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Install openOCD

Download Debian Package

First and recommended way to get openOCD is to install the debian package.

sudo apt-get install openocd
Build it yourself

If you need the newest version of openOCD you should build the source yourself. Download Source from sourceforge page:

git clone git://git.code.sf.net/p/openocd/code openocd-code

Install the libusb-1.0 package

sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0-0-dev
./configure --prefix=$HOME/site
make install

later more….

How to use openOCD

First of all, you should download the official openOCD User's Guide:


You can find there actually all information you need, but I will give you a quickstart guide here.

You can use openOCD with various hardware, so you have to tell openOCD which one you are actually using. This is done with some special Configuration Files. Overall you need three of these files:

  • interface config file: Descripes which hardware debugger you are using
  • board config file: Descripes which kind of board you are using
  • target config files: Descripes which microcontroller you are using

You can find a lot of configuration files for specific hardware there:

cd /usr/share/openocd/scripts

Here are the interface config files (e.g. jlink.cfg)

ls interface

Here are the board config files (e.g. pic-p32mx.cfg)

ls board

Here are the target config files (e.g. pic32mx.cfg)

ls target

Now you have to find the right config files for your devices. If you don't find the config file for your device, you should have a look into the official OpenOCD User's Guide. There are many design rules for these files.

If you had find suitable files for your hardware you can start programming the flash of your target.

openocd -f interface/ADAPTER.cfg -f board/MYBOARD.cfg -c "program filename.elf verify reset"

If you get the error that there is no maximum adapter speed specified you can add to your interface config file the following statement.

adapter_khz 1000

verify and reset are optional parameters, for verifying the flash after programming and reseting the hardware.

filename.elf is the excecutable, which should be cross-compiled for the target hardware.

Now, the board should allready execute your program.

Set up server for debugging

If you start the Open On-Chip Debugger without a “program” command, it generates a local server on port 4444 for telnet communication.

openocd -f interface/ADAPTER.cfg -f board/MYBOARD.cfg

Connect to localhost with telnet.

telnet localhost 4444

Now you can use JTAG Commands for Debugging your hardware.

Halt program:


You can step through your program


and resume your program.


You also can reset the hardware


and halt the hardware after a reset.

reset halt

If CPU is halted you can show all available registers


Show one specific register

reg [NAME]

and override the value of the register.

reg [NAME] [VALUE]

Debugging with gdb

If you want to debug your hardware more comfortable you are able to use gdb. You should use the gdb provided by your Toolchain. For example mipsel-none-elf-gdb for a MIPS architecture.

mipsel-none-elf-gdb main.elf

Connect to the gdbserver on the local pc using port 3333.

(gdb) target remote localhost:3333

Send commands to gdbserver using the monitor command

(gdb) monitor reset halt

Now the hardware performs a reset and halts directly. You can use gdb as normal:

You can list the source code:

(gdb) list

Set breakpoints (e.g. at line 27)

(gdb) br 27

Run the program until the next breakpoint occurs.

(gdb) continue

Walk step by step through your source code

(gdb) next

or print variable content

(gdb) print [var]
  • dt_openocd.1403815784.txt.gz
  • Last modified: 2014/06/26 22:49
  • by beckmanf