Setting up a development environment

Dealing with microcontrollers involves several tools as we'll be dealing with an architecture different from your computer's and we'll have to run and debug programs on a "remote" device.


Tooling is not everything though. Without documentation, it is pretty much impossible to work with microcontrollers.

We'll be referring to all these documents throughout this book:


We'll use all the tools listed below. Where a minimum version is not specified, any recent version should work but we have listed the version we have tested.

  • Rust 1.57.0 or a newer toolchain.

  • gdb-multiarch. Tested version: 10.2. Other versions will most likely work as well though If your distribution/platform does not have gdb-multiarch available arm-none-eabi-gdb will do the trick as well. Furthermore, some normal gdb binaries are built with multiarch capabilities as well, you can find further information about this in the sub chapters.

  • cargo-binutils. Version 0.3.3 or newer.

  • minicom on Linux and macOS. Tested version: 2.7.1. Other versions will most likely work as well though

  • PuTTY on Windows.

Next, follow OS-agnostic installation instructions for a few of the tools:

rustc & Cargo

Install rustup by following the instructions at

If you already have rustup installed double check that you are on the stable channel and your stable toolchain is up-to-date. rustc -V should return a date newer than the one shown below:

$ rustc -V
rustc 1.53.0 (53cb7b09b 2021-06-17)


$ rustup component add llvm-tools

$ cargo install cargo-binutils --vers 0.3.3

$ cargo size --version
cargo-size 0.3.3


In order to install cargo-embed, first install its prerequisites (note: these instructions are part of the more general probe-rs embedded debugging toolkit). Then install it with cargo:

$ cargo install cargo-embed --vers 0.18.0

$ cargo embed --version
cargo-embed 0.18.0
git commit:

This repository

Since this book also contains some small Rust code bases used in various chapters you will also have to download its source code. You can do this in one of the following ways:

  • Visit the repository, click the green "Code" button and then the "Download Zip" one
  • Clone it using git (if you know git you presumably already have it installed) from the same repository as linked in the zip approach

OS specific instructions

Now follow the instructions specific to the OS you are using: