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Eclipse TCF (Target Communication Framework)

TCF is a lightweight, extensible network protocol for driving embedded systems (targets).

On top of the protocol, TCF provides a complete modern debugger for C/C++ and Ada, as well as the "Target Explorer" for system management. TCF works out of the box for Intel, PPC, ARM and RISC-V Linux targets. It supports Proxying and Tunneling for IoT devices, and is particularly strong for multi-process debugging even with slow communication links.

TCF Target Explorer on Raspberry Pi

The TCF Framework makes it very easy to build your own tools using the components provided:

  • The lightweight agent under EDL / BSD license is written in C, and very easy to port or embed in custom OS's or "bare metal"" hardware debuggers and simulators.
  • DWARF reader and Symbol Services are written in C and can be used independent of the debugger.
  • TCF Language Bindings for C, Java, Python and Lua allow driving your tools from scripts.

See the TCF Wiki for details.


Jun 27, 2018: TCF 1.6 is released with Eclipse Photon

Jun 28, 2017: TCF 1.5 is released with Eclipse Oxygen

Jun 22, 2016: TCF 1.4 is released with Eclipse Neon

Jun 24, 2015: TCF 1.3 is released with Eclipse Mars

TCF Debug supports RISC-V

March 27, 2020 - RISC-V debugging support has been added to TCF.

TCF Terminals

April 25, 2014 - TCF Terminals has been restructured and is now on the Marketplace.

TCF Debug supports ARM

March 25, 2013 - Initial ARM debugging support has been added to TCF. Look at the Raspberry Pi HOWTO.

TCF Testimonials

By replacing a gdb based debugger with TCF, Xilinx has increased the performance of basic debugger commands up to 50 times, while providing a much more stable product.
The modular and asynchronous approach of TCF is so compelling that we are moving over our JTAG tools to use the same framework.

— Tomas Evensen, Chief Scientist Embedded Software, Xilinx

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