Getting Started Guide

Use this guide to get started with your Zephyr development.

Set Up the Development Environment

The Zephyr project supports these operating systems:

  • Linux
  • Mac OS
  • Windows 8.1

Use the following procedures to create a new development environment.

Checking Out the Source Code Anonymously

The code is hosted in a GitHub repo that supports anonymous cloning via git.

To clone the repository anonymously, enter:

$ git clone

You have successfully checked out a copy of the source code to your local machine.

Building and Running an Application

Using the ‘Hello World’ sample application as a base model, the following section will describe the pieces necessary for creating a Zephyr application.

The processes to build and run a Zephyr application are the same across operating systems. Nevertheless, the commands needed do differ from one OS to the next. The following sections contain the commands used in a Linux development environment. If you are using Mac OS please use the appropriate commands for your OS.

Building a Sample Application

To build an example application follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your environment is setup by exporting the following environment variables. When using the Zephyr SDK on Linux for example, type:

    $ export ZEPHYR_GCC_VARIANT=zephyr
    $ export ZEPHYR_SDK_INSTALL_DIR=<sdk installation directory>
  2. Navigate to the main project directory:

    $ cd zephyr-project
  3. Source the project environment file to set the project environment variables:

    $ source
  4. Build the Hello World example project, enter:

    $ cd $ZEPHYR_BASE/samples/hello_world
    $ make

The above invocation of make will build the Hello World sample application using the default settings defined in the application’s Makefile. You can build for a different board by defining the variable BOARD with one of the supported boards, for example:

$ make BOARD=arduino_101

For further information on the supported boards go see here. Alternatively, run the following command to obtain a list of the supported boards:

$ make help

Sample projects for different features of the project are available at at $ZEPHYR_BASE/samples. After building an application successfully, the results can be found in the outdir sub-directory under the application root directory, in a subdirectory that matches the BOARD string.

The ELF binaries generated by the build system are named by default zephyr.elf. This value can be overridden in the application configuration The build system generates different names for different use cases depending on the hardware and boards used.

Using Custom and 3rd Party Cross Compilers

The Zephyr SDK is provided for convenience and ease of use. It provides cross-compilers for all ports supported by the Zephyr OS and does not require any extra flags when building applications or running tests.

If you have a custom cross-compiler or if you wish to use a vendor provided SDK, follow the steps below to build with any custom or 3rd party cross-compilers:

  1. To avoid any conflicts with the Zephyr SDK, enter the following commands.

  2. We will use the GCC ARM Embedded compiler for this example, download the package suitable for your operating system from the GCC ARM Embedded website and extract it on your file system. This example assumes the compiler was extracted to: ~/gcc-arm-none-eabi-5_3-2016q1/.

  3. Navigate to the main project directory:

    $ cd zephyr-project
  4. Source the project environment file to set the project environment variables:

    $ source
  5. Build the example Hello World project and make sure you supply the CROSS_COMPILE on the command line, enter:

    $ export GCCARMEMB_TOOLCHAIN_PATH="~/gcc-arm-none-eabi-5_3-2016q1/"
    $ export ZEPHYR_GCC_VARIANT=gccarmemb
    $ cd $ZEPHYR_BASE/samples/hello_world
    $ make CROSS_COMPILE=~/gcc-arm-none-eabi-5_3-2016q1/bin/arm-none-eabi- BOARD=arduino_due

The above will build the sample using the toolchain downloaded from GCC ARM Embedded.

Alternatively, you can use the existing support for GCC ARM Embedded:

$ export GCCARMEMB_TOOLCHAIN_PATH="~/gcc-arm-none-eabi-5_3-2016q1/"
$ export ZEPHYR_GCC_VARIANT=gccarmemb
$ cd zephyr-project
$ source
$ cd $ZEPHYR_BASE/samples/hello_world
$ make BOARD=arduino_due

Running a Sample Application in QEMU

To perform rapid testing of an application in the development environment you can use the QEMU emulation board configuration available for both X86 and ARM Cortex-M3 architectures. This can be easily accomplished by calling a special target when building an application that invokes QEMU once the build process is completed.

To run an application using the x86 emulation board configuration (qemu_x86), type:

$ make BOARD=qemu_x86 run

To run an application using the ARM qemu_cortex_m3 board configuration, type:

$ make BOARD=qemu_cortex_m3 run

QEMU is not supported on all boards and SoCs. When developing for a specific hardware target you should always test on the actual hardware and should not rely on testing in the QEMU emulation environment only.