Before you begin

You should have Arm Development Studio installed and your license configured. Refer to the Arm Development Studio install guide for more information.

Get started with the IDE

Launch the IDE from the applications menu for your operating system or using the command line.

To launch from the command line run:



If this is your first time opening the workspace, you will be presented with a pane to set some basic visual preferences. You can click Finish to accept the default setup.

The IDE opens a workspace, a base directory on your host machine is used to store all projects.

Optionally, you can use File > Switch Workspace to select a new location.

You can move individual panes around the GUI as you wish, opening other panes with the + button visible in the tab bar of panes.

You can select Window > Perspective > Reset Perspective from the menu to return to the default set up.

Import and build an example project

Development Studio provides a number of useful example projects to help you get started.

To import a project:

  1. Click File > Import... > Arm Development Studio > Examples & Programming Libraries and click Next.

  2. Expand Examples and expand the example types to see the available examples.

For example, expand Armv7 Bare-Metal and select startup_Cortex-M3_AC6 with a check mark and click Finish to import the project into your workspace.


Enter m3 (or similar) in the text box at top of pane to easily locate the example project.

The imported project is now in your workspace, and can be seen in the Project Explorer pane.

Expand the project view to see the various source files. Click on any source to view (and edit). A detailed readme is provided for each project highlighting key learnings of the selected project.

Most projects include a .scat file. This is a Scatter loading description file, which defines the target memory map to the linker.

  1. Build the project by clicking the hammer icon.

The build output is shown in the Console pane.

Build an example from the command line

You can also build projects from the command line, either via directly invoking the build tools, or by using make tools.

Windows users will find an Arm DS <version> Command Prompt in their installation. Linux users can use the supplied suite_exec script to set up the path to a compiler.

To ensure the appropriate compiler is selected, enter:


            armclang --version

To build the example project above unzip the project from the supplied archive:.


            unzip <install_dir>/examples/ "startup_Cortex-M3_AC6/*" .
cd startup_Cortex-M3_AC6

Once in the project directory run make to build the project:



Understanding the compiler options

If invoking the compiler directly, a minimal set of compiler options are needed, specifying whether or not you are compiling for

  • AArch32 (--target=arm-arm-none-eabi) or
  • AArch64 (--target=arm64-arm-none-eabi) targets.

You must also specify a specific Arm Architecture (-march) or processor (-mcpu).

Use the list option (-march=list or -mcpu=list) to see all valid arguments for these options. For example:


            armclang --target=arm-arm-none-eabi -mcpu=list

Full details of available command line options are given in the Arm Compiler for Embedded Reference Guide .