Open Source ARM cortex m microcontroller library
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The libopencm3 project aims to create an open-source firmware library for various ARM Cortex-M3 microcontrollers.

Currently (at least partly) supported microcontrollers:

  • ST STM32F0xx/F1xx/F2xx/F30x/F37x/F4xx/L0xx/L1xx series
  • Atmel SAM3A/3N/3S/3U/3X series
  • NXP LPC1311/13/17/42/43
  • Stellaris LM3S series (discontinued, without replacement)
  • TI (Tiva) LM4F series (continuing as TM4F, pin and peripheral compatible)
  • EFM32 Gecko series (only core support)
  • Freescale Vybrid VF6xx

The library is written completely from scratch based on the vendor datasheets, programming manuals, and application notes. The code is meant to be used with a GCC toolchain for ARM (arm-elf or arm-none-eabi), flashing of the code to a microcontroller can be done using the OpenOCD ARM JTAG software.

Status and API

The libopencm3 project is currently work in progress. Not all subsystems of the microcontrollers are supported, yet.

IMPORTANT: The API of the library is NOT yet considered stable! Please do not rely on it, yet! Changes to function names, macro names etc. can happen at any time without prior notice!

TIP: Include this repository as a GIT submodule in your project. To make sure your users get the right version of the library to compile your project. For how that can be done refer to the libopencm3-examples repository.


Building requires python. (Some code is generated)

For Ubuntu/Fedora:

  • An arm-none-eabi/arm-elf toolchain.

For Windows:

Download and install:

Run msys shell and set the path without standard Windows paths, so Windows programs such as 'find' won't interfere:

export PATH="/c//Python27:/c/ARMToolchain/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin"

After that you can navigate to the folder where you've extracted libopencm3 and build it.


The most heavily tested toolchain is "gcc-arm-embedded"

Other toolchains should work, but have not been nearly as well tested. Toolchains targetting linux, such as "gcc-arm-linux-gnu" or the like are not appropriate.


$ make

If your have an arm-elf toolchain (uncommon) you may want to override the toolchain prefix (arm-none-eabi is the default)

$ PREFIX=arm-elf make

For a more verbose build you can use

$ make V=1

Fine-tuning the build

The build may be fine-tuned with a limited number of parameters, by specifying them as environment variables, for example:

$ VARIABLE=value make
  • FP_FLAGS - Control the floating-point ABI If the Cortex-M core supports a hard float ABI, it will be compiled with floating-point support by default. In cases where this is not desired, the behavior can be specified by setting FP_FLAGS Currently, M4F cores default to -mfloat-abi=hard -mfpu=fpv4-sp-d16 and others to no FP flags


      $ FP_FLAGS="-mfloat-abi=soft" make               # No hardfloat
      $ FP_FLAGS="-mfloat-abi=hard -mfpu=magic" make   # New FPU we don't know of

Example projects

The libopencm3 community has written and is maintaining a huge collection of examples, displaying the capabilities and uses of the library. You can find all of them in the libopencm3-examples repository:


$ make install

This will install the library into /usr/local. (permissions permitting)

If you want to install it elsewhere, use the following syntax:

$ make DESTDIR=/opt/libopencm3 install

It is strongly advised that you do not attempt to install this library to any path inside your toolchain itself. While this means you don't have to include any -I or -L flags in your projects, it is very easy to confuse a multilib linker from picking the right versions of libraries. Common symptoms are hardfaults caused by branches into arm code. You can use arm-none-eabi-objdump to check for this in your final elf. You have been warned.

Coding style and development guidelines



The libopencm3 code is released under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 3 or later.

See COPYING.GPL3 and COPYING.LGPL3 for details.


  • You can reach us in #libopencm3 on the freenode IRC network.

Mailing lists