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Import and Build a Demo Project in Eclipse

This page provides general information on how to use Eclipse to import and build the many FreeRTOS demo applications provided as Eclipse projects. The Demo application specific documentation pages provide additional information specific to a given demo, including the project's location within the FreeRTOS directory structure. The demostration below is based on the base Eclipse Embedded CDT version on a Windows enviornment.

NOTE: Vendor-specific Eclipse distributions may look different from the base Eclipse version used to create the screen shots below.



  1. Install an Eclipse distribution

    The base Eclipse version, Eclipse Embedded CDT (C/C++ Development Tools), can be downloaded here.

    NOTE: Most of the vendor-specific Eclipse-based IDEs include the toolchain in the distribution, and handle setting up the path to it automatically and transparently for you. Please check with your specific demo page linked to on Demo application specific documentation. You may skip the following steps if your vendor-specific IDE provides the toolchain and build tools.

  2. Install the GCC Toolchain

    Refer to the Demo application specific documentation pages for information on the specific toolchain needed for your demo.

  3. Install the build tool (Windows)

    POSIX platforms generally include make in the system distribution, or they might require you to install some developer packages (for example, on macOS you need to install the Xcode Command Line Tools). Follow the "Windows Build Tools" section in this guide to install the Make build tools.

    NOTE: If you have another environment installed, such as MinGW or Cygwin, and want to use the Make tool provided by that environment, make sure the make program is named "make.exe". In the same way, for MinGW, rename (or create a copy and rename) "mingw32-make.exe" to "make.exe".

  4. Manage the PATH Environment variable

    The base Eclipse version relies on setting the environment variable PATH to reach the toolchain binaries. The PATH can be set from:

    • The system global PATH setting or a per user PATH setting.
    • The Eclipse workspace's common settings for all projects.
    • The project's build configuration.

    We highly recommend that you set the PATH from the project's build configuration to avoid any conflict when using multiple toolchains that may be installed on your computer. To set the project's PATH variable in Eclipse:

    1. Right click the demo project from the "Project Explorer" and select "Properties".

      Open Project Properties

    2. On the left side of the pop-up window, select "C/C++ build --> Environment" and then click the "Add..." button on the right to add a new variable.

      Project Properties

    3. Enter "PATH" as the variable name and set the value with the path to your toolchain and build tools binaries folder.

      Add PATH Variable


Import and Build a Demo Project:

Important! FreeRTOS Eclipse projects use relative paths to source files and therefore will not build if your directory structure is different from the directory structure used in the official FreeRTOS zip-file releases. Ensure the 'copy projects into workspace' check box is not checked when importing the project into the Eclipse workspace.

  1. Start Eclipse, then select an existing, or create a new workspace when prompted.

  2. Select "Import..." from the Eclipse "File" menu. The Import dialog box will open.

  3. In the Import dialog box, select "General -> Existing Project into Workspace". The Import Projects dialog box will open.

    Importing an existing project into the workspace

  4. In the Import Projects dialog box, navigate to and select the FreeRTOS/Demo/<YOUR_PROJECT> directory, and make sure the 'Copy projects into workspace' check box is not checked.

    Selecting the directory and project in the Import Project dialog box.

  5. In the "Projects" window of the Import Projects dialog box, select the RTOSDemo project, and choose "finish".

  6. Select "Build all" from the Eclipse "Project" menu. Make sure the project builds without any errors or warnings.

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