Required Installations for C++ programming

In order to develop C++ programs and use them in a real-time application, the following installations are required. 

System requirements

Before starting the installation, ensure that the system requirements are met: 

Operating system

  • The PLCnext CLI was tested and released for Microsoft® Windows® 10 and for Linux (tested with Ubuntu 18.04.1.LTS) 

Phoenix Contact software

  • PLCnext CLI:
    The PLCnext CLI is a command line interface that can be used for generating metadata, C++ header files, PLCnext Engineer libraries and for the build process. The functions can be called using simple commands. An integrated help lists the commands and describes their functions.
  • PLCnext Technology SDK:
    An SDK contains all of the important toolchains and libraries required for creating a program. The SDK can be installed via the PLCnext CLI (see steps below) or by means of the Eclipse® add-in.

PLCnext CLI and PLCnext Technology SDKs for different PLCnext Control devices are available at in the download area of the product page for each PLCnext Control.

Some sample applications programmed in C++ can be found at



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Duration:  05m:22s   Audio Language: English   Subtitles: English   Resolution: max. 1280 x 720px (HD)

See how to install the Eclipse® IDE tools for C++ programming tools on Windows


Duration:  04m:57s   Audio Language: English   Subtitles: English   Resolution: max. 1280 x 720px (HD)

See how to install the Eclipse® IDE tools for C++ programming tools on Linux


Installation steps

  1. Installing the PLCnext Command Line Interface (PLCnext CLI)

    Installation stepsClick here to see the installation steps 

    Installing under Windows

    • Run the installation file and follow the instructions of the installation wizard.
    • Phoenix Contact recommends to add the installation directory to the PATH variable in the Windows® environment variables.

    Installing under Linux

    The following packages are required for installation in Linux:

    • xz-utils
      Required for SDK installation.
    • python3
      Required for SDK installation.
    • build-essential
      The package contains the major part of the toolchain required for C++ programming, e.g., make.
    • libunwind8
      The EngineeringLibraryBuilder requires this library.
    • sshpass
      Is used by the debug script to query user name and password when logging in to the controller.


    To check if the packages were installed and to install them otherwise, enter the following command:

    sudo apt-get install xz-utils python3 build-essential libunwind8 sshpass

    • Then, run the file.
    • Read and accept the Software License Terms.

    You will then receive a folder named plcncli to which the PLCnext CLI was unpacked. Like for Windows, Phoenix Contact recommends to introduce the Executable file to simplify calling the file in the console.


    • For this, enter the following command:


    ln -s [Path to the PLCnext CLI installation folder]/plcncli /usr/local/bin/plcncli

    ln -s /home/plcncli/plcncli /usr/local/bin/plcncli

For C++ development with Eclipse®

  1. Installing the Eclipse® IDE

    Installation stepsClick here to see the installation steps 

    Phoenix Contact recommends the Eclipse® CDT development environment.

    Note: The Java™ Runtime Environment is required for the Eclipse® development environment.

    If an error with "error code 13" occurs when Java is started, check if the correct Java version is installed. If you want to use a 64-bit Eclipse version, you have to use a 64-bit Java version, too.

    • Download the Eclipse® CDT software with the "Eclipse IDE for C/C++ Developers" package from .
    • Copy and unpack the files to any folder.

    You can execute Eclipse® right away.

  1. Installing the Eclipse® add-in for PLCnext Technology

    Installation stepsClick here to see the installation steps

    • If necessary, uninstall earlier Eclipse add-in versions as described herehere
      1. Open the Help  > About Eclipse IDE menu:
      2. Click on the Installation Details button.
        Eclipse Installation Details
      3. Select the earlier add-in versions and uninstall them.
    • Check the Java version running on your system: for the Eclipse® add-in 2020.0 LTS, Java v9 is required (here's how to update).
    • Start Eclipse.
    • Open the Help →  Install New Software... menu. Click to see a screenshotClick to see a screenshot
      Eclipse Install new software
    • To select the path to the directory of the add-in, click on Add... in the Install dialog.
    • In the Add Repository dialog, click on Archive and select the archive of the add-in.
      You will find it in the installation folder of the PLCnext CLI under .../ide-plugins/
    • Enter a name of your choice in the Name: input field and confirm with clicking the Add button of the pop-up dialog:
      Install Eclipse Add-in
    • Disable the Contact all update sites during install to find required software check box in the lower third of the dialog.
    • Click on the Next button.
    • Read and accept the licence agreements.
    • Click Finish to complete the installation.
    • Restart Eclipse.


  1. Installing an SDK using the Eclipse® add-in

    Installation stepsClick here to see the installation steps 

    To install new SDKs or manage already installed SDKs out of Eclipse®, you can use the PLCnext CLI SDK settings.

    • In Eclipse®, select Window → Preferences
    • Under the PLCnext entry, select SDKs

    Now you can:

    • see the Installed SDKs
    • Add SDKs that have already been unpacked
    • Install SDKs from a packed archive
    • Remove SDKs from the PLCnext CLI (but keep them on the hard drive for further use), or remove SDKs from the PLCnext CLI and from the hard drive

    When all is done, press Apply and Close to see the changes you've made.


For C++ development with any other tool

  1. Installing or uninstalling an SDK by means of the PLCnext CLI

    Installation stepsClick here to see the installation steps 

    Obtaining an SDK

    • Download the SDK that is suitable for your controller from the download area of your controller at
    • Unpack the .zip file.
    • Call the CLI in the console using the following command:
      plcncli.exe install sdk –d [Installation path] –p [Path to archive file]
      plcncli.exe install sdk -d C:\CLI\SDKs\AXCF2152\2019_0\ -p 
      Note: If you install several SDKs, Phoenix Contact recommends to use the "target name/firmware version" folder structure. Installing an SDK using the PLCnext CLI automatically makes the installation known to the PLCnext CLI.

    Introducing an SDK

    • To introduce already unpacked SDKs to the CLI, enter the following command:
      plcncli.exe set setting SdkPaths –a [Path to SDK]
      plcncli.exe set setting SdkPaths –a C:\CLI\SDKs\AXCF2152\2019_0\
    • To receive a list of all available settings and the set values, enter the following command:
      plcncli.exe get setting –a

    Uninstalling an SDK

    • To uninstall an SDK, enter the following command:
      plcncli.exe set setting SdkPaths –r [Path to SDK]
      plcncli.exe set setting SdkPaths –r C:\CLI\SDKs\AXCF2152\2019_0\

    The uninstalled SDK is removed from the PLCnext CLI, but will be retained in the directory system.





 • Published/reviewed: 2020-07-29 • Revision 35 •