Installing MansOS

From DiLab
Revision as of 11:20, 10 February 2012 by Girts (talk | contribs) (Arduino/ATMega platform)
Jump to: navigation, search

When you install MansOS development environment you need to know two things:

  • What is the development host where you will compile your applications. All of the major desktop operating systems (Linux, Windows, MacOS) are supported as MansOS development hosts.
  • What is the target platform or platforms that you will be developing for. At least you should know what is the main micro controller. MansOS supports several popular target controller families: TI msp430, 8-bit Atmega controllers and Nordic Semiconductor nRF24LE1. One can also compile the application for the current PC host, for example, for simulation and debugging purposes.

Step 1: Prerequisites

In general, the following programs are needed:

  • Compiler and binutils
    • For example, msp430-gcc for TelosB and msp430 platforms or avr-gcc for Atmega platform
  • GNU make
  • Python

If you already have them, you can skip this section.

Linux (e.g. Ubuntu) and *BSD

As often, you have two options: installing (and compiling) the latest and greatest tools by hand, or have an automated installation of some fairly recent version.

Using manual installation


For MSP430 based platforms, MSP430 MCU GCC toolchain can be found here:

  • Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneric) has the packages in the main repository.
To install for Ubuntu 11.10 or higher:
sudo apt-get install gcc-msp430
You might also be interested in these debugger packages:
sudo apt-get install gdb-msp430 mspdebug

Unless you used apt-get install option, after installing msp430-gcc you'll need to set up you $PATH correctly. Add this line to your ~/.bashrc file (assuming msp430-gcc is installed in /opt):

export PATH="/opt/msp430-gcc/bin:$PATH"

Arduino and Atmega controllers

Arduino platform requires AVR-GCC toolchain. Although it is included in TinyOS, the version included is too old and does not support ATMega328P MCU, which is a part of Arduino Duemillanove. Therefore a manual procedure of AVR-GCC toolchain compilation must be performed to run MansOS application on Arduino Duemilanove or other ATMega328P-having platforms. Read AVR toolchain compilation instructions.

Nordic Semiconductor (nRF)

nRF platform for Nordic Semiconductors controllers with RF+MCU chips such as nrf24le1 may need SDCC compiler. Here are the SDCC installation instructions.

Using package management software

Install MSP430 tools: - MSP430 binutils - MSP430 GCC compiler - MSP430 libc - MSP430 tools metapackage

Alternatively, you could install the tool packages provided by TinyOS.


Developer tools must be installed to support compilation environment. It can be found either on MacOS X installation DVD, or on Apple web page.

TelosB/Epic/MSP430 platform

MSP430 toolchain is required. The easiest way is to install MCP430 GCC v4, which has a pretty straightforward installation script prepared. Download it from .

Alternatively there is a pre-built Contiki OS package for MacOS X, provided by the Contiki Team at SICS. It includes MSP430 toolchain (version 3.3, works for TelosB) as part of Contiki OS.

Also MSP430 toolchain is included in TinyOS.

Arduino/ATMega platform

Arduino platform requires AVR-GCC toolchain. Although it is included in TinyOS, the version included is too old and does not support ATMega328P MCU, which is a part of Arduino Duemillanove. Therefore there are two options. Please choose just one of them (not both at a time!):

  • a) Download a ready-to-use AVR-CrossPack, install it and set up path, by adding the following line to your ~/.profile file:
export PATH=/usr/local/CrossPack-AVR/bin:$PATH


MansOS on Windows is supported using Cygwin. (It may also work with MinGW.)

Download and install Cygwin. Here's a direct link to the setup program.

Make sure to select the following Cygwin packages, when prompted in the "Select packages" screen (it can be helpful to switch to the "Full" view first):

  • gcc
  • make
  • python
  • rpm
  • subversion (SVN)

If write access to SVN is needed (e.g. for MansOS developers), also select:

  • openssh

Installing msp430 tools

After getting the general software you'll need to install the msp430 specific tools. There are two options for this:

  1. Installing the tools manually
  2. Installing the tools from RPM packages provided by TinyOS

Manual installation

Follow the instructions in mspgcc homepage.

The simplest way is:

  1. Download a pre-built package (archive) for Windows
  2. Create a folder /opt/msp430-gcc (relative to Cygwin top directory, e.g. C:\cygwin\opt\msp430-gcc)
  3. Extract the downloaded archive in /opt/msp430-gcc

Installation using RPM packages

You may already have certain compilers and tools installed if you have TinyOS. Or you could install TinyOS rpm packages. The RPM packages are available here:

Install the RPM packages:

$ rpm -ivh --force --nodeps --ignoreos *.rpm

Installing TinyOS tools

At the moment TinyOS tools (i.e. motelist and tos-bsl) also are required for MansOS on Cygwin. The recommended way of getting them is to download a .rpm package from and install it using

$ rpm -ivh --force --nodeps --ignoreos tinyos-tools-1.4.0-3.cygwin.i386.rpm

Finishing installation

Set up you $PATH to point to msp430-gcc tools. Add this line to your ~/.bashrc file (assuming msp430-gcc is installed in /opt):

export PATH="/opt/msp430-gcc/bin:$PATH"

The .bashrc file can be found in your home directory, which is in a location like this: C:\cygwin\home\username\.bashrc.

Support for serial port interfacing with sensor nodes

To upload compiled programs to a mote you'll need to install proper USB to serial port drivers first. The drivers are included in Tmote Sky driver CD. If you don't have the CD, download the drivers from here. For more details consult the Tmote Sky Quick Start Guide, section USB Serial COM Driver Install (page 7). The guide is available at

Now install MansOS sources and check that motelist detects all motes attached to the Windows PC:

$ motelist
Reference   CommPort   Description
----------  ---------- ----------------------------------
M4AOQGBQ    COM8       tmote sky

Note: USB port driver is installed on first use of TMote Sky sensor node (or any other node, using FTDI USB to serial chip). If you get an error "error, could not open key HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\FTDIBUS", it means, that FTDI USB driver has not been loaded. To load it, plug in TMote Sky sensor node, and the driver will be loaded automatically.

Step 2: Getting MansOS sources

MansOS source code is available either using SVN version control or in a pre-packaged form.

Using version control system

MansOS sources are available for anonymous checkout from SVN:

 $ svn co mansos
 A    mansos/archive
 A    mansos/archive/test
 Checked out revision 732.


If you also want to receive SVN write access, contact MansOS developers.

Using package management software

Get and install the MansOS Debian package:

The package depends on either msp430-tools metapackage, tinyos-required-msp430 package, or tinyos-required-avr package.

Step 3: Testing your installation

$ ls mansos
apps  archive  CREDITS.txt  doc  mos  pc  README.txt  USE_AND_DISCLAIMER.txt


To test building for TelosB (Tmote Sky):

$ cd mansos/apps/demo/Blink
$ make telosb


If you have motes attached:

$ make telosb upload


To test serial port output:

$ cd mansos/apps/demo/CounterToSerial
$ make telosb upload

Now you can use a tool like minicom or putty (on Windows) to monitor the serial port. The settings: baudrate=38400, flow-control turned off. Mansos-serial.png

To test the PC simulator:

$ make pc
$ make pc run



For msp430-based sensor board debugging mspsim tool can be useful. MansOS has support for mspsim on telosb platform.

To use mspsim (from Linux):

  1. Download the source code from and extract it to /opt/mspsim
  2. Build a MansOS application for telosb mspsim target. For example, to build Blink:
$ cd mansos/apps/demo/Blink
$ make telosb mspsim

The expected result:

Blink on mspsim
Blink on mspsim