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Using Serial Terminal and COM Support in Eclipse Oxygen and Neon

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Using Serial Terminal and COM Support in Eclipse Oxygen and Neon

Wish you had a terminal connection to your board within Eclipse without the need for an extra terminal program? Here's how to do it with Eclipse Oxygen and Neon.

· IoT Zone ·
Free Resource

Most of the time, I use a dedicated terminal program like Termite or PuTTY to connect to a board using a virtual or non-virtual COM port. Another way is to use the Eclipse built-in Terminal view: That way, no extra program is needed to communicate with a real or virtual COM port with my target device:

Terminal Command Output

Terminal Command Output

Traditionally, adding Serial Terminal support to Eclipse seems to be an endless source of pain (see the links at the end of this article). That's mostly because of the underlying Java connection to the serial ports. The good news is that with Eclipse Oxygen, things can work out-of-the-box. For other Eclipse versions, some extra plugins might be necessary.

Installation

With Eclipse Oxygen (4.7.0, I’m using the 64-bit version), no extra plugins need to be installed!

Eclipse Oxygen Version

Eclipse Oxygen Version

Other Eclipse distributions need extra plugins installed if they do not have the Terminal view included, e.g. the NXP MCUXpresso IDE 10.0.2 (MCUXpresso IDE v10.0.2 [Build 411] [2017-07-11]), which is Eclipse Neon (4.6)-based.

For Eclipse Neon, use the menu Help > Install New Software and enter...

http://download.eclipse.org/releases/neon


...as the update site.

If you get an error like this...

Unable to read repository at http://download.eclipse.org/releases/neon.
Unable to read repository at http://download.eclipse.org/releases/neon.
Unable to read repository at http://download.eclipse.org/releases/neon/201703141400.
Input is not in the XZ format


Unable to read repository

Unable to read repository

...then the following fix worked for me:

  1. Close Eclipse
  2. Delete the following folder: <eclipse installation folder>\p2\org.eclipse.equinox.p2.core\cache
  3. Delete the following folder: <eclipse installation folder>\p2\org.eclipse.equinox.p2.repository\cache
  4. Start Eclipse

Then install the ‘TM Terminal’ plugin:

TM Terminal Plugin Installation

TM Terminal Plugin installation

To have the COM ports showing up, I also have to install the RxTx plugins from:

http://rxtx.qbang.org/eclipse/


rxtx runtime

rxtx runtime

Restart Eclipse, and this completes the installation.

Usage

Use the menu Window > Show View > Terminal to open a Terminal view:

Show View Terminal

Show View Terminal

In the Terminal view, use the ‘Open a Terminal’ button:

Open a terminal

Open a terminal

In the dialog, select ‘Serial Terminal’ and configure the serial port with baud rate.

Launch Terminal

Launch Terminal

Press OK, and it opens a connection.

I recommend using the ‘Toggle Command Input’ button, which adds an edit box to enter text:

Toggle Command Input

Toggle Command Input

The field has a ‘history’ function: using cursor-up or down, I can go through the previous commands:

Terminal Command Output

Terminal Command Output

Use the close connection button to close a connection.

Summary

With Eclipse Oxygen, a serial terminal connection using a COM port works out of the box. For earlier Eclipse versions, I have to install extra plugins plus the RxTx plugin. With this, I’m able to use a terminal connection to my boards within Eclipse without the need for an extra terminal program.

Happy COMmunicating!

Links

Topics:
iot ,terminal ,eclipse oxygen ,eclipse neon ,tutorial

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