Next level Arduino nerd rage, including Teensy support and command line build/upload capabilities, all within a reasonably clean installation on any *buntu variant. Here’s how:

Install dependencies

The Arduino IDE requires a working JRE. It used to absolutely require Java 6, but it seems as if I’m up and running with Java 7. Regardless, issue:

apt-get install -s arduino

The -s flag simulates installation of the Arduino IDE and will show all dependencies. If java6-runtime and/or default-jre appear in the list of packages to be installed, then go ahead and sudo apt-get install them now. Do not install the arduino package - we are going to do that manually. While you’re at it:

sudo apt-get install gcc-avr binutils-avr avr-libc avrdude cmake

If you’re running a 64-bit distro like I am, install a few 32 bit libraries:

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

Manually install the Arduino IDE

Instead of using the outdated *buntu repository version of the IDE, grab a fresh copy from The repository flavored IDEs do not support Teensyduino very well, if at all. Arduino 1.0.5 was the latest stable release as of this post. Extract the file’s contents into your home directory, then copy all files to /usr/share/arduino:

cd ~
tar xvf arduino-1.0.5-linux64.tgz
sudo mkdir /usr/share/arduino
sudo cp -R arduino-1.0.5-linux64/* /usr/share/arduino

Now edit the arduino startup script and tell it where to find itself:

sudo gvim /usr/share/arduino/arduino


# changed by Yuri to affect custom arduino install w/Teensy support 
# APPDIR="$(dirname -- "$(readlink -f -- "${0}")" )"


cd "$APPDIR"
for LIB in \
    java/lib/rt.jar \
    java/lib/tools.jar \
    lib/*.jar \


export PATH="${APPDIR}/java/bin:${PATH}"

java "$@"

Now move the edited arduino script to /usr/bin and give it a whirl!

sudo mv /usr/share/arduino/arduino /usr/bin/arduino

With any luck, you’ll arrive at an almost fully functional Arduino IDE window.

To enable serial support, add yourself to the dialout group, then log off and log in again:

sudo usermod -a -G dialout yourUserName

Install Teensyduino

Follow the instructions at PJRC - You will need to run the installer using sudo. When the it asks for the Arduino directory, select /usr/share/arduino.

Now, when you open the Arduino IDE, Teensy boards will be available options, and Teensyloader will run when you compile/upload.

Configure CMake

After all that, I hate the Arduino IDE. I’d rather work in a better text/code editor and build from the command line. Enter arduino-cmake!

cd ~
git clone
sudo mkdir /usr/share/arduino-cmake
sudo cp -R arduino-cmake/cmake/* /usr/share/arduino-cmake

You now have a CMake toolchain installed. It will use the avr utilities you installed a little while ago. The Arduino IDE includes its own avr utilities in /usr/share/arduino/hardware/tools/, so binaries produced from the command line may not be identical to those produced within the IDE. You could go to the trouble of creating symlinks in /usr/local/bin to all of the executable files in the IDE directory, but I don’t think that’s entirely necessary.

To test CMake, let’s put the blink.ino example sketch into its own directory:

cd ~
mkdir blink
cd blink
gvim blink.ino

  Turns on an LED on for one second, then off for one second, repeatedly.
  This example code is in the public domain.
// Pin 13 has an LED connected on most Arduino boards.
// Pin 11 has the LED on Teensy 2.0
// Pin 6  has the LED on Teensy++ 2.0
// Pin 13 has the LED on Teensy 3.0
// give it a name:
int led = 13;

// the setup routine runs once when you press reset:
void setup() {                
  // initialize the digital pin as an output.
  pinMode(led, OUTPUT);     

// the loop routine runs over and over again forever:
void loop() {
  digitalWrite(led, HIGH);   // turn the LED on (HIGH is the voltage level)
  delay(1000);               // wait for a second
  digitalWrite(led, LOW);    // turn the LED off by making the voltage LOW
  delay(1000);               // wait for a second

Create a CMakeLists.txt:

gvim CMakeLists.txt

#                                                                    #
# Author: Yuri                                                       #
# Date  : 26 Feb 2014                                                # 
#                                                                    #
# Description: Simple CMakeLists.txt for Linux/Arduino               #
#                                                                    #
# Usage: # put CMakeLists.txt in the project's source directory      #
#        cd source_directory                                         #
#        mkdir build                                                 #
#        cd build                                                    #
#        cmake ..                                                    #
#        make                                                        #
#        make TARGET-upload # upload firmware with avrdude           #
#        make TARGET-burn   # burn firmware with programmer          #
#        make TARGET-serial # start terminal emulation as desired    #
#                                                                    #

# arduino toolchain
set(CMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE /usr/share/arduino-cmake/ArduinoToolchain.cmake)

# CMake Version
cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 2.8)

set(TARGET_NAME blink)

# language
project(${TARGET_NAME} C CXX)

# uncomment these lines to display lists during cmake
# print_board_list()
# print_programmer_list()

set(${TARGET_NAME}_SKETCH blink.ino)

# source file(s) if c or cpp are used instead of a sketch
# set(${TARGET_NAME}_SRCS blink.cpp)

# enables a serial target that will start terminal emulation
set(${TARGET_NAME}_SERIAL picocom @SERIAL_PORT@ -b 9600 -l)

# board - use print_board_list() for options

# programmer - use print_programmer_list() for options
# set(${TARGET_NAME}_PROGRAMMER usbtinyisp)

# port - used for SERIAL target, also required to get TARGET-burn option
set(${TARGET_NAME}_PORT /dev/ttyUSB0)

# generate firmware

With any luck, you should be able to build and upload the sketch at this point without ever having touched the IDE:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..
make blink-upload

Explore the arduino-cmake directory that you cloned earlier for more info. Also, check out Unfortunately, the toolchain doesn’t support Teensy just yet, so you’ll still have to use Teensyduino for that.

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27 February 2014