If the script didn’t work, see below for more information on the dependencies.

To compile the VI firmware, you need:

If instead of the chipKIT, you are compiling for the Blueboard (based on the NXP LPC1768/69), instead of MPIDE you will need:

  • GCC for ARM toolchain
  • OpenOCD
  • JTAG programmer compatible with openocd - we’ve tested the Olimex ARM-OCD-USB programmer.

The easiest way to install these dependencies is to use the script/ script in the vi-firmware repository. Run the script in Linux, 32-bit Cygwin in Windows or OS X and if there are no errors you should be ready to go:

$ script/

If there are errors, continue reading in this section to install whatever piece failed manually.

Source Code

Clone the repository from GitHub:

$ git clone

Some of the library dependencies are included in this repository as git submodules, so before you go further run:

$ git submodule update --init

If this doesn’t print out anything or gives you an error, make sure you cloned this repository from GitHub with git and that you didn’t download a zip file. The zip file is missing all of the git metadata, so submodules will not work.

PIC32 Dependencies

If you are planning to build for the PIC32 platforms (e.g. the chipKIT Max32 or C5), you need these dependencies.


Building the source for the VI for the chipKIT microcontroller requires MPIDE (the development environment and compiler toolchain for chipKIT provided by Digilent). Installing MPIDE can be a bit quirky on some platforms, so if you’re having trouble take a look at the installation guide for MPIDE.

Although we just installed MPIDE, building via the GUI is not supported. We use GNU Make to compile and upload code to the device. You still need to download and install MPIDE, as it contains the PIC32 compiler.

You need to set an environment variable (e.g. in $HOME/.bashrc) to let the project know where you installed MPIDE (make sure to change these defaults if your system is different!):

# Path to the extracted MPIDE folder (this is correct for OS X)
export MPIDE_DIR=/Applications/

Remember that if you use export, the environment variables are only set in the terminal that you run the commands. If you want them active in all terminals (and you probably do), you need to add these export ... lines to the file ~/.bashrc (in Linux) or ~/.bash_profile (in OS X) and start a new terminal.

Digilent / Microchip Libraries

It also requires some libraries from Microchip that we are unfortunately unable to include or link to as a submodule from the source because of licensing issues:

  • Microchip USB device library (download DSD-0000318 from the bottom of the Network Shield page)
  • Microchip CAN library (included in the same DSD-0000318 package as the USB device library)

You can read and accept Microchip’s license and download both libraries on the Digilent download page.

Once you’ve downloaded the .zip file, extract it into the libs directory in this project. It should look like this:

- /Users/me/projects/vi-firmware/
---- libs/
-------- chipKITUSBDevice/
        ... other libraries

FTDI Driver

If you’re using Mac OS X or Windows, make sure to install the FTDI driver that comes with the MPIDE download. The chipKIT uses a different FTDI chip than the Arduino, so even if you’ve used the Arduino before, you still need to install this driver.

LPC176x Dependencies

If you are planning to build for the LPC176x platforms (e.g. the Ford Reference VI), you need these dependencies.

GCC for ARM Toolchain

Download the binary version of the toolchain for your platform (Linux, OS X or Windows) from this Launchpad site.

Arch Linux

In Arch Linux you can install the arm-none-eabi-gcc from the [community] repository.


If you plan to flash an LPC17xx based board with JTAG and not use the USB bootloader included with the Ford Reference VI, you need OpenOCD.

Arch Linux

$ pacman -S openocd


Install Homebrew. Then:

$ brew install libftdi libusb
$ brew install --enable-ft2232_libftdi openocd

Remove the Olimex sections from the FTDI kernel module, and then reload it:

$ sudo sed -i "" -e "/Olimex OpenOCD JTAG A/{N;N;N;N;N;N;N;N;N;N;N;N;N;N;N;N;d;}" /System/Library/Extensions/FTDIUSBSerialDriver.kext/Contents/Info.plist
$ sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/FTDIUSBSerialDriver.kext/
$ sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/FTDIUSBSerialDriver.kext/