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"UnicodeDecodeError: 'ascii' codec can't decode byte" #143

ivankravets opened this issue Mar 27, 2015 · 4 comments


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commented Mar 27, 2015

Problem occurs under Windows OS and for environment where configurable encoding is used (non UTF-8 paths).

import sys

Try this hook for platformio.util.get_home_dir:

def get_home_dir():
    home_dir = _get_projconf_option_dir(
        join(expanduser("~"), ".platformio")

    import sys
    home_dir = home_dir.decode(sys.getfilesystemencoding())

    if not isdir(home_dir):

    assert isdir(home_dir)
    return home_dir

How to reproduce? Just create account with "non-UTF-8" chars (Cyrillic is good candidate).

@ivankravets ivankravets added the bug label Mar 27, 2015

@ivankravets ivankravets self-assigned this Mar 27, 2015

@ivankravets ivankravets added this to the 1.4.0 milestone Mar 27, 2015

@ivankravets ivankravets changed the title Fix "UnicodeDecodeError: 'ascii' codec can't decode byte" Fix Windows "UnicodeDecodeError: 'ascii' codec can't decode byte" Mar 27, 2015

@ivankravets ivankravets added the URGENT label Mar 29, 2015

@ivankravets ivankravets assigned valeros and unassigned ivankravets Mar 29, 2015

@ivankravets ivankravets added wontfix and removed URGENT labels Mar 31, 2015

@ivankravets ivankravets assigned ivankravets and unassigned valeros Mar 31, 2015


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commented Mar 31, 2015

We can fix this issue within PlatformIO source code, but problem still exists within SCons source code.


To avoid this issue please re-define PlatformIO home_dir in your project configuration file platformio.ini or set global PLATFORMIO_HOME_DIR system environment variable. PlatformIO uses user's home directory by default, which can contain "non-latin" characters. The easy way is to set home_dir with path, which doesn't contain "non-latin" chars:


home_dir = C:\.platformio


NOTICE: All PlatformIO based commands should be executed within that project directory, where home_dir is defined.


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commented Mar 14, 2017

@ivankravets This error is also triggered by storing project in path containing non-latin characters. The workaround is (obviously) to store projects elsewhere or creating symlink (directory junction) so that PlatformIO does not have to deal with non-latin paths.

PS in my case it was 'utf8' codec, not 'ascii'.


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commented Jun 5, 2019

Please open PlatformIO IDE Terminal and type

pio upgrade --dev
pio update

Restart VSCode. Does it work now?

@ivankravets ivankravets reopened this Jun 5, 2019

@ivankravets ivankravets closed this Jun 5, 2019

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