Exercise 1

Navigation

1. Before proceeding with the topic, first select the tab that matches your choice of nRF Connect SDK version:
-For v2.0.0 and above (default), use the tab:
-For any version between v1.6.0 and v1.9.1, use the tab:

2. When progressing through the lessons, make sure to complete all the topics, before taking a quiz. The quiz is considered to be the last step in lesson completion. If the lesson is completed in a different order, make sure to re-take the quiz to mark the lesson as completed.

v2.x.x

Installing nRF Connect SDK and VS Code

In this part, we will simply follow the steps explained in the below video. Either watch the video or follow the steps below to install the nRF Connect SDK, its dependencies, and VS Code IDE.

1. Install nRF Command Line Tools.

Download link: https://www.nordicsemi.com/Software-and-tools/Development-Tools/nRF-Command-Line-Tools

Download the latest version that matches your operating system.

Follow the instructions as shown in the image below:

Ubuntu

On Ubuntu, J-Link Software and Documentation pack must be downloaded and installed manually from https://www.segger.com/downloads/jlink/. On Windows and macOS this is managed through the nRF Command Line Tools itself.

2. Download nRF Connect for Desktop.

nRF Connect for Desktop is a software suite that contains several applications for testing and development with Nordic’s products.

Download link: https://www.nordicsemi.com/Software-and-tools/Development-Tools/nRF-Connect-for-desktop

Download the latest version that matches your operating system

3. Install nRF Connect for Desktop.

Once the download is complete, click on the installer file as shown in the illustration below.

4. Install and open the Toolchain Manager.

Windows, Ubuntu (20.04), and macOS:

In nRF Connect for Desktop, scroll down through all the available applications until you see the Toolchain Manager. Install the application, then open it as shown in the image below:

The Toolchain Manager manages the nRF Connect SDK and toolchain versions on your computer. It is the recommended way to download, install, and uninstall the nRF Connect SDK for Windows, Ubuntu(20.04) and macOS machines.

Note

The installer will check whether nRF Connect for Desktop dependencies (Segger J-link, Nordic drivers and Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable) are present on your computer. If they are not found, it will install them for you. For the installation to succeed, you must accept the installation for all dependencies.

5. Configure the installation directory for the nRF Connect SDK.

This is the directory where the SDK will be downloaded and installed. We recommend calling this directory nordicsemi or something similar in length, and save it as close as possible to the root directory. E.g: C:\nordicsemi. Do not use a name that contains spaces.

6. Install nRF Connect SDK.

The Toolchain Manager will list the available versions of the nRF Connect SDK that can be downloaded and installed on your machine. Choose the nRF Connect SDK version you wish to use for your project development.

Important

We recommend installing the latest version of nRF Connect SDK listed to get all the available features.

In the illustration below we are showing how to install version 1.6.1. However, it is recommended that you install the latest SDK version. This will take some time to finish depending on your internet and machine speed.

Once you see the new buttons like Open VS Code (see image above), the installation of the nRF Connect SDK is complete.

7. Set up nRF Connect for VS Code.

Now that we have the SDK installed, the next step is to set up an integrated development environment (IDE) to simplify the application development process. We will use the nRF Connect for VS Code.

nRF Connect for VS Code is an extension pack that allows developers to use the popular Visual Studio Code Integrated Development Environment (VS Code IDE) to develop, build, test, and deploy embedded applications based on Nordic’s nRF Connect SDK (Software Development Kit). It includes an interface to the compiler and linker, an RTOS-aware debugger, a seamless interface to the nRF Connect SDK, and an integrated serial terminal among other valuable development tools. Full documentation of the nRF Connect for VS Code is available here.

Note

nRF Connect for VS Code supports nRF Connect SDK version 1.6.0 and higher

7.1 Install VS Code.

Go to https://code.visualstudio.com/download and install the version that matches your operating system.

7.2 Open VS Code.

In the Activity Bar, click the Extensions icon, then type Nordic in the search field. Choose nRF Connect Extension Pack and click on Install as shown in the illustration below:

Installing the nRF Connect Extension Pack in VS Code

In addition to Cortex-Debug, GNU Linker Map files, and CMake, the bundle consists of the following components:

  • nRF Connect for VS Code – the main extension containing an interface to the build system and nRF Connect SDK, as well as external tools such as guiconfig. 
  • nRF DeviceTree for the Zephyr Project – provides Devicetree language support.
  • nRF Kconfig for the Zephyr Project – provides Kconfig language support.
  • nRF Terminal – a serial and RTT terminal.
  • C/C++ from Microsoft – adds language support for C/C++ including features such as IntelliSense.

7.3 Open nRF Connect for VS Code.

Open the extension by clicking the icon (1). Set up the basic configuration (2) by selecting the nRF Connect SDK and nRF Connect Toolchain. You’re now ready to build an application.

nRF Connect for VS Code: Welcome page

The illustration above shows how to set up the extension with a version (1.8.0) of the nRF Connect SDK. Choose the version that you plan to use for your project development.

nRF Connect SDK is IDE agnostic, which means you can use it with the IDE of your choice or without an IDE at all. However, we highly recommend using VS Code with our nRF Connect for VS Code extension pack as it contains both a convenient graphical user interface (GUI) and an efficient command-line interface (CLI) in one place, in addition to many features that make firmware development much easier. Setting up another IDE to work with the nRF Connect SDK will require some extra manual steps that are out of the scope of this course.

v1.6.0 – v1.9.1

Installing nRF Connect SDK and VS Code

In this part, we will simply follow the steps explained in the below video. Either watch the video or follow the steps below to install the nRF Connect SDK, its dependencies, and the VS Code IDE.

1. Install nRF Command Line Tools.

Download link: https://www.nordicsemi.com/Software-and-tools/Development-Tools/nRF-Command-Line-Tools

Download the latest version that matches your operating system.

Follow the instructions as shown in the image below:

2. Download nRF Connect for Desktop.

nRF Connect for Desktop is a software suite that contains several applications for testing and development with Nordic’s products.

Download link: https://www.nordicsemi.com/Software-and-tools/Development-Tools/nRF-Connect-for-desktop

Download the latest version that matches your operating system

3. Install nRF Connect for Desktop.

Once the download is complete, click on the installer file as shown in the illustration below.

Linux

4. Install nRF Connect SDK.

On Linux, complete steps 1 through 5 found on the Installing manually page, to install the nRF Connect SDK.

When complete, skip down to step 7 here in Lesson 1 Exercise 1.

Note

The automatic installation of nRF Connect SDK is currently not supported by Linux, so you must follow the manual steps described on the Installing manually page.

Windows and macOS

4. Install and open the Toolchain Manager.

In nRF Connect for Desktop, scroll down through all the available applications until you see the Toolchain Manager. Install the application, then open it as shown in the image below:

The Toolchain Manager manages the nRF Connect SDK and toolchain versions on your computer. It is the recommended way to download, install, and uninstall the nRF Connect SDK for Windows and macOS machines.

Note

The installer will check whether nRF Connect for Desktop dependencies (Segger J-link, Nordic drivers and Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable) are present on your computer. If they are not found, it will install them for you. For the installation to succeed, you must accept the installation for all dependencies.

5. Configure the installation directory for the nRF Connect SDK.

This is the directory where the SDK will be downloaded and installed. We recommend calling this directory nordicsemi or something similar in length, and save it as close as possible to the root directory. E.g: C:\nordicsemi. Do not use a name that contains spaces.

6. Install the nRF Connect SDK.

The Toolchain Manager will list the available versions of the nRF Connect SDK that can be downloaded and installed on your machine. Choose the nRF Connect SDK version you wish to use for your project development.

Important

We recommend installing the latest version of nRF Connect SDK listed to get all the available features.

In the illustration below, we are showing how to install version 1.6.1. This will take some time to finish depending on your internet and machine speed.

Once you see the new buttons like Open VS Code (see image above), the installation of the nRF Connect SDK is complete.

7. Set up nRF Connect for VS Code.

Now that we have the SDK installed, the next step is to set up an integrated development environment (IDE) to simplify the application development process. We will use the nRF Connect for VS Code.

nRF Connect for VS Code is an extension pack that allows developers to use the popular Visual Studio Code Integrated Development Environment (VS Code IDE) to develop, build, test, and deploy embedded applications based on Nordic’s nRF Connect SDK (Software Development Kit). It includes an interface to the compiler and linker, an RTOS-aware debugger, a seamless interface to the nRF Connect SDK, and an integrated serial terminal among other valuable development tools. Full documentation of the nRF Connect for VS Code is available here.

Note

nRF Connect for VS Code supports nRF Connect SDK version 1.6.0 and higher

7.1 Install VS Code.

Go to https://code.visualstudio.com/download and install the version that matches your operating system.

7.2 Open VS Code.

In the Activity Bar, click the Extensions icon, then type Nordic in the search field. Choose nRF Connect Extension Pack and click on Install as shown in the illustration below:

Installing the nRF Connect Extension Pack in VS Code

In addition to Cortex-Debug, GNU Linker Map files, and CMake, the bundle consists of the following components:

  • nRF Connect for VS Code – the main extension containing an interface to the build system and nRF Connect SDK, as well as external tools such as guiconfig. 
  • nRF DeviceTree for the Zephyr Project – provides Devicetree language support.
  • nRF Kconfig for the Zephyr Project – provides Kconfig language support.
  • nRF Terminal – a serial and RTT terminal.
  • C/C++ from Microsoft – adds language support for C/C++ including features such as IntelliSense.

7.3 Open nRF Connect for VS Code.

Open the extension by clicking the icon (1). Set up the basic configuration (2) by selecting the nRF Connect SDK and nRF Connect Toolchain. You’re now ready to build an application.

nRF Connect for VS Code: Welcome page

The illustration above shows how to set up the extension with a version (1.8.0) of the nRF Connect SDK. Choose the version that you plan to use for your project development.

nRF Connect SDK is IDE agnostic, which means you can use it with the IDE of your choice or without an IDE at all. However, we highly recommend using VS Code with our nRF Connect for VS Code extension pack as it contains both a convenient graphical user interface (GUI) and an efficient command-line interface (CLI) in one place, in addition to many features that make firmware development much easier. Setting up another IDE to work with the nRF Connect SDK will require some extra manual steps that are out of the scope of this course.

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