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Easy to use, flexible build tool for Arduino projects.
Ruby C++
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A Flexible build tool for Arduino development


rake-arduino is very pre-alpha at the moment. Be prepared to find and fix a lot of bugs while using it.

After installing the gem (see below), simply add a Rakefile that looks like this to the root of your project:

require 'rubygems'
require 'rake/arduino' do |s|
  s.sources << "MySketch.cpp"
  s.libraries << "Servo"

  s.board = Rake::Arduino::Board["Arduino Uno"]

See the examples directory for more advanced usage.

Then, to build your project run:


To upload it to your arduino:

rake upload

If your arduino installation is somewhere non-standard, you'll need to configure that at the top of your Rakefile:

Rake::Arduino.configure do |c|
  c.home = "/home/me/apps/arduino-0022"


You'll need ruby and rubygems installed (use your system's package manager, or RVM).

As a gem:

gem install rake-arduino

From source:

gem install bundler rake

git clone
cd rake-arduino
rake install


Arduino is great. The arduino IDE: not so great. Once your project moves beyond a nontrivial size, it's a massive pain to use. Sorry Arduino team, but it's just painful and ugly (and stupid, if you're used to Vim/Emacs).

At this point all the gurus say: "Just use a Makefile!". Unfortunately, this becomes a very roll-your-own mission (there's no centrally maintained version).

Also, the Makefile syntax makes my eyes bleed. Inevitably multiple copies of the same Makefile with minor tweaks will end up around all my projects, because I'm lazy.

Luckily, there's a solution: Rake. Rake is Ruby, so

  1. the syntax is gorgeous,
  2. you get a real programming language to do additional pre-processing,
  3. and you can wrap common logic up neatly into a central library.


  1. Support .pde sketch pre-processing
  2. Add some specs (I just ripped this out of a project I was working on, so no tests :( )
  3. Support config from ~/.rake-arduino
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