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MPLAB X Development Environment

Table of Contents


This page describes how to setup MPLAB X as a development environment. MPLAB X can have some quirks which can trip up first time users.


Harmony is Microchip's hardware abstraction & middleware libraries. With the exception of the USB code, we use only the lower level hardware abstraction libraries (typically PLIB_*). Harmony is still fairly new and after examining some of the code, I (Simon) have concerns about code quality.

MPLAB X comes with a Harmony Configurator Plugin (MHC) which auto-generates the boiler plate code from a Harmony configuration.

When used with Harmony, the design of the MPLAB X build / configuration system makes it difficult to move a project's directory to a new location on the filesystem. In fact, by default, a project's configurations.xml file uses relative paths to Harmony!

This project is set up to assume Harmony 1.06 is installed in /opt/microchip/harmony/v1_06 . If this is not the case on your system you have two options:

  • Add a symlink from /opt/microchip/harmony/v1_06 pointing to the installation path on your system.
  • Edit all the project configurations files to fix the path. I don't recommend this option as it will result in large diffs when you try to merge your changes later.


First of all, read the MPLAB X Getting Started Guide. From within MPLAB X, choose File -> Open Project, and then select the firmware/ja-rule.X file. Once the project has loaded, you can perform a build (Run -> Build Project) and program your device.