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Toolchain installation

The getting started guide shows how to install and use all required toolchains to develop for the Icarus. The toolchains will allow the user to modify source code, build new Icarus firmware and flash it to the board. This guide has specifically been written for Windows, but can (similarly) be followed on other operating systems.

Installing main toolchains

The easiest way to develop for all Nordic Semiconductor devices is through the nRF Connect for Desktop program. From here, necessary toolchains can be installed that will be helpful in developing for the Icarus. This guide will allow you to install these tools:

  • nRF Connect for Desktop
  • Toolchain Manager
  • nRF Connect SDK

Installation steps

  1. Download and install the latest version of the nRF Connect for Desktop tool
  2. Open the nRF Connect for desktop program.
  3. Install the Toolchain Manager.
  4. Open the Toolchain Manager and go to Settings.
  5. Turn off the "Show only 3 newest minor versions" setting to reveal older versions of the nRF Connect SDK.
  6. Go back to the SDK environments and install your preferred nRF Connect SDK version.

Depending on your Icarus board version, you should install a certain version of the SDK. For Icarus v2.0 and up, we recommend using the latest SDK version. For earlier versions of the Icarus we recommend using nRF Connect SDK v1.5.1. and lower. This has to do with the hardware version of the nRF9160 modem, the modem firmware, and compatibility with the SDK. Check the nRF9160 - SDK compatibility matrix for more information.

The nRF Connect SDK installation will include a base set of development tools, the Zephyr RTOS, and all necessary libraries to develop for the Icarus. This includes nrfxlib, which is a set of RTOS-independent libraries and modules for Nordic SoC development. The nRF SDK can be used with an IDE to develop for the Icarus.

Installing nRF Connect SDK for Visual Studio Code

The nRF Connect SDK provides source code and tools that can be used to write, build and flash code to the Icarus. It is available through Visual Studio code (VS code) and SEGGER embedded Studio. We recommend using the VS Code extension pack as we found it is modern and easy to use (If you would like to use SEGGER Embedded Studio, refer to this guide). It is also possible to develop using your own editor of choice and the West meta-tool. These steps will show you how to install the nRF Connect SDK extensions for VS code:

  1. Download and install Visual Studio Code.
  2. Open the toolchain manager in the nRF Connect for desktop program and navigate to your SDK version.
  3. Click on Open VS Code. This will prompt you to install the VS code extensions for the nRF SDK; accept and continue.
  4. Download and install the nRF command-line tools.
  5. Now you can open VS code. Check if the nRF connect extension pack was installed correctly by clicking on extensions on the left sidebar and searching for "Nordic".
  6. If installed correctly, an additional icon for the nRF connect SDK will be available on the left sidebar. Click on the icon.
  7. Click on Open welcome page --> Quick Setup.
  8. Select which nRF Connect SDK version and toolchain you are using.

The development environment for working with the Icarus is now setup. More information on the nRF connect extension for VS Code can be found here.

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