Arduino

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Arduino is an open source development platform. This document describes how to use the platform on Gentoo. Note that in addition to official and clone Arduino products based on Atmel AVR microprocessors, the environment can also support other Atmel AVR microprocessors (such as ATtiny13), nRF52, STM32 microprocessors, etc.

Prepare the kernel for USB connection

The arduino boards will be connected via USB to the computer. With this connection it is possible to write binaries to the atmega microprocessor and get debug messages from the board during run mode. Different boards have different USB interface chips. In case you prefer to use ICSP programming with an external adapter you don't need this for programming any more, but you may still need it for debugging.

Arduino NG (FTDI)

KERNEL for FTDI chip (can also be a module)
Device Drivers  --->
    [*] USB support ---> 
      <*> USB Serial Converter support --->
        <*> USB FTDI Single Port Serial Driver

Arduino MEGA, 8U2, 16U2, 32U4 (CDC ACM)

KERNEL for CDC ACM (can also be a module)
Device Drivers  --->
    [*] USB support ---> 
      <*> USB Modem (CDC ACM) support

Arduino NANO (CH340)

These have used a range of serial converter chips, but mostly they use CH340.

KERNEL for CH340 serial converter chip (can also be a module)
Device Drivers  --->
    [*] USB support ---> 
      <*> USB Serial Converter support --->
        <*> USB Winchiphead CH341 Single Port Serial Driver

Validate connectivity

After booting with the new kernel this can be tested after connecting the board to the computers USB port:

root #dmesg
after connect an Arduino NG

usb 5-4: FTDI USB Serial Device converter now attached to ttyUSB0
after connect an Arduino MEGA

cdc_acm 5-4:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device

Grant access

Every user who are privileged to connect to the board should be added to the uucp group.

root #usermod -a -G uucp user

Prepare the toolchain

Because we need to compile code into binaries for another target platform (Atmel AVR microprocessors) we have to install a cross development toolchain.

Recommended: Install the toolchain using crossdev

If you haven't already, check out the section on Creating a cross-compiler from the Embedded Handbook. This will give you a good introduction to crossdev and how it works.

Installing crossdev

Install crossdev if you don't have it.

root #emerge --ask crossdev
Note
Should you have any issues running crossdev, try upgrading to a more recent masked or unstable version.

Creating the local overlay

Before building the toolchain, you need to create a local overlay called crossdev.

Note
The crossdev overlay will be auto-selected by the crossdev tool to build packages for all crossdev-targeted platforms — so creating only this one overlay is enough to ensure that all of the crossdev built packages remain completely separate from the native packages for your system.
Note
These commands are a quick installation method. For more details please refer to the custom repository page, Crossdev section.
root #mkdir -p /usr/local/portage-crossdev/{profiles,metadata}
root #echo 'crossdev' > /usr/local/portage-crossdev/profiles/repo_name
root #echo 'masters = gentoo' > /usr/local/portage-crossdev/metadata/layout.conf
root #chown -R portage:portage /usr/local/portage-crossdev

Then instruct portage and crossdev to use this overlay:

FILE /etc/portage/repos.conf/crossdev.conf
[crossdev]
location = /usr/local/portage-crossdev
priority = 10
masters = gentoo
auto-sync = no

Build and install the toolchain

OK, now you're all set. The toolchain to build is specific to the architecture you are targeting with your development. Most arduino users want the AVR toolchain only.

AVR (Arduino/Genuino/ATmicro/ATmega/etc.)

Build and install the AVR toolchain with this command:

root #crossdev -s4 --stable --portage --verbose --target avr

This works as of January 2018.

An older alternative recommendation from the arduino overlay is this command:

root #USE="-nls -openmp -pch -sanitize -vtv" crossdev -t avr -s4 --without-headers
ARM (STM32/GD32/etc.)
root #crossdev -s4 --stable --portage --verbose --target arm
Troubleshooting
Note
Should you have any issues running crossdev, try upgrading to a more recent masked or unstable version.

In the event you have problems with the gcc stages, try:

root #USE="-openmp -hardened -sanitize -vtv" crossdev -s4 --stable --portage --verbose --target avr

You may also need a workaround so that the linking works as expected (see bug 147155).

For amd64:

root #ln -s /usr/x86_64-pc-linux-gnu/avr/lib/ldscripts /usr/avr/lib/ldscripts

Or x86:

root #ln -s /usr/i686-pc-linux-gnu/avr/lib/ldscripts /usr/avr/lib/ldscripts

Discouraged: Install non-Gentoo toolchain

Using the original Atmel AVR toolchain seems to be possible but not tested.

Using the Debian precompiled toolchain is described over here.

Installing the arduino IDE

Portage tree

There is currently up to date of arduino IDE in official gentoo tree:

root #emerge =dev-embedded/arduino-1.8.5

Many thanks to Virgil Dupras (hsoft).

Arduino overlay

  • Benefit: Currently up to date. Packaged. Updates through portage possible. Pure command line (no IDE) possible.
  • Drawback: Unofficial distribution with unofficial packages.


In order to make use of the arduino-overlay...

FILE /etc/portage/repos.conf/arduino-overlay.confAdd the arduino overlay
[arduino-overlay]
priority = 50
location = /var/lib/arduino-overlay
sync-type = git
sync-uri = https://github.com/mapmot/arduino-overlay.git
auto-sync = Yes

Then you can check out the overlay...

root #emerge --sync

Then install the command line sketch build tool.

root #emerge -av =dev-embedded/arduino-builder-1.3.25

Then install the IDE.

root #emerge -av =dev-embedded/arduino-1.8.5

Official download

  • Benefit: Always up to date.
  • Drawback: Not packaged for Gentoo. All or nothing. Not built from source. Requires manual updates.


Official tarball downloads (including beta and hourly versions).

Configuring the Arduino IDE

After first start of Arduino IDE (a link should be found in the application/development section of your start menu) it will create default sketch directory ~/Arduino. This location can be changed in preferences (File/Preferences/Sketchbook location:).


If you are targeting any platforms that aren't included in the default distribution (such as ATtiny processors or ARM processors such as the STM32 or GD32) then you will need to install new Arduino platform implementations, which are known as 'cores'. Cores can then be associated with board definitions. Some example cores...

Using eclipse IDE

After installing eclipse IDE you can choose between two eclipse plugins. Plugins can be installed via provided update sites. Simply add the given site via eclipse menu/help/software-updates/add-site.

Note
Installation of eclipse IDE is out of the scope of this article. Please read Eclipse wiki for that topic.
Note
There are major changes since arduino installation version 1 (formerly versions were "022" etc.). Also major changes since arduino installation version 1.5.x where done. Last but not least the plugin "Arduino Eclipse Extension" has reworked between version 1.2.4 and version 2.x to support the new arduino way (more details there) so the version 2.x is only compatible with eclipse juno (not helios and not indigo). Please choose the right version of eclipse for your needs!

Arduino Eclipse Extension

Arduino Eclipse Extension is a free eclipse plugin for arduino projects developed by Jantje. It depends on the installation of arduino IDE.
Use the update site "http://www.baeyens.it/eclipse/update" for the installation of a plugin version which is compatible with arduino 1.0.4 and eclipse helios and indigo.
Use the update site "http://www.baeyens.it/eclipse/V2" for installation of a plugin version which is compatible with arduino 1.5.x and eclipse juno.

AVR Eclipse Plugin

AVR Eclipse Plugin is a free eclipse plugin for developing boards with avr atmel microprocessors. It is not especially make for the arduino boards, but it can used for that. It is not necessary to install arduino IDE for using that plugin. More informations can be found on the wiki site.
Use the update site "http://avr-eclipse.sourceforge.net/updatesite/" for installation of the plugin which is known to work with eclipse helios.

Note
V1 of the Arduino Eclipse Extension contains the AVR Eclipse Plugin as such you can not have both on your eclipse without confusion. V2 no longer includes the AVR Eclipse Plugin so you can easily install AVR Eclipse Plugin next to the Arduino Eclipse Extension.

Tips and Tricks

udev rule for Arduino NG

This rule can be used to make an symlink /dev/arduino, especially usefull in case of more than one arduino boards. For example create an file 12-mikrocontroller.rules and add the line below:

FILE /etc/udev/rules.d/12-mikrocontroller.rules
SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{product}=="FT232R USB UART", ATTRS{manufacturer}=="FTDI", NAME="ttyUSB%n", SYMLINK+="arduino"

udev rule for Arduino MEGA

This rule can be used to make an symlink /dev/arduino, especially usefull in case of more than one arduino boards.
For example create an file 12-mikrocontroller.rules and add the line below:

FILE /etc/udev/rules.d/12-mikrocontroller.rules
SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{product}=="Arduino Mega 2560", ATTRS{manufacturer}=="Arduino (www.arduino.cc)", NAME="ttyACM%n", SYMLINK+="arduino"

Troubleshooting

Problem with deprecated items in avr-libc v1.8.0 and above (and Mega 2560)

If you can see the messages below you have found this compatibility issue (arduino forum).

Errors while compilation

/usr/share/arduino/hardware/arduino/cores/arduino/HardwareSerial.cpp:107:41: error: attempt to use poisoned "SIG_USART0_RECV"
/usr/share/arduino/hardware/arduino/cores/arduino/HardwareSerial.cpp:117:15: error: attempt to use poisoned "SIG_USART0_RECV"
/usr/share/arduino/hardware/arduino/cores/arduino/HardwareSerial.cpp:161:15: error: attempt to use poisoned "SIG_USART0_RECV"
/usr/share/arduino/hardware/arduino/cores/arduino/HardwareSerial.cpp:178:15: error: attempt to use poisoned "SIG_USART0_RECV"
/usr/share/arduino/hardware/arduino/cores/arduino/HardwareSerial.cpp:195:15: error: attempt to use poisoned "SIG_USART0_RECV"

To fix this manipulate your Arduino.h at the third line:

FILE /usr/share/arduino/hardware/arduino/cores/arduino/Arduino.h
#ifndef Arduino_h
#define Arduino_h
//start: fix the compatibility issue
#define __AVR_LIBC_DEPRECATED_ENABLE__ 1
//end: fix the compatibility issue
#include <stdlib.h>
...

See also

For MSP430 support, take a look at Energia.

External resources