Commit bcfa458f authored by coon's avatar coon Committed by Rahix
Browse files

docs(BLE): Add NimBLE page

parent cac0bcf3
On the card10 the ARM Cordio-B50 stack is used, which is in a very early experimental state and has some incompatibilities with some smartphones.
Therefore some alternative stacks are evaluated, which meight be used as a replacement in the long term.
Here a stack called NimBLE is presented, which claims to be feature complete. Originally it has been developed for Mynewt, an open source embedded operating system by Apache (
There is a working port for the ESP32 espressif ESP-IDF framework.
Like Epicardium, ESP-IDF is based on FreeRTOS. Therefore it can be used for evaluation purposes.
Getting NimBLE run on the ESP32
Install required packages:
.. code-block:: shell-session
sudo apt install git virtualenv python2.7 cmake
.. code-block:: shell-session
sudo pacman -S git python2 python2-virtualenv cmake
Download and extract xtensa ESP32 compiler:
.. code-block:: shell-session
tar -xf xtensa-esp32-elf-gcc8_2_0-esp32-2018r1-linux-amd64.tar.xz
Clone esp-idf:
.. code-block:: shell-session
git clone
Add xtensa and ESP-IDF path to $PATH:
bash shell:
.. code-block:: shell-session
export IDF_PATH=$PWD/esp-idf
export PATH=${PATH}:$PWD/xtensa-esp32-elf/bin:$PWD/esp-idf/tools
fish shell:
.. code-block:: shell-session
set -gx IDF_PATH $PWD/esp-idf
set -gx PATH $PWD/xtensa-esp32-elf/bin/ $PWD/esp-idf/tools $PATH
Create a python2.7 virtualenv:
.. code-block:: shell-session
cd esp-idf
virtualenv -p /usr/bin/python2.7 venv
Enter the virtualenv:
bash shell:
.. code-block:: shell-session
. venv/bin/activate
fish shell:
.. code-block:: shell-session
. venv/bin/
Init git submodules and install all required Python packages:
.. code-block:: shell-session
git submodule update --init --recursive
pip install -r requirements.txt
Now you are ready to build!
The following steps assume that your ESP32 is connected via USB and
is accessible via /dev/ttyUSB0. This meight be different on your system.
There are a few NimbLE examples which can be used for playing around:
Build a BLE server example (host mode):
.. code-block:: shell-session
cd examples/bluetooth/nimble/bleprph -p /dev/ttyUSB0 flash monitor
This will build and flash the example to the ESP32 and instantly listens on /dev/ttyUSB0 serial port.
After the flashing process the ESP32 will anounce itself as **nimble-bleprph** device via BLE.
Build a BLE client example (central mode):
.. code-block:: shell-session
cd examples/bluetooth/nimble/blecent -p /dev/ttyUSB0 flash monitor
This will build and flash the example to the ESP32 and instantly listens on /dev/ttyUSB0 serial port.
After the flashing process the ESP32 creates a GATT client and performs passive scan, it then connects to peripheral device if the device advertises connectability and the device advertises support for the Alert Notification service (0x1811) as primary service UUID.
......@@ -69,6 +69,7 @@ Last but not least, if you want to start hacking the lower-level firmware, the
Indices and tables
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