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I'm currently using Atmel SAM series. The choice was easy: IDE is Atmel Studio which is very good, free and I used it for developing AVR before. The debugger I have is the Atmel ICE which I also used for AVRs and it supports the ARM series as well.

What makes the STM32 series interesting is the very low cost for the chips and the development boards. However, what IDEs people use for developing? I am interested in something that is completely free as mainstream as possible so it will be easy to find help when needed and also to make sure the tools stay up to date. I could find a definitive answer on Google or on ST's website so if someone is already involved with developing on this platform I would appreciate if you share the data and your opinions.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by pipe, Bence Kaulics, Dmitry Grigoryev, Dave Tweed Mar 30 '17 at 14:29

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Right now I am 'taming' and STM discovery (stm32f051r8), half an hour a go the LED blinked. I use gcc with my own makefile, linkerscript an C++ HAL-like layer. Who needs an IDE? (I know lots of people do, but I prefer to travel light.). \$\endgroup\$ – Wouter van Ooijen Jan 10 '15 at 10:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @WoutervanOoijen - Personally, I find that using an IDE helps me work faster. \$\endgroup\$ – user34920 Jan 10 '15 at 11:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ www.coocox.org - eclipse-based, sadly, but outstanding value for money (i.e. it's free, functional and quite easy to use). Windows only afaik, for those that think a PC OS is a matter of life and death. I wouldn't call the STM32F4's "low cost" btw, but the Discovery boards are excellent value. \$\endgroup\$ – markt Jan 10 '15 at 11:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Btw, the new coocox beta doesn't support stm32 I think. Get the older version. \$\endgroup\$ – Mike Jan 10 '15 at 22:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ I use a generic text editor and a command line. \$\endgroup\$ – old_timer Feb 10 '15 at 3:36
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Definitely mbed.org

Mbed is a free ARM-supported online IDE with open libraries, revision control & online community.

The IDE runs in your web browser, so you can work from any PC and collaborate with people around the world.

The STM32L152RE (Cortex M3, 512k Flash/80k RAM) is supported with the $10 Nucleo-L152 board.

I had my first STM32L1 up and running "Mbed Blinky" (a simple LED flasher) in 10 minutes.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you explain more about embed? It looks like arduino. Is it online only? Does it support debugging? \$\endgroup\$ – Mike Jan 10 '15 at 22:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ It sounds like Arduino for a good reason, it is the same idea. Personally, I find the idea of an online IDE off-putting and the idea that these free tools are closed source even more off-putting. You have the one editor they give you and the libraries they give you, if you don't like it too bad. If they start charging a fee too bad. If they take the service down too bad. This is nice for prototyping and schools I guess, not when you need this for work. \$\endgroup\$ – user34920 Jan 10 '15 at 23:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ No, it's not like Arduino at all. First, the libraries are open source (see the first link) and have a liberal license. Second, the source and the libraries can be downloaded as a project ready to compile on several popular compilers. Third, you can import the source version of any/all libraries and fiddle them to your heart's content. \$\endgroup\$ – neonzeon Jan 15 '15 at 6:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Neonzeon's point about being able to download the whole project is the key one. The claim that it is fundamentally different from Arduino is a weak one - of the reasons given only the difference between permissive and copyleft licenses is actually true. A difference not mentioned though is that the mbed project model is much more like and much more compatible with traditional embedded development - compared to the "Arduino way" it has fewer quirks and less initial encouragement of odd practices that can cause ongoing trouble to a serious project. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Mar 15 '16 at 15:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Almost no developer I know uses mbed. I'd check out openstm32.org/HomePage, the eclipse IDE with ac6 tools (gcc compiler). \$\endgroup\$ – tarabyte Nov 2 '18 at 22:03
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If you are looking for free but professional IDE, I recommend you to follow this link.

It will lead you to the ARM page to get access to the free version of µvision for all STM32 based on M0 and M0+

Free MDK-ARM licenses can be activated for both STM32F0 and STM32L0 series using the following Product Serial Number (PSN): U1E21-CM9GY-L3G4L

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this really full functioning, or is it limited in executable size? \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Mar 15 '16 at 15:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman The free 'MDK-Lite' version has a code limit of 32kB. www2.keil.com/mdk5/selector \$\endgroup\$ – Bruce Abbott Mar 15 '16 at 20:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BruceAbbott - how about licensing? Can you use it for reals, or just hobby/education? \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Mar 15 '16 at 20:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ "The MDK for STMicroelectonics STM32F0 and STM32L0 is a license paid by STMicroelectronics. It is free-to-use for software developers working with STM32 devices based on the ARM Cortex-M0 and ARM Cortex-M0+ cores." \$\endgroup\$ – Bruce Abbott Mar 15 '16 at 20:54
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The Atmel Studio IDE is great.

If you try and use any ST micro you will be launched into a complex world of third party IDE's that take 4 hours to install and don't work with the particular board you have.

The people who answered 'I configured my own makefile etc' really have no idea of what is involved in working on an actual embedded product. Using a complex micro and a real-time operating system. Blundering around with make files ? Stop wasting time.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe people who develop software for complex microcontrollers and write real-time operating systems (me included) know how to write a makefile. It's not rocket science, and it's hardly the difficult part of the job. \$\endgroup\$ – pipe Mar 30 '17 at 12:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ I actually have seen a lot more time wasted while people were trying to tame a crappy IDE which wouldn't do what they wanted to. Or while people had to downgrade to an older IDE version due to a bug in the newer one, and the only way to do that was to apply every compiler/linker setting manually via said IDE. \$\endgroup\$ – Dmitry Grigoryev Mar 30 '17 at 13:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I logged in for give an +1. Did you have any idea about of non-os compiler ? \$\endgroup\$ – dsgdfg Jun 2 '17 at 17:32

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