chipKIT® Development Platform

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Add -std=gnu11 to c compiler flags in platform.txt

Created Thu, 01 Sep 2016 13:01:05 +0000 by benderamp


Thu, 01 Sep 2016 13:01:05 +0000

Hello, I was trying to use plain c library in my sketch (for parsing json ) and got compilation errors. I am using Arduino IDE with ChipKIT platform plugin. After some investigations I found it can be simply reproduced with new sketch without installing lib:

  1. In Arduino IDE (with ChipKIT plugin) create new sketch
  2. Click "New tab" on the right (ctrl+shift+N)
  3. Type test.c for new file name
  4. Add code to test.c tab:
int test() {
  int sum = 0;
  for(int i=0; i<10;i++) {
  return sum;
  1. Select ChipKIT Uno32 board as target
  2. (optional, but handy) Enable detailed output for compilation in preferences
  3. Press compile, you will receive compilation error:
"/home/benderamp/.arduino15/packages/chipKIT/tools/pic32-tools/4.8.3-pic32gcc/bin/pic32-gcc"  -c -g -O2 -w  -DARDUINO_ARCH_PIC32 -mno-smart-io -ffunction-sections -fdata-sections  -mdebugger -Wcast-align -fno-short-double -ftoplevel-reorder -MMD -mprocessor=32MX320F128H -DF_CPU=80000000L  -DARDUINO=10609 -D_BOARD_UNO_ -DMPIDEVER=16777998 -DMPIDE=150 -DIDE=Arduino -G1024  -I/tmp/build0f05a4d52fdf5a63940aca6493fe104b.tmp/sketch "-I/home/benderamp/.arduino15/packages/chipKIT/hardware/pic32/1.2.1/cores/pic32" "-I/home/benderamp/.arduino15/packages/chipKIT/hardware/pic32/1.2.1/variants/Uno32" "/tmp/build0f05a4d52fdf5a63940aca6493fe104b.tmp/sketch/test.c" -o "/tmp/build0f05a4d52fdf5a63940aca6493fe104b.tmp/sketch/test.c.o"
/tmp/build0f05a4d52fdf5a63940aca6493fe104b.tmp/sketch/test.c: In function 'test':
test.c:3: error: 'for' loop initial declarations are only allowed in C99 mode
   for(int i=0; i<10;i++) {
/tmp/build0f05a4d52fdf5a63940aca6493fe104b.tmp/sketch/test.c:3:3: note: use option -std=c99 or -std=gnu99 to compile your code
exit status 255
'for' loop initial declarations are only allowed in C99 mode

Which means that declaring "int i=0" variable inside for loop (which is quite common for many years) was not implemented in C language until c99 standard.

Same sketch would compile fine, if you change target board from ChipKIT to a kind of Arduino (Arduino Uno for example)

"/home/benderamp/.arduino15/packages/arduino/tools/avr-gcc/4.9.2-atmel3.5.3-arduino2/bin/avr-gcc" -c -g -Os -w -std=gnu11 -ffunction-sections -fdata-sections -MMD -flto -fno-fat-lto-objects -mmcu=atmega328p -DF_CPU=16000000L -DARDUINO=10609 -DARDUINO_AVR_UNO -DARDUINO_ARCH_AVR   -I/tmp/build0f05a4d52fdf5a63940aca6493fe104b.tmp/sketch "-I/home/benderamp/.arduino15/packages/arduino/hardware/avr/1.6.12/cores/arduino" "-I/home/benderamp/.arduino15/packages/arduino/hardware/avr/1.6.12/variants/standard" "/tmp/build0f05a4d52fdf5a63940aca6493fe104b.tmp/sketch/test.c" -o "/tmp/build0f05a4d52fdf5a63940aca6493fe104b.tmp/sketch/test.c.o"

As you can see, Arduino compilation command line uses -std=gnu11 option for gcc

To edit default compiler options, go to ~/.arduino15/packages/chipKIT/hardware/pic32/1.2.1 and open platform.txt file in text editor.

edit compiler.c.flags= line, add -std=gnu11 to the end:

compiler.c.flags=-c -g -O2 {compiler.warning_flags}  -DARDUINO_ARCH_{build.arch} -mno-smart-io -ffunction-sections -fdata-sections  -mdebugger -Wcast-align -fno-short-double -ftoplevel-reorder -MMD -std=gnu11

Recompile sketch, it should be ok this time.

The minor issue after this change would be new warning during compilation of cpp files:

cc1plus: warning: command line option '-std=gnu11' is valid for C/ObjC but not for C++ [enabled by default]

It appears because C++ compiler flags in platform.txt is defined via C compiler flags (so this C-specific flag is passed to C++ files as well; for C++ correct flag would be -std=gnu++11):

compiler.cpp.flags={compiler.c.flags} -fno-exceptions

In Arduino's platform.txt C++ compiler flags are not taken from C compiler flags, so it does not have this warning.

To fix, just copy/paste compiler.c.flag options to compiler.cpp.flag except the new -std=gnu11 one (or replace it with -std=gnu++11 if that makes any sense, Arduino has it)

compiler.cpp.flags=-c -g -O2 {compiler.warning_flags}  -DARDUINO_ARCH_{build.arch} -mno-smart-io -ffunction-sections -fdata-sections  -mdebugger -Wcast-align -fno-short-double -ftoplevel-reorder -MMD -std=gnu++11

Also, as additional note, if I set C compiler flag to -std=c99 or -std=gnu99 (as compiler message suggests) instead of -std=gnu11, test.c file would compile in this case, but I would receive a number of errors from some system source files, so -std=gnu11 is the only option which works for me.

I think it would be nice, if this option was added to ChipKIT platform plugin by default.


Thu, 01 Sep 2016 16:01:50 +0000

This would be better raised as an issue on Github


Thu, 01 Sep 2016 18:03:46 +0000

posted here