A Rust Crate to develop on the Nordic nRF52-DK
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anxiousmodernman Merge pull request #12 from jamesmunns/no_incremental
Disable incremental compilation by default.
Latest commit 13b2a30 Jan 15, 2018



This is a (work in progress) rust crate to support the Nordic nRF52 Development Kit using Rust.

This crate uses the Nordic SoftDevice S132 (a binary Bluetooth stack), as well as the Nordic SDK (an open source hardware abstraction layer), which are written in C, and provides Rust bindings for those items.

This project aims to be a reference on how to combine C and Rust components, in order to create a Bluetooth peripheral which uses Rust for the main application software.

Software Prerequisites

This project requires the following tools before building:

Tool Recommended Version Link/Install
Clang 3.9 debian/ubuntu or source
arm-none-eabi-gcc 6.1 Current Version
Rust (nightly) nightly-2017-11-15 rustup.rs
Rust source nightly-2017-11-15 rustup component add rust-src
Xargo 0.3.8 cargo install xargo --vers 0.3.8
Bindgen 0.31.3 cargo install bindgen --vers 0.31.3

If you would like more detailed installation instructions, please look at The Detailed Setup Instructions.

If you use docker, please see the debian based Dockerfile.

Additionally, the following tools are required to run or debug the firmware:

Tool Recommended Version Link/Install
SoftDevice S132-v4.0.2 Nordic Download
JLink v6.16 JLink Download


git clone --recursive https://github.com/jamesmunns/nrf52dk-sys
cd nrf52dk-sys
xargo build --example blinky
      Compiling core v0.0.0 (file:///root/.rustup/toolchains/nightly-x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu/lib/rustlib/src/rust/src/libcore)
       Finished release [optimized] target(s) in 14.8 secs
       Updating registry `https://github.com/rust-lang/crates.io-index`
    Downloading r0 v0.2.1
    Downloading cortex-m v0.1.6
    Downloading volatile-register v0.1.2
      Compiling volatile-register v0.1.2
      Compiling gcc v0.3.50
      Compiling r0 v0.2.1
      Compiling cortex-m v0.1.6
      Compiling smooth_blue v0.1.0 (file:///nrf52dk-sys)
       Finished dev [unoptimized + debuginfo] target(s) in 15.66 secs

NOTE: This crate does not work with incremental compilation. In our .cargo/config, we set incremental = false, which corresponds to setting CARGO_INCREMENTAL=0 in your environment.

Flashing, Debugging, and Running

Flashing the SoftDevice

First, you must flash the Nordic Soft Device. This should only be necessary to do once (the rest of the firmware will not overwrite this section).

cd path/to/softdevice
JLinkExe -device NRF52832_XXAA -if SWD -speed 4000 -autoconnect 1
    Device "NRF52832_XXAA" selected.
    Found SWD-DP with ID 0x2BA01477
    Found SWD-DP with ID 0x2BA01477
    AP-IDR: 0x24770011, Type: AHB-AP
    AHB-AP ROM: 0xE00FF000 (Base addr. of first ROM table)
    Found Cortex-M4 r0p1, Little endian.
    FPUnit: 6 code (BP) slots and 2 literal slots
    CoreSight components:
    ROMTbl 0 @ E00FF000
    ROMTbl 0 [0]: FFF0F000, CID: B105E00D, PID: 000BB00C SCS
    ROMTbl 0 [1]: FFF02000, CID: B105E00D, PID: 003BB002 DWT
    ROMTbl 0 [2]: FFF03000, CID: B105E00D, PID: 002BB003 FPB
    ROMTbl 0 [3]: FFF01000, CID: B105E00D, PID: 003BB001 ITM
    ROMTbl 0 [4]: FFF41000, CID: B105900D, PID: 000BB9A1 TPIU
    ROMTbl 0 [5]: FFF42000, CID: B105900D, PID: 000BB925 ETM
    Cortex-M4 identified.
J-Link>loadfile s132_nrf52_4.0.2_softdevice.hex
    Downloading file [s132_nrf52_4.0.2_softdevice.hex]...
    Comparing flash   [100%] Done.
    Verifying flash   [100%] Done.

Flashing to device

This only flashes the firmware built above. If you would like to flash and debug, skip forward.

cd nrf52dk-sys
arm-none-eabi-objcopy -O ihex target/thumbv7em-none-eabihf/debug/examples/blinky target.hex
JLinkExe -device NRF52832_XXAA -if SWD -speed 4000 -autoconnect 1
J-Link>loadfile target.hex
    Downloading file [target.hex]...
    Comparing flash   [100%] Done.
    Verifying flash   [100%] Done.

It may be necessary to reset the device after closing JLink with CTRL-c.

Flash and Debug

First, create a GDB server on one terminal:

JLinkGDBServer -device NRF52832_XXAA -if SWD -speed 4000
# ...
# Connecting to target...Connected to target
# Waiting for GDB connection...

Then, in another terminal:

cd nrf52dk-sys
arm-none-eabi-gdb -tui target/thumbv7em-none-eabihf/debug/examples/blinky
(gdb) target remote :2331
# ...
(gdb) monitor reset
# ...
(gdb) load
# ...
(gdb) monitor reset
# ...
(gdb) continue
# ...


I wrote the Dockerfile in order to support CI. This is not done yet. For now if you would like to build it to verify the master branch builds:

cd nrf52dk-sys

# Build the image
docker build -t nrf52dk .

# Run the image
docker run -t nrf52dk

If the docker container ran successfully, you should see something like this at the end:

 Compiling smooth_blue v0.1.0 (file:///nrf52dk-sys)
  Finished dev [unoptimized + debuginfo] target(s) in 15.66 secs


All Rust components are provided under the MIT License. Additional components provided by the Nordic nRF5-sdk contain additional licenses.