nRF Connect SDK Tutorial series - Part 0 | NCS v1.5.0

This tutorial uses an outdated version of nRF Connect SDK. We recommend using the latest version of nRF Connect SDK when getting started with development. Please see for the latest content.

Check out older versions of this tutorial:

This tutorial series will cover the basics of building an application using the nRF Connect SDK (NCS) with the boards listed down below. It consists of three parts; the first part will quickly get you up and running, while part 2 and 3 will go more into details about the most important aspects of NCS development.

The tutorial supports these boards:

 → nRF9160 DK

 → nRF5340 DK


The tutorials are written in a generic way and will not go too much into specific details about the listed boards (except for in part 1→Board Specific). The tutorials might emphasize more on the nRF9160, which is used to concretize the generic explanations in order to make it easier to understand. In some places, it is not possible to use generic instructions that apply to all the boards and concrete instructions for a specific board is included. To prevent confusion, concrete instructions are formatted in the following manner:

Text formatted in this manner contains instructions for a particular board(s), where the generic instructions are not suficcient. The information given in these boxes should not be ignored. 

You should also be aware of the bullet points throughout the tutorial series:

  • Text that is put in a bullet point like this is used for instructions (or table of contents). You have to do what this text tells you to.

All the parts of this tutorial series are tested with the board listed above, and you have to pick one board from the list. In order to follow the tutorials, you should find your board in the table below and set <board> accordingly. When you’ve chosen the board, pick one of the options for <board_variant> belonging to the same row. E.g. if you choose nrf9160dk_nrf9160 as the board, you have to set <board_variant> to either nrf9160dk_nrf9160 or nrf9160dk_nrf9160ns. Whenever <board> or <board_variant> appears in this tutorial, you should use your selected options instead. You may get confused when other boards are mentioned in this tutorial series, but this is only for educational purposes, and you should always stick with your initial choice.

Board <board> <board_variant>
nRF5340 DK nrf5340dk_nrf5340 nrf5340dk_nrf5340_cpuapp, nrf5340dk_nrf5340_cpuappns
nRF9160 DK nrf9160dk_nrf9160 nrf9160dk_nrf9160, nrf9160dk_nrf9160ns

There exist several options for installing the nRF Connect SDK, and the table below presents the different options and their support on respectively Windows, macOS, and Linux. This tutorial will focus on Windows and the Toolchain Manager option.

Support for the nRF Connect SDK installation methods on different OSs
Toolchain Manager Getting Started Assistant app Manually
Windows Supported  Deprecated (for NCS v1.2.0 and later) Supported
macOS experimental Supported Supported
Linux Not supported Supported Supported

Installing the nRF Connect SDK through the Toolchain Manager is by far the easiest approach, as it just requires a button click. The drawback of this method, compared to the other alternatives, is that checking out and using other tags/commits (take a look at section 1.3 Master vs. Tag) may lead to failure due to toolchain compatibility issues. If you would like to be able to switch between tags/master/commits flawlessly, it is recommended to install NCS manually. Check out Installing the nRF Connect SDK manually for instructions on how to do this. 

  • Before starting on this tutorial series you should install NCS by going through Installing the Toolchain manager and Installing the nRF Connect SDK. Install nRF Connect SDK version 1.5.0, since that is the version this tutorial is based on.
  • Lastly, before starting the development, make sure you have installed the nRF Command Line tools. This includes the nrfjprog executable, which is required to program the Nordic chips.

If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, please create a ticket in DevZone.

→ Check out part 1 of this tutorial series: nRF Connect SDK Tutorial - Part 1

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