MSP430 Launchpad development using GNU tools

I bought myself an MSP430 Launchpad development board from Texas Instrument. Upon receiving it I started to investigate the available tools for software development. Sure, we could use a free version of IAR Embedded Workbench from TI, but that would limits us to 4 kB code size and force us to use Windows. Or we could the Eclipse route and use Code Composer Studio from TI, which also runs on Linux, but the free version is limited to 16 kB code size. This is not a problem for the MSP 430 chips that are included with the Launchpad, but surely it would be more interesting to use the GNU toolset and other free tools to do the development?

After doing some web searches, it seems that most of the tutorials in this area are quite old. There is a lot of stuff about how to compile your MSP430-gcc, but nowadays we have the tools we need included in a stock Ubuntu distribution, so there is no need to spend time on that. So I will try to describe how get up and running with Ubuntu, gcc and gas. In the upcoming blog posts, we will visit the following topics:

  • Installing the software on Ubuntu 13-04
  • Programming the MSP430 in C using GCC
  • Programming the MSP430 in pure assembler using GAS