ESP32 (3) – Eclipse

luca 15/12/2016 1

In the previous blog post, I explained how to install the official development framework (Espressif IoT Development Framework) and how to use it to compile your first example, Hello world.

Even if you can write your programs with a simple text editor (on Windows I always suggest to use the opensource Notepad++), it’s very easier to do it with an IDE (Integrated Development Environment), that is a graphical application which you can use to write the code (it often includes syntax highlighting and auto-completion), to compile it and to upload the binary on you development board. Among the available IDEs, one of the most famous and adopted is without doubts Eclipse.


Eclipse installation is really straightforward: connect to the official site and download Eclipse IDE for C/C++ Developers for your operating system (as in the previous post, I decided to use Windows):


Eclipse is shipped as a zip archive. When the download is complete, unzip the archive in a folder of your hard drive. To make it easy, I chose the same folder (the user’s home folder) where I’ve already installed the esp-idf:


Run Eclipse with a double-click on eclipse.exe. At first, you are prompted to specify the path of your workspace (= the folder where your projects will be saved in). I chose to create the workspace as a subfolder of Eclipse’s installation folder:


Project configuration

To be able to develop a project based on esp-idf with Eclipse, you need to do some configuration. First, import the project in the IDE. For this tutorial, I’m going to use the 01_hello_world example; in a future post I’ll show you how to start with an empty project.

Choose File – Import, then run the Existing Code as Makefile project wizard:


Give the project a name, choose the folder that contains the code and make sure that the selected toolchain isCross GCC:


When the import is complete, open the project Properties:


First select C/C++ Build – Environment. Add (using the Add… button) two new variables:

  • name V, value 1
  • name IDF_PATH, value the path where esp-idf is installed (note: you have to use / instead of \)

On Windows, in addition, change the PATH variable with the following value (if msys32 is installed in the default path):



If you’re under Windows, now choose C/C++ Build, unflag Use default… and type the following build command:

bash ${IDF_PATH}/tools/windows/


The final step is to choose C/C++ General – Preprocessor Include Paths and open the Providers tab.

Click on CDT Cross GCC Built-in Compiler Settings and change the text ${COMMAND} with xtensa-esp32-elf-gcc:


Then click on CDT GCC Build Output Parser and add xtensa-esp32-elf- at the beginning of the command:


You’re now ready to compile the project:


It may happens that, after the compile process, Eclipse warns about some “unresolved inclusion”:


The warnings should appear only under Windows and they are caused by a known bug that doesn’t block the compile process. You may solve it manually adding the different include folders found starting from the folder esp-idf/components in the project properties (C/C++ General – Paths and Symbols – GNU C):



You can also configure Eclipse to run the make flash command, to load the compiled version of your program on the development board.

Choose, on the right panel, the Build Targets tab:


Right-click on the project’s folder and choose New.

Type flash as target name, then confirm with Ok:


If now you right-click on the new command, you can start the flash process choosing Build Target:


The Console tab, in the lower panel of the IDE, shows flash command output and result:


One Comment »

  1. Junhyuk Lee 12/08/2017 at 01:09 - Reply

    Hi, Luca!
    Thanks for good tutorials!
    I have learned many things about ESP32 from them.

    How do you debug ESP32 in Eclipse IDE or CLI?

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