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Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It is intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. More information is available on the Arduino HomePage.


Warning: Arduino 1.0.5 has an issue that prevents uploading to Arduino boards, it is recommend that you download the JSSC nightly build until 1.5.6 BETA is released. You will also need to have libusb-compat installed. A patched package can be found here
  • Install arduinoAUR from the AUR.
  • Add yourself to the uucp group. (More information in the next section: "Accessing serial")

Intel Galileo

The version of the Arduino IDE that support the Intel Galileo board can be downloaded here.


Accessing serial

The arduino board communicates with the computer via a serial connection or a serial over USB connection. So the user needs read/write access to the serial device file. Udev creates files in /dev/tts/ owned by group uucp so adding the user to the uucp group gives the required read/write access.

gpasswd -a $USER uucp
Note: You will have to logout and login again for this to take effect.

Before uploading to the Arduino, be sure to set the correct serial port, board, and processor from the Tools menu.



# stty -F /dev/ttyACM0 cs8 9600 ignbrk -brkint -imaxbel -opost -onlcr -isig -icanon -iexten -echo -echoe -echok -echoctl -echoke noflsh -ixon -crtscts

Sending commands through Terminal without new line after command

# echo -n "Hello World" > /dev/ttyACM0
Note: As autoreset on serial connection is activated by default on most boards, you need to disable this feature if you want to communicate directly with your board with the last command instead of a terminal emulator (arduino IDE, screen, picocom...). If you have a Leonardo board, you are not concerned by this, because it does not autoreset. If you have a Uno board, connect a 10 µF capacitor between the RESET and GND pins. If you have another board, connect a 120 ohms resistor between the RESET and 5V pins. See for more details.

Reading what your Arduino has to tell you

$ cat /dev/ttyACM0

Alternatives for IDE


ArduIDE is a Qt-based IDE for Arduino. arduide-gitAUR is available in the AUR.

If you prefer working from terminal, below there are some other options to choose from.


Using arduino-cmake and CMake you can build Arduino firmware from the command line using multiple build systems. CMake lets you generate the build system that fits your needs, using the tools you like. It can generate any type of build system, from simple Makefiles, to complete projects for Eclipse, Visual Studio, XCode, etc.



gnoduinoAUR is an implementation of original Arduino IDE for GNOME available in the AUR. The original Arduino IDE software is written in Java. This is a Python implementation and it is targeted at GNOME but will work on xfce4 and other WM. Its purpose is to be light, while maintaining compatibility with the original Arduino IDE. The source editor is based on gtksourceview.


Ino is a command line toolkit for working with arduino hardware. inoAUR is available in the AUR.


Note: Update 2011-03-12. Arduino Is not shipping a Makefile with version (22). The Makefile from the dogm128 project works for me though.

Instead of using the Arduino IDE it is possible to use another editor and a Makefile.

Set up a directory to program your Arduino and copy the Makefile into this directory. A copy of the Makefile can be obtained from /usr/share/arduino/hardware/cores/arduino/Makefile

You will have to modify this a little bit to reflect your settings. The makefile should be pretty self explainatory. Here are some lines you may have to edit.

PORT = usually /dev/ttyUSBx, where x is the usb serial port your arduino is plugged into
TARGET = your sketch's name
ARDUINO = /usr/share/arduino/lib/targets/arduino

Depending on which library functions you call in your sketch, you may need to compile parts of the library. To do that you need to edit your SRC and CXXSRC to include the required libraries.

Now you should be able to make && make upload to your board to execute your sketch.


Using scons together with arscons it is very easy to use to compile and upload Arduino projects from the command line. Scons is based on python and you will need python-pyserial to use the serial interface. Install python-pyserial and scons.

That will get the dependencies you need too. You will also need Arduino itself so install it as described above. Create project directory (eg. test), then create a arduino project file in your new directory. Use the same name as the directory and add .ino (eg. test.ino). Get the SConstruct script from arscons and put it in your directory. Have a peek in it and, if necessary, edit it. It is a python script. Edit your project as you please, then run

$ scons                # This will build the project
$ scons upload         # This will upload the project to your Arduino


Consistent naming of Arduino devices

If you have more than one arduino you may have noticed that they names /dev/ttyUSB[0-9] are assigned in the order of connection. In the IDE this is not so much of a problem, but when you have programmed your own software to communicate with an arduino project in the background this can be annoying. Use the following udev rules to assign static symlinks to your arduino's:

SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", KERNEL=="ttyUSB[0-9]*", ATTRS{idVendor}=="0403", ATTRS{idProduct}=="6001", SYMLINK+="sensors/ftdi_%s{serial}"

Your arduino's will be available under names like "/dev/sensors/ftdi_A700dzaF". If you want you can also assign more meaningfull names to several devices like this:

SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", KERNEL=="ttyUSB[0-9]*", ATTRS{idVendor}=="0403", ATTRS{idProduct}=="6001", ATTRS{serial}=="A700dzaF", SYMLINK+="arduino/nano"

which will create a symlink in /dev/arduino/nano to the device with the specified serialnumber. You do need to unplug and replug your arduino for this to take effect or run

udevadm trigger

Error opening serial port

You may see the serial port initially when the IDE starts, but the TX/RX leds do nothing when uploading. You may have previously changed the baudrate in the serial monitor to something it does not like. Edit ~/.arduino/preferences.txt so that serial.debug_rate is a different speed, like 115200.

Missing twi.o

If the file /usr/share/arduino/lib/targets/libraries/Wire/utility/twi.o does not exist arduino may try to create it. Normal users do not have permission to write there so this will fail. Run arduino as root so it can create the file, after the file has been created arduino can be run under a normal user.

Working with Uno/Mega2560

The Arduino Uno and Mega2560 have an onboard USB interface (an Atmel 8U2) that accepts serial data, so they are accessed through /dev/ttyACM0 created by the cdc-acm kernel module when it is plugged in.

The 8U2 firmware may need an update to ease serial communications. See [1] for more details and reply #11 for a fix. The original arduino bbs, where you can find an image explaining how to get your Uno into DFU, is now in a read-only state. If you do not have an account to view the image, see [2].

You can perform a general function test of the Uno by putting it in loopback mode and typing characters into the arduino serial monitor at 115200 baud. It should echo the characters back to you. To put it in loopback, short pins 0 -> 1 on the digital side and either hold the reset button or short the GND -> RESET pins while you type.

See also