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Posixino is the re-implementation of the most important Arduino libraries for POSIX systems (Linux, BSD and Mac OS X). It makes possible to compile and run Arduino sketches on desktop computers without modifications.


The main focus is to implement network-related functions (web client, web server), and basics (digital inputs and outputs, serial, LCD). Check "coverage" section for actual state.

Posixino is designed to produce CLI programs; serial output, digital out states, LCD display content etc. will appear on the console. LED strip emulation uses SDL2 library, but it's optional.

Interrupt emulation is not 100% accurate yet, three timer interrupt routines can be set up which will be called at specified intervals.


But why should you compile Arduino sketches for a non-embedded system?

  • You can write unit tests
  • You can debug your code
  • You can work even without proper hardware (e.g. missing shield)
  • Shorter compile-run cycle
  • More comfortable

Of course, I don't want you to throw your device away, embedded programming is not a fun without any device.

Posixino is trying to mimic the behavior of the original libraries, but there is a good chance that something will work different way, so testing your program on real hardware is still important. If you have no device, but you need exact simulation of it, using emulator is a better choice.

Demo (kinda)

Here's the output of the LiquidCrystal/HelloWorld.cpp example sketch (it prints a static message and a counter):

LCD|hello, world!   |
LCD|                |
LCD|hello, world!   |
LCD|0               |
LCD|hello, world!   |
LCD|1               |
LCD|hello, world!   |
LCD|2               |

How to use

Simply change add conditional Posixino header include to your program (fun fact: there is no common pre-defined macro on Linux and OS X, e.g. __posix):

# if ( defined(__unix__) || defined(__APPLE__) )
# include "posixino/posixino.hpp"
# else

#include <SPI.h>
#include <Ethernet.h>

# endif

Compile both Posixino and your program, then link them together.

Quick-and-dirty: you may include posixino.cpp, so you will compile your sketch and Posixino as a single program.


Posixino is in early stage, but most of digital out, web client and LCD functions are working.

As we're working on the framework, we will add factory examples one by one to the test/ folder, then implement library functions they're using.

Here is the actual list of working examples:

  • Communication/ASCIITable (serial print)
  • Basics/Blink (digital out)
  • Ethernet/WebClient (HTTP request)
  • Ethernet/WebServer (HTTP listener)
  • LiquidCrystal/HelloWorld (LCD test)
  • LiquidCrystal/Scroll (LCD scroll)
  • LiquidCrystal/SerialDisplay (serial input)
  • Adafruit_NeoPixel/strandtest (LED strip)

Minor Ethernet server concept issue implemented: server.available() returns a client object, which is true only when the first data arrives from the client (should be true just as the client connects). This also means that you can't even detect a client connection which does not send any data (as far as I can remember this is a lwIP behavior, not Arduino-specific).

Minor String support added by using standard library's string class. Now strings can be concatenated using the + operator, we're happy to support Java-to-C++ switchers.

Posixino is developed on Linux, but releases are tested on Mac OS X as well (but not on BSD).

Timer interrupts

To activate a timer, define value of TIMER0, TIMER1 or TIMER2 to required interval (microsec, 1/1000 ms), ISR(TIMER0_COMPA_vect), ISR(TIMER1_COMPA_vect) or ISR(TIMER2_COMPA_vect) functions will be called, respectively. ISR_TIMERx_OVF_vect is not supported yet.

Non-matching TIMERx define - ISR function pairs will occur compile-time error.

# if ( defined(__unix__) || defined(__APPLE__) )
# define TIMER1 (1000 * 1000)
# include "posixino/posixino.hpp"
# endif

	void setup() {
		//set timer1 interrupt at 1Hz
		TCCR1A = 0; // set entire TCCR1A register to 0
		TCCR1B = 0; // same for TCCR1B
		TCNT1  = 0; // initialize counter value to 0
		// set compare match register for 1hz increments
		OCR1A = 15624; // = (16*10^6) / (1*1024) - 1 (must be <65536)
		// turn on CTC mode
		TCCR1B |= (1 << WGM12);
		// Set CS12 and CS10 bits for 1024 prescaler
		TCCR1B |= (1 << CS12) | (1 << CS10);  
		// enable timer compare interrupt
		TIMSK1 |= (1 << OCIE1A);
	} // setup
		// blink the led, whatever
	} // timer1 interrupt

All the register names and cli()/sti() functions are definied by Posixino, but has no effect at all. Future versions may calculate timer interval values based on register values set, if TIMERx are set to invalid value (e.g. -1).

Timer interrupt emulation uses C++11 features (thread, mutex), you may use --std=c++11 compiler flag.

The emulated timer interrupt resolution is now 1 ms, which is 1000 times longer than the real interrupts. Don't forget, timer interrupt emulation will be never as accurate as real timer interrupts.

Adafruit NeoPixel LED strip

Adafruit's LED strip/ring/whatever is now supported. When you define SDL_DISPLAY (use 0 for single monitor systems), a borderless black overlay will appear on the screen with bars representing the LEDs.

By default, the overlay will appear on the bottom left part of the screen with a single row of bars representing leds.

Some extra methods added to Adafruit_NeoPixel class for setting the size and position of the overlay. There are also methods for setting position and size of the individual pixels. The overlay setup code should be placed into the setup() function, see example below.

strip.emuSetGridScreenAnchor() defines the position of the overlay: "north", "northeast" etc. Short forms can be also used, e.g. "n", "ne" etc.

strip.emuSetGridScreenPercent() defines the percentage of the shortest side of the overlay relative to the screen size. It just a hint, the actual size should be smaller in order to fit on the screen.

strip.emuSetGridCells() defines the number of columns and rows of the grid. It should be greater or equal to the number of pixels defined in Adafruit_NeoPixel() method.

Pixel parameters can be set with emuSetPixelPos() - cell position (column, row), emuSetPixelCellSize() - cell size (column, row), and emuSetPixelGap() - size of cell gap in pixels.

Adafruit_NeoPixel strip = Adafruit_NeoPixel(64, PIN, NEO_GRB + NEO_KHZ800);

void setup() {

	# ifdef SDL_DISPLAY


	for (int n = 0; n < strip.numPixels(); n++ ) {

		strip.emuSetPixelPos(n,n % 16,n / 16);

	} // for pixel

	# endif


  • BSD support (a BSD buddy should help)
  • Split the code to smaller units
  • Direct UI for inputs
  • Data generator for inputs
  • Set timer interrupt intervals based on register values


Implementation of Arduino framework and basic libraries for POSIX systems (Linux, BSD, Mac OS X)







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