MSP430 tools for linux

For your MSP430 launchpad to work on Linux you may have to do a little work, lol hopefully you expected this…..So lets get to it…..by the way i have Ubuntu 9.04 for my system, but that shouldn’t matter, except for dependencies may be different then mine.

First you will need a few things to get it all working, so gather your tools and programs and lets start…..

  1. launchpad with 430 value line chip
  2. http://mspgcc4.sourceforge.net/ you will need at leas the binaries, or you can build it yourself
  3. http://mspdebug.sourceforge.net/ this is the program that will let you program your msp430 launchpad and debug it if needed
  4. libusb dev files (usb headers for compilation)
  5. Readline dev files
  6. and texinfo dev files

after you have gathered all that you need you can start installing, you will most likely need the CLI to do most of the work, since we will be moving files into a root owned folder.

  1. First Build or install MSP430-gcc and other binaries for the tool chain http://mspgcc4.sourceforge.net/
  2. next install or copy the binaries /usr/ or usr/local ( i choose /usr/) I unpacked my archive inside my home folder and then CPd(copied) everything into /usr/ folder
  3. then check to see that they work, run msp430-gcc or msp430-gdb, it should just give the usage or start the program if all went well
  4. Now you want to install mspdebug, this program allows you to connect to the launchpad and reprogram the chip or debug it . It should be the simple make && make install on the source and it should go fairly quickly. if you have dependencies issues please consult the maintainer, I only listed the ones that i needed to download.
  5. after its done installing run it and test. to run it type “mspdebug rf2500” and it should start up
  6. jsolarski@server-001:~$ sudo mspdebug rf2500
    [sudo] password for jsolarski:
    MSPDebug version 0.9 - debugging tool for MSP430 MCUs
    Copyright (C) 2009, 2010 Daniel Beer
    This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO
    warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.


    Trying to open interface 1 on 005
    Initializing FET...
    FET protocol version is 30066536
    Configured for Spy-Bi-Wire
    Set Vcc: 3000 mV
    Device ID: 0xf201
    Device: MSP430F2013
    Code memory starts at 0xf800
    Available commands:
    = erase hexout mw read run sym
    cgraph gdb isearch opt regs set
    dis help md prog reset step
    Available options:
    color gdb_loop
    Type "help " for more information.
    Press Ctrl+D to quit.
    (mspdebug)

  7. now that it is connected its time to try and reprogram the flash, or play around with the registers.

Now that its hooked up and ready to go you can go ahead and play around with mspdebug, or connect it up with gdb to debug and reprogram as well, but im just going to go into mspdebug because i have not learned gdb as well as i should.

The main commands for mspdebugare

=        erase    hexout   mw       read     run      sym
cgraph   gdb      isearch  opt      regs     set
dis      help     md       prog     reset    step

the ones that i have used so far in my learning this program

  • dis <address>< length> — disassembles that block of memory dis 0xf800 2048
  • prog <file> program the target board “prog main.elf”
  • md <address><length in bit> read an address
  • regs    displays your registers for the board
  • erase   erases the flash memory of the board

There are plenty of other things you can do in mspdebug but that is beyond my knowledge at this point.

To reprogram the board just follow the simple instructions of  erase, prog. simple as that.

Personally the easiest way to reprogram it is use this archive, which has all the files needed to do a test reprogram …and its been edited so it can be compiled with mspgcc.

Demo program that works with GCC and mspdebug and msp tools

this is the same source code and make file found on This site. I have not modified it all i did was take the .tgz and package it up into a zip file so its an archive with in a zip file. this is the same program that’s on the 2231 chip that comes with the launchpad except a few changes to make it work with gcc.

At this point you should have a good starting point to work with this chip…just a little more research and i should be able to creating programs that do what i want them to do….

Hope this helps!!