Eclipse Embedded CDT

A family of Eclipse CDT extensions and tools for GNU Arm & RISC-V development

How to install the Windows Build Tools?


If your development platform is Windows, you need to install two additional command line programs, make and rm, required by the Eclipse external builder.

Unfortunately, most current toolchains do not provide these two programs in their windows distribution.

On macOS and GNU/Linux these programs are part of the standard distributions, either directly or in separate Developer packages, so the following steps do not apply.

The xPack install

This method uses the portable tool xpm, the xPack Package Manager, and can be used on Windows, macOS and GNU/Linux.

$ xpm install --global @gnu-mcu-eclipse/windows-build-tools

This will always install the latest available version, in the central xPacks repository, which is a platform dependent folder:

  • Windows: %APPDATA%\xPacks (C:\Users\ilg\AppData\Roaming\xPacks)

Note: This location is configurable using the environment variable XPACKS_REPO_FOLDER; for more details please check the xpm folders page.

The actual binaries are extracted from the distribution archive in a folder named .content, located in the versioned xPack folder. On some platforms, dotted files are hidden by default, so the file explorer might require additional settings to make them visible.

Windows antivirus warning: aggressive antiviruses may prevent xpm to install binary xPacks; see FAQ

Manual install

Download the archive

The Windows versions of GNU MCU Eclipse Windows Build Tools are packed as ZIP files. Go to the  GitHub Releases page and download the latest version named like:


Select the -win64 file for Windows x64 machines and the -win32 file for Windows x32 machines.

Unpack the archive and copy it into the %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\GNU MCU Eclipse (for example C:\Users\ilg\AppData\Roaming\GNU MCU Eclipse) folder.

Note: although perfectly possible to install the build tools in any folder, it is highly recommended to use this path, since by default the plug-in searches for the executable in this location.

Note: For manual installs, the recommended install location is different from the xPack install folder.

Check version

Check if the tool is functional; go to the folder where you installed the tools and run make --version.

C:\Users\ilg\AppData\Roaming\GNU MCU Eclipse\Build Tools\2.10-20180103-1919\bin>make --version
GNU Make 4.1
Built for i686-w64-mingw32
Copyright (C) 1988-2014 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

User or system path

DO NOT update the user or system path!

As recommended when installing the toolchain, it is also recommended to keep this settings outside the user or system path. Microsoft did not provide these programs in their distribution, and it is better to keep it that way, when you need them just explicitly update the build path to use them.


The binaries are distributed as portable archives, that do not need to run a setup and do not require an uninstall.

The echo command

The package also contains an executable for the echo command. It is not mandatory for the build to succeed, but it is recommended to have it in the build path, to avoid an annoying CDT bug, that triggers an error during the first build of a new project, claiming that Program “gcc” not found in PATH.