The ESP8266 has only supported the vMicro Software debugger, as it lacks support for JTAG.
Since the release of the 2.5.0 toolchain from Espressif, a GDB Stub has been added, allowing you to debug in a similar way to the Hardware debugging, without the hardware....
This can now be used out of the box in vMicro in a few simple steps, with no additional hardware
This is also available on Instructables and YouTube for the Uno - read the below page for differences.
Simply connect your ESP8266 to your PC via the USB>TTL adapter as normal
Ensure you have Visual Studio and the vMicro Extension Installed
Open your Sketch, and select the options from vMicro > Debugging as shown below:
NOTE - as the debugger uses the Serial interface of the ESP, you will have to remove all calls to Serial from your code. This can be done using a define as seen in the screenshot below.
You will need to add a couple of additions to your sketch (also in output window on debugger select):
- Ensure you have the Debug Configuration selected from the Configuration Manager Window
- Include the GDBStub.h file at the top of your sketch
- Add the gdbstub_init() call to your setup()
- If you know where you want the first breakpoint in your code, add it now
- To start the debugging process, you can either:
- "Debug > Attach to Process" button if your code has already been uploaded to the STM32 board
- "Debug > Start Debugging" if your code has not been uploaded
If you want to jump into code at the start of setup(), add delay(3000); as the first line of code after gdbstub_init(); to allow the debugger to connect before your code begins executing.
Congratulations - you should have the debugger running, and further windows can be opened from the "Debug > Windows" menu once you have started debugging