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ARM lends a hand to embedded Linux developers

Apr 25, 2013 — by Eric Brown 916 views

ARM has added embedded Linux support to its free ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5) Community Edition (CE) integrated development environment (IDE), which previously had only targeted Android. DS-5 CE now offers full Linux support for its Eclipse IDE, GNU cross-compiler, DS-5 Debugger, and the ARM Streamline performance analyzer.

The Eclipse-based development toolkit was announced for Android in November 2011 as a free, stripped-down version of ARM’s commercial DS-5 product. Embedded Linux development on ARM has preceded the Linux-based Android by many years, but the practice has accelerated greatly over the last year or two. “The use of Linux is growing rapidly in the embedded space,” notes ARM in its DS-5 CE for Linux announcement.

The new Linux version, which is developed by ARM’s Keil tools division, is built around Linaro GCC code. Backed by ARM and major ARM licensees, Linaro is a company that develops standardized ARM Cortex toolchain and other development components for Linux and Android developers.


The two major modules of the Eclipse-based IDE include the DS-5 Debugger and the ARM Streamline Performance Analyzer. The DS-5 Debugger offer GUI-based debugging of a target device via an Ethernet connection. Linux-specific functionality has been added, including a target file system explorer, says ARM. An automated workflow helps users download applications to the target, launch the apps, and then connect the debugger.

ARM Streamline provides Linux visibility into how applications interact with the Linux stack and underlying hardware. The performance analyzer is said to ease location of issues including code hotspots, system bottlenecks, inefficient threading, and the ineffective use of the cache memories and GPUs.

DS-5 CE runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS hosts. ARM provides online help and software examples, as well.

DS-5 CE is available now for free download. According to ARM, “New users can benefit from all the components in DS-5 CE by doing a standard DS-5 installation and registering an activation code here. Developers with an existing Eclipse IDE and Linux compiler can install the DS-5 Debugger and Streamline components of DS-5 CE as Eclipse plug-ins, here.”

More information may be found at the ARM DS-5 CE product page.

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