Using Zephyr without west

There are many valid usecases to avoid using a meta-tool such as west which has been custom-designed for a particular project and its requirements. This section applies to Zephyr users who fall into one or more of these categories:

  • Already use a multi-repository management system (for example Google repo)
  • Do not need additional functionality beyond compiling and linking

In order to obtain the Zephyr source code and build it without the help of west you will need to manually clone the repositories listed in the manifest file one by one, at the path indicated in it.

mkdir zephyrproject
cd zephyrproject
git clone
# clone additional repositories listed in the manifest file,
# and check out the specified revisions

If you want to manage Zephyr’s repositories without west but still need to use west’s additional functionality (flashing, debugging, etc.) it is possible to do so by manually creating an installation:

# cd into zephyrproject if not already there
git clone .west/west

Then create a file .west/config with the following contents:

path = zephyr

After that, and in order for ninja to be able to invoke west to flash and debug, you must specify the west directory. This can be done by setting the environment variable WEST_DIR to point to zephyrproject/.west/west before running CMake to set up a build directory.