Compiler Installation and Selection

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Code Composer Studio (CCS) comes bundled with a version of the TI Code Generation Tools (CGT) for each supported Instruction Set Architecture (ISA). The CCS IDE default configuration is to use the CGT installation that it comes with when building a project. However there are many instances when the developer would need to use a different installation of the CGT to pick up the latest fixes and enhancements provided in later versions, or because they wish to use an older "tried and true" version to avoid potential migration pains of using a new CGT or simply because the project they are working on was created with an older version of the compiler - where the error No build-tools are currently installed for this device-family is shown. In these cases, the developer can configure CCS to use a different installation of the CGT that exists on their machine.
NOTE: While the compiler is part of the overall "Code Generation Tools" package, many people tend to refer to the whole package simply as the "Compiler". Hence, you will see the term "Code Generation Tools" and "Compiler" often used interchangeably in a lot of wiki documentation. Starting with CCSv5, most CCS documentation will use the term "Compiler".
NOTE: To install a different version of the Compiler, please refer to the pages Updating CCSv4, Updating CCSv5, Updating CCSv6 and Updating CCSv7.


  1. Download the code generation tools.
    • Download the tools from here. Note that ARM code generation tools are not available on this page (make a request on the TI E2E forums).
  2. Install the updated tools.
  3. Open the Component Manager:
    • If CCS is not open, the best/easiest way is to go to Start -> Program Files -> Texas Instruments -> Code Composer Studio 3.3 -> Component Manager.
    • If CCS is already open, it's easiest to go to Help -> About and then click the Component Manager button.
  4. Under Build Tools expand the ISA corresponding to the processor you are using.
  5. The newly installed code generation tools should now show up and can be selected.
  6. File -> Save.
  7. File -> Exit.
  8. Restart CCS if CCS was open.
  9. Double-check your project options to be sure there are no hard-coded paths to a previous codegen version. Note that it is not necessary to explicitly add the compiler's include directory to your project as CCS will handle that for you based on your selected code generation tools in the Component Manager. The same applies for the compiler's lib directory, i.e. the path will be automatically added for you. So by not adding these paths to your project CCS will always pick up the header files and libraries from the currently selected code generation tools.


CCSv4 determines the list of CGT installations available to it by searching the CGT 'Discovery Paths' for supported CGT installations. The paths to the CGT installations that come with CCS are part of the discovery paths by default. Standalone CGT drops are available here.

To add to the list of available CGT installations to CCS, simply add the root location of the custom CGT installation to the list of discovery paths:

  • Select 'Windows->Preferences...'
  • Expand the 'CCS' node in the left pane
  • Select the 'Code Generation Tools' node underneath.

This will provide a list of all the CGT discovery paths used by CCS for each ISA under the 'Discovered Tools' section:

Fig. 1: CGT Discovery Paths Dialog

Note the 'Extended tool discovery path' section. It is here where additional custom discovery paths can be added so CCS can discover additional CGT installations to use.

  • Click the 'Add...' button to browse to the location of the custom CGT installation you wish to add to the list of 'Discovered Tools'.

The location can be the either the root folder of the installation or one parent higher. The root folder of a CGT installation would have a 'readme.1st' file and subfolders of 'bin', 'include', and 'lib'.

Fig. 2: Adding a New CGT Discovery Path

Once the new path has been added, CCS will then rescan all the discovery paths (including the newly added path) and refresh the 'Discovery Path' dialog. If a newly added path contains a supported CGT installation, it will appear in the list of 'Discovered Tools' under the applicable ISA:

Fig. 3: New CGT Installation Discovered

In the screenshot above, the newly added discovery path appears in the 'Extended tool discovery path' list and under 'Discovered Tools', a "new" C6000 CGT installation is discovered (v6.0.8). The newly discovered installation is now available for use.

  • Right-click on the desired project and select 'Build Properties...'
  • Click on 'CCS Build' in the left pane.
  • Choose the desired compiler version for this project and configuration (e.g. Debug/Release) using the "Code Generation Tools" selection box.
  • Click the 'Apply' button.
  • Click 'OK' to select 'Apply changes to existing build configuration'
  • Do the same for the Release configuration or any other build configurations for which you want to use this compiler version (typically all of them).

Notice how the version for the custom CGT installation (v6.0.8 for this example) will now appear in the drop down menu for 'Code Generation tools version' when previously there was only one option in the menu:

Fig. 4: Specifying the Custom CGT Version

In the example above, the 6.0.8 version of the C6000 CGT has been specified to be used when building the 'Debug' configuration for the specified project.

Also note the 'More...' button next to 'Code Generation tools version' drop down menu. This button will bring up another dialog box which to allows you to add a CGT discovery path with the 'Select tool from file-system' option. Selecting a CGT discovery path from this option has the same effect as selecting from the CGT 'Discovery Paths' dialog previously shown (and will appear in the 'Extended tool discovery path' list if the CGT 'Discovery Paths' dialog is opened).

Supported CGT Versions

The following list shows the minimum version of the CGT that is supported by CCSv4 and greater:

  • MSP430: 2.0.x
  • ARM  : 2.54
  • C2000 : 5.2.x
  • C5400 : 4.1.x
  • C5500 : 4.0.x
  • C6000 : 5.3.x

NOTE: If your compiler version is LATER than any of the versions shown above, then CCS WILL support it.

If the CGT version is not supported, CCS may still discover the CGT installation and add it to the list of discovered tools. However there will be a warning or error associated with the entry. A warning is often given if there is at least a major version number match but its minor version is not supported (ex. C6000 v5.1.2). For a warning, the CGT installation may work but the information in the build settings dialog describing the options may appear incorrect. If there is no major version match then an error is specified and attempting to use that CGT version with CCSv4 will likely cause problems.


CCSv5 and greater has a new mechanism that is recommended for updating and installing compiler versions. This is covered in the Compiler Updates wiki page.

However, it is still possible to download and install standalone versions outside CCS as mentioned in earlier versions. The steps for CCSv5 are similar to what is described above for CCSv4, with the exception of a slight change in the location of the discovery list:

  • Select 'Windows->Preferences...'
  • Expand the 'Code Composer Studio' node in the left pane
  • Expand the 'Build' node in the left pane
  • Select the 'Compilers' node underneath.
Fig. 5: Adding a New CGT Discovery Path for CCSv5.1


The steps for CCSv6 are identical to what is described above for CCSv5.

MSP GCC 5.x not seen by CCS

MSP GCC compilers have an installation issue with CCS v6.1.2 and earlier where it will not properly register the 5.x msp gcc release. The 4.9 release will properly register and show as an available compiler version.

In order to fix this issue, save below xml file, MSP430_GNU_5.0.xml, to this location: <ccs>\ccsv6\eclipse\plugins\com.ti.ccstudio.buildDefinitions.GNU_6.1.1.201512151800\resources\buildDefinitions\msp430\

       File:MSP430 GNU

Restart CCS.

From your CCS project, update the compiler on the General tab to point to the new 5.x msp gcc release. Click ok. You should now see both msp gcc compiler versions as available choices.

The issue will be fixed in CCS 6.1.3 and CCS 6.2


The steps for CCSv7 are identical to what is described above for CCSv6.