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Particle's full-stack Internet of Things (IoT) device platform gives you everything you need to securely and reliably connect your IoT devices to the web. For more details please visit

Particle CLI

The Particle CLI is a powerful tool for interacting with your IoT devices and the Particle Cloud. The CLI uses node.js and can run on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It's also open source so you can edit and change it, and even send in your changes as pull requests if you want to share!

Table of Contents


For end-users, the most up-to-date installation instructions can be found here: macOS / Linux | Windows

Note: On some platforms (e.g. arm), additional manual steps are required:

particle-cli uses npm packages node-usb and node-serialport. On some environments (ie: Raspberry Pi and Apple M1), node-serialport does not provide prebuild environments, so their npm install script relies on creating a prebuild using node-gyp (See node-gyp requirements), and libudev (See node-usb installation. And these must be installed in order for their npm install script to succeed. As well, particle-cli uses dfu-util and openssl.

As an example, to install these dependencies on Raspbian/Debian/Ubuntu:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install build-essential libudev-dev python3 dfu-util openssl

Getting Started

These next two commands are all you need to get started setting up an account, claiming a device, and discovering new features.

particle setup

Guides you through creating a new account, and claiming your device!

$ particle setup

particle help

Shows you what commands are available, and how to use them. You can also give the name of a command for detailed help.

$ particle help
$ particle help keys

Updating Firmware


particle update

If you wish to easily update the system firmware running on your device to a later version, you can use the particle update command. For the exact version it will update to, check the version of the files in the updates folder.

  1. Make sure you have DFU-util installed.
  2. Connect your device via USB, and put it into DFU mode.
  3. Run particle update.

Command Reference

For the full list of commands, please see the CLI command reference.

Known Issues

  • The Wireless Photon Setup Wizard will only automatically switch networks on OS X. Users of other operating systems will need to manually connect their computer to the Photon's Wi-Fi. You will be prompted during the wizard when this is required.


Currently development is supported on macOS only!


  1. Install Node.js [node@12.x and npm@6.x are required]
  2. Clone this repository $ git clone && cd ./particle-cli
  3. Install external tools: dfu-util and openssl (e.g. brew install openssl)
  4. Install dependencies $ npm install
  5. View available commands $ npm run
  6. Run the tests $ npm test
  7. Run the CLI $ npm start
  8. Start Hacking!


When developing, run individual commands using:

$ npm start -- <command> <options> - e.g. $ npm start -- library view dotstar --readme

Anything after the -- delimiter is passed directly to the CLI (docs).

To test the source as it will be published:

  1. Register the particle command globally: $ npm link
  2. Run commands: $ particle --help (using standard argument formatting)


The Particle CLI has a number of automated test suites and related commands. The most important are:

  • npm test - run all tests (NOTE: End-To-End tests require additional setup)
  • npm run lint - run the linter and print any errors to your terminal
  • npm run test:ci - run all tests excluding device-dependent end-to-end test as CI does
  • npm run test:unit - run unit tests
  • npm run test:integration - run integration tests
  • npm run coverage - report code coverage stats

All tests use mocha, chai, and sinon with coverage handled by nyc.

We recommend running locally if you can as it greatly shortens your feedback loop. However, CI also runs against every PR and error reporting is publicly available.

Updating system firmware

  • npm run update-firmware-binaries <version> where <version> is the newly released system firmware version like 0.7.0

  • Test on each platform by doing

    # Check old firmware version
    bin/particle.js serial inspect
    # Flash new system firmware
    bin/particle.js update
    # Verify new firmware version
    bin/particle.js serial inspect
  • Do not update the versions or just yet!

  • Commit as something like "adds firmware binaries for 0.7.0" and proceed to release a new CLI version (below).

Releasing a new version