Arduino is a popular open source single-board microcontroller used for building digital devices and interactive objects. Previously, programming the board has typically been done via the Java-based Arduino integrated development environment (IDE) where users can build programs on their computer and easily upload them to their Arduino, but an official command line interface has not been available until now.

“Many of you requested a way to use our tools in Makefiles, and wanted Arduino IDE features available via a fast, clean command line interface,” says the official Arduino team in a blog post. “So that’s what we’ve done!”

The new tool is helpful for developers who may be uploading code to many boards as opposed to working on a single project. It offers scriptable and fully automatable tools that are not available in the graphical Arduino development environment.

“After we used Arduino CLI for awhile, we decided to make it the standard way our software communicates,” says the Arduino team. “Imagine having the Arduino IDE or Arduino Create Editor speaking directly to Arduino CLI – and you having full control of it. You will be able to compile on your machine or on our online servers, detect your board or create your own IDE on top of it!”

The Arduino development team also announced that users can run Arduino CLI on both ARM and Intel (x86, x86_64) architectures. This means users can install Arduino CLI on a Raspberry Pi or on their servers, and use it to compile Sketches – a unit of code that is uploaded to and run on an Arduino board – targeting the board of their choice.

This initial release of Arduino CLI is an alpha. For more, see the Arduino CLI code repository.


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