDE with the example makefile open in the text editor.
Example makefile

Next add another file to the project named either “Makefile” or “makefile” and copy the content of the example makefile below. For more information on writing a Makefile using the IAR tools see this article.

# Intermediary objects working directory.
OBJDIR := obj

# Name of the output binary executable file.
LINK_TARGET := a.out

# Application source files list.
APP_SOURCE := main.c

# Name of toolchain executables to use.
CC := iccarm.exe
LD := ilinkarm.exe

# C Build flags.
C_FLAGS := -e --cpu Cortex-A7 --fpu VFPv4 \
    --debug --endian little --cpu_mode arm -On

# Link flags.
LINK_FLAGS := --config C:/iar_arm/arm/config/linker/NXP/MCIMX7D_A7.icf

# Configure include directories.
INCLUDEDIR = -I$(subst \,/,$(PWD))

# Extract all the C source file names.
SOURCE += $(notdir $(APP_SOURCE))

# Compute intermediary object names.
OBJ += $(SOURCE:%.c=$(OBJDIR)/%.o)

# Build everything.
    @echo All done

# Firmware binary linking.
    $(LD) -o $@ $^ $(LINK_FLAGS)
# C files build.
$(OBJDIR)/%.o : %.c | $(OBJDIR)
    $(CC) $(C_FLAGS) $(INCLUDEDIR) -o $@ -c $<;
    mkdir $(OBJDIR)
.PHONY: clean
    rm -rf ${OBJDIR}
    rm -rf $(LINK_TARGET)
"Build Project" context menu item.
Build project context menu item

With everything set up right-click again on the project and select “Build Project” from the context menu.

Eclipse console with the output of a successful build.
Project built successfully

If all went well the project should now be built and ready to be loaded onto a target and debugged.

Check out part 4 for information on creating a debug configuration for both managed and Makefile projects.

Visit the Documentation section for a PDF version of this guide including project and debugging setup.

See all articles