Setting up an actual Working Eclipse IDE for Raspberry Pi-Pico Development with OpenOCD

We *actually really* get Eclipse to work with OpenOCD and a Raspberry Pi-Pico for rapid development.

Setting up an actual Working Eclipse IDE for Raspberry Pi-Pico Development with OpenOCD
  • End result. 1-3 second compile / program / reset / run cycles.
  • Stepping-debugging was not completely successful but it is close.
  • This guide is for a Linux build.

Step 0: Install your basics..

sudo apt update -y && sudo apt install build-essential -y
sudo apt install gcc cmake gcc-arm-none-eabi -y
# optional extras suite to taste..
sudo apt install manpages-dev -y
sudo apt install g++ make  -y 

Step 1: Buy (or convert-build) a Raspberry Pi-Pico Probe:

Raspbery Pi-Pico Conversion to a Pico-Probe Part 1
This simple guide goes over programming your raspberry pi into a pico-probe with hopefully CMSIS-DAP support!

Step 2: Make sure it is running cleanly and programming a target:

Raspbery Pi-Pico / Pico-Probe Testing and Work ups Part II
In this Part II guide we start learning the bells and whistles of a pico-probe being used in the OpenOCD environment.
  • At this point you should have the 'electronic exterior' running cleanly.

Step 3: Download and install Eclipse for Embedded Development.  

  • This guide is 'over-explained' as a standard, yet kept simple as possible for your best odds of success. Let's get started:
Eclipse Installer 2024-03 R | Eclipse Packages
  • It will download a .tar.gz file as in:

We can unpack it with:

tar -xvf eclipse-inst-jre-linux64.tar.gz 

Which will make your 'eclipse-installer' directory:

Then run the installer:

cd eclipse-installer && ./eclipse-inst
  • We will select the Eclipse IDE  for Embedded C/C++ Developers
  • Set your install directory...

And it will install:

And launch.. the launcher is sorta buried for me it came out as a directory structure of:


On boot it will banner:

  • Set a directory as a workspace, a workspace is for all your projects:
  • You will get your inital welcome screen:

Step 4: Adding in the add-ins you will need.

  • Add cmake support:
  • In the corner it will show the software install / update and then do a restart...
  • Next we installed everything embedded as in (the key one is CMSIS Packs)

Step 5: Getting it to import a cmake pico-type project.

  • Make sure you have the pico-sdk downloaded somewhere.
GitHub - raspberrypi/pico-sdk
Contribute to raspberrypi/pico-sdk development by creating an account on GitHub.
  • Where did you install it - note that, for me it was installed at:
  • Now we will make a new pico type project in a new folder make the following CMakeLists.txt file:
cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 3.13)
include(/home/c/coding/pico-sdk/pico_sdk_init.cmake)  #<- Note here
project(test C CXX ASM)
add_executable(hello_world hello_world.c)
target_link_libraries(hello_world pico_stdlib)
pico_enable_stdio_usb(hello_world 1)
pico_enable_stdio_uart(hello_world 0)
  • NOTE - the include above is set to where lives your pico-sdk namely it's root pico_sdk_init.cmake file.  Adjust it to where you put yours..
  • Now we will add the hello_world.c program as noted above on line:
add_executable(hello_world hello_world.c)

In our hello_world.c we will put some boilerplate code:

#include <stdio.h>
#include "pico/stdlib.h"
#include "hardware/gpio.h"

int main()
  const uint apin = 0;
  gpio_set_dir(0, GPIO_OUT);
  gpio_set_dir(1, GPIO_OUT);
  gpio_set_dir(2, GPIO_OUT);
  gpio_set_dir(25, GPIO_OUT);

  while (true)
   gpio_put(0, 1);
   gpio_put(1, 1);
   gpio_put(2, 1);
   gpio_put(25, 1);
   printf("Hello, world!\n");

   gpio_put(0, 0);
   gpio_put(1, 0);
   gpio_put(2, 0);
   gpio_put(25, 0);
  return 0;

  • Now you have only two files in this directory as in:
  • Ready? Now lets make this pico-sdk / eclipse compatible. Inside the directory issue this command:
cmake -G "Eclipse CDT4 - Unix Makefiles" ./

If it runs cleanly you will have a pile of files and the following output:

Next from inside eclipse we will 'Open Projects from File System'

We set the directory where the above run:

  • The Indexer does a lot - in fact it pulls an entire copy of the pico-sdk into the current project directory...
  • How do you know it worked correctly? If you hold your mouse over a command it will show the suggestor for it.
  • Also you will have a structure of proper directories on your left.
  • Colors look a lot better with 'Dark Theme'

Step 6: Clean and Fast Transfer Compiling.

  • Right click inside your hello_world.c program and we will  make a run-configuration that will work with the CMSIS configured Pico-Probe (its not there by default)
  • Double click on the GDB OpenOCD Option (to make a new run option)

For the main tab we set the C/C++ application as:

  • Which should of been installed in Step 0:

For the debugger tag we set it up as:

  • Note the OpenOCD option is setup as:
-f interface/cmsis-dap.cfg -f target/rp2040.cfg  -c "adapter speed 5000" -c "program ./hello_world.elf verify" -c "reset run"

-f interface/cmsis-dap.cfg (will work if you followed step 1 accurately)

-f target/rp2040.cfg (to program another rpi2040 raspberry pico board)

-c "program ./hello_world.elf verify"

  • Program the hello_world.elf to the rpi2040 and verify it's good.

-c "reset run"

  • Reset the chip and run the program.

Even though we require gdb to be installed we leave it clicked off as:

Sweet sweet victory when this stuff works!

You should see an output as:


  • It has been my experience that getting accurate and usuable information of getting anything to work in Eclipse, much less rapid programing a Raspberry Pi Pico from a strictly Linux environment is pretty much non-existant.
  • Sites can be found that cover one or the other but not the whole process, and not at this explicit detail.  It is typical that advanced developers assume you know the 20 tiny critical sub-steps, but a often and realistically we do not!
  • It is very close - this almost has step-debugging working, but this in of itself is really good and hopefully will help lots of struggling coders trying to piece together a very complex software development ecosystem.
  • It downloads, programs, resets and runs the fresh program in about a second if your speed is up, that is really good!
  • Giving big thanks!
Linux Rocks Every Day