stm32 discovery line linux programmer
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Open source version of the STMicroelectronics Stlink Tools

GitHub release GitHub commits Linux Status Build Status Build status BSD licensed


First, you have to know there are several boards supported by the software. Those boards use a chip to translate from USB to JTAG commands. The chip is called stlink and there are 2 versions:

  • STLINKv1, present on STM32VL discovery kits,
  • STLINKv2, present on STM32L discovery and later kits.

Two different transport layers are used:

  • STLINKv1 uses SCSI passthru commands over USB
  • STLINKv2 uses raw USB commands.


Currently there are no binaries for windows available. It is known to compile and work with MinGW/Cygwin.

For debian linux based distros there is also no package available in the standard repositories so you need to compile yourself.

Arch Linux users can install from the repository

FreeBSD users can install from freshports

Mac OS X users can install from homebrew

Compilation from source (advanced users)

When there is no executable available for your platform or you need the latest (possible unstable) version you need to compile yourself. This is explained in the compiling manual.

Using the gdb server

To run the gdb server:

$ make && [sudo] ./st-util

There are a few options:

./st-util - usage:

  -h, --help        Print this help
  -vXX, --verbose=XX    Specify a specific verbosity level (0..99)
  -v, --verbose     Specify generally verbose logging
  -s X, --stlink_version=X
            Choose what version of stlink to use, (defaults to 2)
  -1, --stlinkv1    Force stlink version 1
  -p 4242, --listen_port=1234
            Set the gdb server listen port. (default port: 4242)
  -m, --multi
            Set gdb server to extended mode.
            st-util will continue listening for connections after disconnect.
  -n, --no-reset
            Do not reset board on connection.

The STLINKv2 device to use can be specified in the environment variable STLINK_DEVICE on the format <USB_BUS>:<USB_ADDR>.

Then, in your project directory, someting like this... (remember, you need to run an ARM gdb, not an x86 gdb)

$ arm-none-eabi-gdb fancyblink.elf
(gdb) tar extended-remote :4242
(gdb) load
Loading section .text, size 0x458 lma 0x8000000
Loading section .data, size 0x8 lma 0x8000458
Start address 0x80001c1, load size 1120
Transfer rate: 1 KB/sec, 560 bytes/write.
(gdb) continue

Resetting the chip from GDB

You may reset the chip using GDB if you want. You'll need to use `target extended-remote' command like in this session:

(gdb) target extended-remote localhost:4242
Remote debugging using localhost:4242
0x080007a8 in _startup ()
(gdb) kill
Kill the program being debugged? (y or n) y
(gdb) run
Starting program: /home/whitequark/ST/apps/bally/firmware.elf

Remember that you can shorten the commands. `tar ext :4242' is good enough for GDB.

Running programs from SRAM

You can run your firmware directly from SRAM if you want to. Just link it at 0x20000000 and do

(gdb) load firmware.elf

It will be loaded, and pc will be adjusted to point to start of the code, if it is linked correctly (i.e. ELF has correct entry point).

Writing to flash

The GDB stub ships with a correct memory map, including the flash area. If you would link your executable to 0x08000000 and then do

(gdb) load firmware.elf

then it would be written to the memory.


Q: My breakpoints do not work at all or only work once.

A: Optimizations can cause severe instruction reordering. For example, if you are doing something like `REG = 0x100;' in a loop, the code may be split into two parts: loading 0x100 into some intermediate register and moving that value to REG. When you set up a breakpoint, GDB will hook to the first instruction, which may be called only once if there are enough unused registers. In my experience, -O3 causes that frequently.

Q: At some point I use GDB command `next', and it hangs.

A: Sometimes when you will try to use GDB next' command to skip a loop, it will use a rather inefficient single-stepping way of doing that. Set up a breakpoint manually in that case and docontinue'.

Q: Load command does not work in GDB.

A: Some people report XML/EXPAT is not enabled by default when compiling GDB. Memory map parsing thus fail. Use --enable-expat.

Currently known working combinations of programmer and target

STLink v1 (as found on the 32VL Discovery board)

Known working targets:

  • STM32F100xx (Medium Density VL)
  • STM32F103 (according to jpa- on ##stm32)

No information:

  • everything else!

STLink v2 (as found on the 32L and F4 Discovery boards), known working targets:

  • STM32F030F4P6 (custom board)
  • STM32F0Discovery (STM32F0 Discovery board)
  • STM32F100xx (Medium Density VL, as on the 32VL Discovery board)
  • STM32L1xx (STM32L Discovery board)
  • STM32F103VC, STM32F107RC, STM32L151RB, STM32F205RE and STM32F405RE on custom boards from UweBonnes/wiki_fuer_alex
  • STM32F103VET6 (HY-STM32 board)
  • STM32F105RCT6 (DecaWave EVB1000 board)
  • STM32F303xx (STM32F3 Discovery board)
  • STM32F407xx (STM32F4 Discovery board)
  • STM32F429I-DISCO (STM32F4 Discovery board with LCD)
  • STM32F439VIT6 (discovery board reseated CPU)
  • STM32L052K8T6 (custom board)
  • STM32L151CB (custom board)
  • STM32L152RB (STM32L-Discovery board, custom board)
  • STM32F051R8T6 (STM320518-EVAL board)
  • STM32F411E-DISCO (STM32F4 Discovery board with gyro, audio)

STLink v2-1 (as found on the Nucleo boards), known working targets:

  • STM32F401xx (STM32 Nucleo-F401RE board)
  • STM32F030R8T6 (STM32 Nucleo-F030R8 board)
  • STM32F072RBT6 (STM32 Nucleo-F072RB board)
  • STM32F103RB (STM32 Nucleo-F103RB board)
  • STM32F303RET6 (STM32 Nucleo-F303RE board)
  • STM32F334R8 (STM32 Nucleo-F334R8 board)
  • STM32F411RET6 (STM32 Nucleo-F411RE board)
  • STM32F756NGHx (STMF7 evaluation board)
  • STM32L053R8 (STM32 Nucleo-L053R8 board)
  • STM32F769NI (STM32F7 discovery board)

Please report any and all known working combinations so I can update this!

Missing features

  • Control programming speed (See #462)
  • OTP area programming (See #202)
  • EEPROM area programming (See #318)
  • Protection bits area reading (See #346)

Known bugs

Sometimes flashing only works after a mass erase

There is seen a problem sometimes where a flash loader run error occurs and is resolved after mass-erase of the flash:

2015-12-09T22:01:57 INFO src/stlink-common.c: Successfully loaded flash loader in sram
2015-12-09T22:02:18 ERROR src/stlink-common.c: flash loader run error
2015-12-09T22:02:18 ERROR src/stlink-common.c: run_flash_loader(0x8000000) failed! == -1

Issue(s): #356

Contributing and versioning

  • The semantic versioning scheme is used.
  • When creating a pull request, please open first a issue for discussion of new features
  • TODO: Enforcement of coding style (linux codestyle + checkpatch)


The stlink library and tools are licensed under the BSD license. With some exceptions on external components.