Generator for JavaScript microcontroller projects
Latest commit bd460b9 Dec 6, 2016 @chalkers chalkers Version bump


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thingsSDK CLI is a command line utility for generating and managing modern projects for JavaScript microcontroller runtimes.

Initial support is for Espruino with hopes to support others like Kinoma in the future.

Install CLI

$ npm install thingssdk-cli -g

Note that this project uses serialport, which compiles to binary. You might need to install some prerequesites depending on your operating system.


Make sure prior to trying to push a project to your device, you flash the device with the Espruino Runtime with Flasher.js.


Plug your device in first and make sure you have the necessary drivers installed.

New Project

Next to create a new project use the new command like so:

$ thingssdk new path/to/project_name

You'll be prompted to enter plug your device in if you haven't already and then select the device's serial port and baud rate.

If you know your device's port and baud rate already, use the port and baud_rate options:

$ thingssdk new path/to/project_name --port=COM3 --baud_rate=115200

Getting Started with Your New Project

Your new project will now be found at path/to/project_name. You'll need to then install the dependencies.

$ npm install

dependencies in the new project package.json should be deployed to the device, devDependancies are what are used for your development workflow.

A devices.json file is created in the root of your new project. An entry is placed in your .gitignore because serial ports from computer to computer and developer to developer will differ.

Deploying it to Your Device

To run the "Hello, world" sample project to your device(s) run the npm script dev.

$ npm run dev

An interactive REPL will launch and you can interact with your code and debug your program. Once you're happy you can use delpoy to upload and save your code to the device.

$ npm run deploy

The "Hello, world" script can be found in main.js. This script gets uploaded to your device and blinks the blue LED on the ESP8266 board. It uses the devices.json file to know which devices to deploy the code to.

Your JavaScript program must implement a main function in order to be ran when the board is initialized.

Creating a devices.json file

To overwrite the current devices.json or create a new devices.json file in your project directory run the following command for an interactive prompt:

$ thingssdk devices

Or with the flags port and baud_rate if you know them already.

$ thingssdk devices --port=COM3 --baud_rate=115200

This will generate a devices.json like this:

  "devices": {
    "COM3": {
      "baud_rate": 115200,
      "runtime": "espruino"

Warning for Unix users: ~/

Due to cross-platform compatibility issues, ~ does not resolve to your home directory on Unix systems. For example, suppose:

$ pwd
/home/<your user name>/some/subdirectory


$ thingssdk new ~/path/to/project_name

Would produce the following result:

$ ls ~/path/to/project_name
ls: cannot access '/home/<your user name>/path/to/project_name': No such file or directory

$ ls ~/some/subdirectory/~/path/to/project_name
main.js package.json scripts

This is probably not your intended behavior! So thingssdk throws an Error for paths beginning with ~, and a warning for paths containing ~ elsewhere.