Electronic – Toolchains for STM32CubeMX IDE: what to choose from


I just installed the STM32CubeMX (original ST Microelectronics's ARM IDE if I understand right). Once installed I tried to open a new project for a DISCOVERY kit I have (STM32F0DISCOVERY).

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Howether after I proceed to Open project I faced with a demand to install a toolchain:

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As I revealed EWARM is a full functional IDE by IAR so I was surprised that STM's IDE requires IAR's IDE for its work (besides IAR's EWARM isn't a freeware – it is a very expensive software as I know).

In the project settings window are three choices:

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  • IAR's EWARM,

  • Keil's MDK-ARM and

  • Atollic's TrueSTUDIO.

All are very pricey 🙁

So the questions are:

  1. Is it correct that STM's STM32CubeMX will not gives me any functionality for free?

  2. As I understand from the message, the project can be associated with another tool chain so can I take a look at GCC or any more reasonably priced (of course I'd rather prefer free software) toolchain?

  3. If yes: how can I use GCC with Cube?

Best Answer

For an IDE which offers some features like the Cube, I can suggest Coocox maybe worth a try. It's free, based on Eclipse and supports some of the STM boards out of the box.

From my understanding the CubeMX is just a code generator which will write you code (inside that folder you give it) where all the peripheral initialization is taking place. All other development has to take place in a normal IDE.


It was recently announced that Atollic Truestudio is now offered for free for STM32 users.

I guess that will give access to a higher end IDE and toolchain to a broader audience. I haven't used it, so I can't comment on it's features but built in hard fault analysis in the debugger could come in handy for example.

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