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Build status


arduino-cli is an all-in-one solution that provides builder, boards/library manager, uploader, discovery and many other tools needed to use any Arduino compatible board and platforms.

This software is currently in alpha state: new features will be added and some may be changed.

It will be soon used as a building block in the Arduino IDE and Arduino Create.

How to install

Download the latest stable release

This is not yet available until the first stable version is released.

Download the latest unstable "alpha" preview

Please note that these are preview build, they may have bugs, some features may not work or may be changed without notice, the latest preview version is 0.3.3-alpha.preview:

Once downloaded, place the executable into a directory which is in your PATH environment variable. To use the tool as it is presented in the Getting started guide below (arduino-cli), you should rename the executable from arduino-cli-0.2.2-alpha.preview-XYZ to arduino-cli.

Build the latest "bleeding-edge" from source

  • You should have a recent Go compiler installed.
  • Run go get -u
  • The arduino-cli executable will be produced in $GOPATH/bin/arduino-cli

You may want to copy the executable into a directory which is in your PATH environment variable (such as /usr/local/bin/).


The goal of the Arduino CLI is to be used by either including it in Makefile or in any kind of script for the Command Line. The Arduino CLI aims to replace the majority of features the Arduino IDE has without the graphical UI.

Getting Started

Step 1. Create a new sketch

The command will create a new empty sketch named MyFirstSketch in the default directory under $HOME/Arduino/

$ arduino-cli sketch new MyFirstSketch
Sketch created in: /home/luca/Arduino/MyFirstSketch

$ cat /home/luca/Arduino/MyFirstSketch/MyFirstSketch.ino
void setup() {

void loop() {

Step 2. Modify your sketch

Use your favourite file editor or IDE to modify the .ino file under: $HOME/Arduino/MyFirstSketch/MyFirstSketch.ino and change the file to look like this one:

void setup() {

void loop() {
  digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN, LOW);

Step 3. Connect the board to your PC

If you are running a fresh install of the arduino-cli you probably need to update the platform indexes by running:

$ arduino-cli core update-index
Updating index: package_index.json downloaded

Now, just connect the board to your PCs by using the USB cable. In this example we will use the MKR1000 board.

$ arduino-cli board list
FQBN    Port            ID              Board Name
        /dev/ttyACM0    2341:804E       unknown

the board has been discovered but we do not have the correct core to program it yet. Let's install it!

Step 4. Find and install the right core

We have to look at the core available with the core search command. It will provide a list of available cores matching the name arduino

$ arduino-cli core search arduino
Searching for platforms matching 'arduino'

ID              Version Installed       Name
Intel:arc32     2.0.2   No              Intel Curie Boards
arduino:avr     1.6.21  No              Arduino AVR Boards
arduino:nrf52   1.0.2   No              Arduino nRF52 Boards
arduino:sam     1.6.11  No              Arduino SAM Boards (32-bits ARM Cortex-M3)
arduino:samd    1.6.18  No              Arduino SAMD Boards (32-bits ARM Cortex-M0+)
arduino:stm32f4 1.0.1   No              Arduino STM32F4 Boards
littleBits:avr  1.0.0   No              littleBits Arduino AVR Modules

If you're unsure you can try to refine the search with the board name

$ arduino-cli core search mkr1000
Searching for platforms matching 'mkr1000'

ID              Version Installed   Name
arduino:samd    1.6.19  No          Arduino SAMD Boards (32-bits ARM Cortex-M0+)

So, the right platform for the Arduino MKR1000 is arduino:samd, now we can install it

$ arduino-cli core install arduino:samd
Downloading tools...
arduino:arm-none-eabi-gcc@4.8.3-2014q1 downloaded
arduino:bossac@1.7.0 downloaded
arduino:openocd@0.9.0-arduino6-static downloaded
arduino:CMSIS@4.5.0 downloaded
arduino:CMSIS-Atmel@1.1.0 downloaded
arduino:arduinoOTA@1.2.0 downloaded
Downloading cores...
arduino:samd@1.6.19 downloaded
Installing tools...
Installing platforms...
arduino:samd@1.6.19 - Installed
arduino:arm-none-eabi-gcc@4.8.3-2014q1 - Installed
arduino:bossac@1.7.0 - Installed
arduino:openocd@0.9.0-arduino6-static - Installed
arduino:CMSIS@4.5.0 - Installed
arduino:CMSIS-Atmel@1.1.0 - Installed
arduino:arduinoOTA@1.2.0 - Installed

Now verify we have installed the core properly by running

$ arduino-cli core list
ID              Installed       Latest  Name
arduino:samd    1.6.19          1.6.19  Arduino SAMD Boards (32-bits ARM Cortex-M0+)

We can finally check if the board is now recognized as a MKR1000

$ arduino-cli board list
FQBN                    Port            ID              Board Name
arduino:samd:mkr1000    /dev/ttyACM0    2341:804E       Arduino/Genuino MKR1000

If the board is not detected for any reason, you can list all the supported boards with arduino-cli board listall and also search for a specific board:

$ arduino-cli board listall mkr
Board Name             	FQBN
Arduino MKR FOX 1200   	arduino:samd:mkrfox1200
Arduino MKR GSM 1400   	arduino:samd:mkrgsm1400
Arduino MKR WAN 1300   	arduino:samd:mkrwan1300
Arduino MKR WiFi 1010  	arduino:samd:mkrwifi1010
Arduino MKRZERO        	arduino:samd:mkrzero
Arduino/Genuino MKR1000	arduino:samd:mkr1000

Great! Now we have the Board FQBN (Fully Qualified Board Name) arduino:samd:mkr1000 and the Board Name look good, we are ready to compile and upload the sketch

Adding 3rd party cores

To add 3rd party core packages add a link of the additional package to the file .cli-config.yml

If you want to add the ESP8266 core, for example:


And then run:

arduino-cli core update-index
arduino-cli core install esp8266:esp8266

Step 5. Compile the sketch

To compile the sketch we have to run the compile command with the proper FQBN we just got in the previous command.

$ arduino-cli compile --fqbn arduino:samd:mkr1000 Arduino/MyFirstSketch
Sketch uses 9600 bytes (3%) of program storage space. Maximum is 262144 bytes.

Step 6. Upload your sketch

We can finally upload the sketch and see our board blinking, we now have to specify the serial port used by our board other than the FQBN:

$ arduino-cli upload -p /dev/ttyACM0 --fqbn arduino:samd:mkr1000 Arduino/MyFirstSketch
No new serial port detected.
Atmel SMART device 0x10010005 found
Device       : ATSAMD21G18A
Chip ID      : 10010005
Version      : v2.0 [Arduino:XYZ] Dec 20 2016 15:36:43
Address      : 8192
Pages        : 3968
Page Size    : 64 bytes
Total Size   : 248KB
Planes       : 1
Lock Regions : 16
Locked       : none
Security     : false
Boot Flash   : true
BOD          : true
BOR          : true
Arduino      : FAST_CHIP_ERASE
Erase flash
done in 0.784 seconds

Write 9856 bytes to flash (154 pages)
[==============================] 100% (154/154 pages)
done in 0.069 seconds

Verify 9856 bytes of flash with checksum.
Verify successful
done in 0.009 seconds
CPU reset.

Step 7. Add libraries

Now we can try to add a useful library to our sketch. We can at first look at the name of a library, our favourite one is the wifi101, here the command to get more info

$ arduino-cli lib search wifi101
Name: "WiFi101OTA"
  Author:  Arduino
  Maintainer:  Arduino <>
  Sentence:  Update sketches to your board over WiFi
  Paragraph:  Requires an SD card and SAMD board
  Category:  Other
  Architecture:  samd
  Types:  Arduino
  Versions:  [1.0.2, 1.0.0, 1.0.1]
Name: "WiFi101"
  Author:  Arduino
  Maintainer:  Arduino <>
  Sentence:  Network driver for ATMEL WINC1500 module (used on Arduino/Genuino Wifi Shield 101 and MKR1000 boards)
  Paragraph:  This library implements a network driver for devices based on the ATMEL WINC1500 wifi module
  Category:  Communication
  Architecture:  *
  Types:  Arduino
  Versions:  [0.5.0, 0.6.0, 0.10.0, 0.11.0, 0.11.1, 0.11.2, 0.12.0, 0.15.2, 0.8.0, 0.9.0, 0.12.1, 0.14.1, 0.14.4, 0.14.5, 0.15.1, 0.7.0, 0.14.0, 0.14.2, 0.14.3, 0.9.1, 0.13.0, 0.15.0, 0.5.1]

We are now ready to install it! Please be sure to use the full name of the lib as specified in the "Name:" section previously seen

$ arduino-cli lib install "WiFi101"
Downloading libraries...
WiFi101@0.15.2 downloaded
Installed WiFi101@0.15.2

Inline Help

arduino-cli is a container of commands, to see the full list just run:

$ arduino-cli
Arduino Command Line Interface (arduino-cli).

  arduino-cli [command]

arduino <command> [flags...]

Available Commands:
  board         Arduino board commands.
  compile       Compiles Arduino sketches.
  config        Arduino Configuration Commands.
  core          Arduino Core operations.
  help          Help about any command
  lib           Arduino commands about libraries.
  sketch        Arduino CLI Sketch Commands.
  upload        Upload Arduino sketches.
  version       Shows version number of Arduino CLI.

Each command has his own specific help that can be obtained with the help command, for example:

$ arduino-cli help core
Arduino Core operations.

  arduino-cli core [command]

arduino-cli core update-index # to update the package index file.

Available Commands:
  download     Downloads one or more cores and corresponding tool dependencies.
  install      Installs one or more cores and corresponding tool dependencies.
  list         Shows the list of installed cores.
  update-index Updates the index of cores.

  -h, --help   help for core

Global Flags:
      --config-file string   The custom config file (if not specified ./.cli-config.yml will be used). (default "/home/megabug/Workspace/go/src/")
      --debug                Enables debug output (super verbose, used to debug the CLI).
      --format string        The output format, can be [text|json]. (default "text")

Use "arduino-cli core [command] --help" for more information about a command.


Why the Arduino Uno/Mega/Duemilanove is not detected when I run arduino-cli board list?


  • Your board is a cheaper clone, or
  • It mounts a USB2Serial converter like FT232 or CH320: these chips always reports the same USB VID/PID to the operating system, so the only thing that we know is that the board mounts that specific USB2Serial chip, but we don't know which board is.

What is the core for the Uno/Mega/Nano/Duemilanove?


What is the FQBN for ...?

  • Arduino UNO: arduino:avr:uno
  • Arduino Mega: arduino:avr:mega
  • Arduino Nano: arduino:avr:nano or arduino:avr:nano:cpu=atmega328old if you have the old bootloader

How can I find the core/FQBN for a board?