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[FAQ] CCS: How do I use printf to debug my application running on SimpleLink device?

Tool/software: Code Composer Studio

How do I use printf to debug my application running on SimpleLink device? Is the process different when using the TI compiler vs the Linaro GNU compiler? 

  • Although printf is one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of debugging an application, it is not the best API to use to debug on embedded devices due to its impact on real-time performance and code footprint size. In SimpleLink SDKs the Display middle-ware driver is the recommended strategy for providing “printf” style debugging. For TI-RTOS applications, System_printf is another option.

    Please see the Debugging Output section of the SimpleLink MCU SDK User's Guide for more information. Also refer to the SimpleLink Academy that accompanies your version of SDK. The section on Debug Printing in SimpleLink Academy explores the different options available in the SDK.

    Although these documents focus on TI CCS compiler tools, the concepts also are applicable for other toolchains like GCC.

    Specifically for the MSP432 SimpleLink SDK, this forum thread shows the steps to get printf working with a no-RTOS gcc example project. Please note that this is intended as a guideline to demonstrate general concepts and these steps alone may not be sufficient for other SDK projects. As noted above, the preferred and recommended strategy is to use the Display module for debugging output.