The Eclipse IDE is the project that started it all for the Eclipse Foundation. From the beginning, Eclipse IDE was meant to run on multiple platforms; it now supports Linux, Mac OS and Microsoft Windows. Since it is written in Java, it also supports multiple processor architectures. However, support for 32-bit architectures has been dropped in version 2018-12. This meant recent versions of the IDE would not run on the Raspberry Pi anymore.
The introduction of the Raspberry Pi 4 in June 2019 gave hope to Eclipse on Pi fans. With its 64-bit quad core ARM Cortex-A72, the Pi 4 was a good hardware platform to work with. It became even more attractive in May 2020, with the introduction of the 8Gb variant. The Eclipse community took notice of those developments. Version 2020-09 of Eclipse IDE now ships with experimental support for 64-bit ARM (aarch64) on Linux.
Those developments mean embedded and IoT developers can now work on the Raspberry Pi 4 by installing the plugins provided by the Eclipse IDE for Embedded C/C++ Developers project. Formerly known as GNU MCU, the plugins have been contributed to the Eclipse Foundation and are now an official Eclipse project. In addition, the plugins are now built on the CI infrastructure of the Eclipse Foundation and the relevant procedures have been fully documented.
The Eclipse IDE for Embedded C/C++ Developers plugins offer the following features:
- Creation, build and management of embedded ARM/AArch64/RISC-V applications, using the managed project features of Eclipse CDT
- Ready to run templates for some ARM Cortex-M processors
- Debugging support via JTAG/SWD
- Special view to examine and modify peripheral registers during debug sessions
In other words: it is now possible to code, build, debug and flash directly on a Raspberry Pi 4!