Setting up Development Environment

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Revision as of 02:11, 22 May 2018 by WinterMute (talk | contribs)
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Install devkitARM. If it's already installed, update it using sudo (dkp-)pacman -Syu. On Windows, there's a graphical installer. On Unix-like platforms such as Linux/macOS, there's pacman..



  • download the latest version of the graphical installer from github and run it, following the instructions as you go.
  • An Internet connection is required.
  • Ensure at least "3DS Development" is ticked - you can also leave the other options ticked if you wish.
  • Once the installer has finished, launch MSYS from:
    • Windows 7 and earlier: Start -> All Programs -> devkitPro -> MSYS
    • Windows 8 and 8.1: Right click on the Start screen and select 'All Apps'. You should find MSYS there.
    • Windows 10 (pre-Anniversary Update): Start -> All Apps -> devkitPro -> MSYS
    • Windows 10 (post-Anniversary Update): Start -> devkitPro -> MSYS

Alternatively starting with Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Version 1607), the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) may also be used to run the Linux version of devkitARM. Unless you have some particular need for WSL it's recommended that you stick to a more standard environment.

Unix-like platforms

Currently devkitPro provides precompiled versions of devkitARM for the following Unix-like platforms: Linux (x86_64), macOS (x86_64). Note that Linux x86_64 binaries are usable under WSL.

Building the examples

3DS examples are still being created; however, there are a growing number of examples available from the devkitPro/3ds-examples GitHub repository. These are downloaded by the installer and can be found in $DEVKITPRO/examples/3ds

These can be built from the command line.

To start a new homebrew project from the bash shell, simply type the following (replacing ~/projects/my3dsproject with the place you would like your project to be stored, with ~ meaning your HOME directory):

cp -r $DEVKITPRO/examples/3ds/templates/application ~/projects/my3dsproject
cd ~/projects/my3dsproject

The standard Makefile will use the folder as the name of the 3dsx that will be built. You can keep that behaviour or simply change the TARGET := $(notdir $(CURDIR)) line in the Makefile to explicitly name your project.

To compile it, type make in the project directory.

Running your code

To run it on your 3DS, start the Homebrew Launcher, press Y to open the network loader, then on your PC type: $DEVKITARM/bin/3dslink my3dsproject.3dsx, replacing my3dsproject with the name of the 3dsx file you want to run.)

If all goes well, you'll soon see your application running on your 3DS.

Building the examples on Linux with Netbeans

  • Go to File->New Project...
  • Select C/C++ Project with existing code
  • Navigate to the examples directory and select the folder for the project you want to build; eg. /home/vtsingaras/3ds/examples/app_launch
  • Leave Configuration Mode to 'Automatic' and click 'Finish'.
  • It will fail to build. Now edit Makefile and insert these two lines, adjusting for your devkitpro path, at the top:
export DEVKITPRO=/opt/devkitpro
export DEVKITARM=/opt/devkitpro/devkitARM
  • Right-click the project and go to Properties->Code Assistance and click C Compiler.
  • In include directories enter

adjusting again for your devkitPro path.

  • Do the same for 'C++ Compiler'.
  • Go to 'Run' and click 'Clean and Build Project'.
  • Now right-click on the project and select Code Assistance->Reparse Project.

Now you can use Netbeans' code completion feature and build your project from the Run menu.


I get the "Please set DEVKITARM in your environment." error.

Use the following command before installing [1]:

sudo chown $USER /opt/devkitpro/ -R
echo "export DEVKITPRO=\"/opt/devkitpro/\"" >> ~/.profile
echo "export DEVKITARM=\"\${DEVKITPRO}/devkitARM/\"" >> ~/.profile
source ~/.profile

For WSL users, you need to close the Bash shell, then reopen it for WSL to reload all of the variables from a clean state.