I'm looking for X11 capable software development tools which can be used for embedded Linux development directly on the target ARM hardware.

Desired target languages and architectures include:

  • Target Boards: NVIDIA Jetson, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone
  • Architectures: aarch64, ARMv7/8 32bit, ARMv6 32bit
  • Languages: C/C++, Swift, Python
  • License: open source preferred

The goal is to identify ARM-base X11 such that tools so that GUI interations are possible without requiring a full remote desktop session.

For example, gedit ssh -X user@hostname -C gedit & provides a source code text editor with syntax highlighting. However, Qt for Linux/X11 is for x86_64 and not ARM.

Note: The scope of tools for this question are ones where the application can reliably use X11 forwarding to run remotely on the target without any requirement for a remote desktop session.

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1 Answer 1


Both Netbeans and Eclipse are available on my Raspbian stretch running Pi. Not sure which versions though.

That said, running such a full IDE (esp. one written in Java) on a limited power SoC or embedded board will likely leave a lot to be desired.

What I recommend instead is to use geany - basically a fantastic text editor. With a console built in. And configurable buttons labled "compile" "build" and "execute" that are file extension aware (ie, "build" on a file named foo.cpp can run g++ ... and for Foo.java it can run javac ....)

Both Free and free, cross platform as well as cross-architecture.

My only complaint is a lack of git integration...

  • 1
    Good to know that geany offers efficient performance relative to the Java IDEs. Any observation or comment on the use geany with an ssh -X X11 application forwarding sesson on headless ARM devices? ... so that a remote desktop session is not needed? Jun 28, 2019 at 6:50
  • 1
    @l--marcl - works fine. Any Linux GUI app should have no issues being exported to a remote display.
    – ivanivan
    Jun 28, 2019 at 11:58

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