pyOCD is an open source Python package for programming and debugging Arm Cortex-M microcontrollers using multiple supported types of USB debug probes. It is fully cross-platform, with support for Linux, macOS, and Windows.
Several command line tools are provided that cover most use cases, or you can make use of the Python API to enable low-level target control. A common use for the Python API is to run and control CI tests.
Three tools give you total control over your device:
pyocd-gdbserver: GDB remote server allows you to debug using gdb via either GNU MCU Eclipse plug-in or the console.
pyocd-flashtool: Program and erase an MCU's flash memory.
pyocd-tool: Interactive REPL control and inspection of the MCU.
The API and tools provide these features:
- halt, step, resume control
- read/write memory
- read/write core registers
- set/remove hardware and software breakpoints
- set/remove watchpoints
- write to flash memory
- load binary, hex, or ELF files into flash
- reset control
- access CoreSight DP and APs
- and more!
- Python 2.7.9 or later, or Python 3.6.0 or later
- macOS, Linux, or Windows 7 or newer
- Microcontroller with an Arm Cortex-M CPU
- Supported debug probe
PyOCD is functionally reliable and fully useable.
The API is considered unstable because we are planning some breaking changes to bring the naming convention into compliance with PEP8 prior to releasing version 1.0. We also plan to merge the three command line tools into a single tool.
The pyOCD documentation is located in the docs directory.
The latest stable version of pyOCD may be installed via pip as follows:
$ pip install -U pyocd
To install the latest prerelease version from the HEAD of the master branch, you can do the following:
$ pip install --pre -U https://github.com/mbedmicro/pyOCD/archive/master.zip
You can also install directly from the source by cloning the git repository and running:
$ python setup.py install
Note that, depending on your operating system, you may run into permissions issues running these commands. You have a few options here:
- Under Linux, run with
sudo -Hto install pyOCD and dependencies globally. (Installing with sudo should never be required for macOS.)
- Specify the
--useroption to install local to your user.
- Run the command in a virtualenv local to a specific project working set.
pyusb and its backend library libusb are dependencies on all supported operating systems. pyusb is a regular Python package and will be installed along with pyOCD. However, libusb is binary shared library that does not get installed automatically via pip dependency management.
How to install libusb depends on your OS:
- macOS: use Homebrew:
brew install libusb
- Linux: should already be installed.
- Windows: download libusb from libusb.info and place the DLL in your Python installation folder next to python.exe.
udev rules on Linux
If you encounter an issue on Linux where
pyocd-tool list won't detect attached boards without
sudo, the reason is most likely USB device access permissions. In Ubuntu 16.04+ these are handled
with udev and can be solved by adding a new udev rule.
An example udev rule file is included in the udev
folder in the pyOCD repository. Just copy this file into
etc/udev/rules.d to enable user access
to both DAPLink-based debug probes as well as STLinkV2 and
If you use different, but compatible, debug probe, you can check the IDs with
- Plug in your board
dmesgagain and check what was added
- Look for line similar to
usb 2-2.1: New USB device found, idVendor=0d28, idProduct=0204
Standalone GDB server
When you install pyOCD via pip or setup.py, you will be able to execute the following in order to start a GDB server powered by pyOCD:
You can get additional help by running
Example command line GDB session showing how to connect to a running
pyocd-gdbserver and load
$ arm-none-eabi-gdb application.elf <gdb> target remote localhost:3333 <gdb> load <gdb> monitor reset
pyocd-gdbserver executable is also usable as a drop in place replacement for OpenOCD in
existing setups. The primary difference is the set of gdb monitor commands.
Recommended GDB and IDE setup
To view peripheral register values either the built-in GNU MCU Eclipse register view can be used, or the Embedded System Register Viewer plugin can be installed. These can be installed from inside Eclipse using the following software update server addresses:
- GNU MCU Eclipse: http://gnu-mcu-eclipse.sourceforge.net/updates
- Embedded System Register Viewer: http://embsysregview.sourceforge.net/update
In Eclipse, select the "Help -> Install New Software…" menu item. Then either click the "Add…" button and fill in the name and URL from above (once for each site), or simply copy the URL into the field where it says "type or select a site". Then you can select the software to install and click Next to start the process.
Please see the Developers' Guide for instructions on how to set up a development environment for pyOCD.
We welcome contributions to PyOCD in any area. Please see the contribution guidelines for details.
To report bugs, please create an issue in the GitHub project.
PyOCD is licensed with Apache 2.0. See the LICENSE file for the full text of the license.
Copyright © 2006-2018 Arm Ltd