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Install Arduino IDE and other useful software

In the previous tutorial we saw which model of Arduino to buy. Let’s assume you have received your new and shiny Arduino (or you had it at the bottom of a drawer, it’s all the same to us) and you are eager to start playing with it. But first you need to install an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), that is, the software with which we can program it.

In this post we will see how to install the standard IDE, what other options exist for programming in Arduino, and finally, a compilation with some useful programs in our electronics projects.

How to install Arduino IDE

Arduino IDE on Windows

Installing Arduino on Windows is really simple. You just have to:

  • Download the latest version from the download page.
  • Unzip the file, double click to install.
  • Next next… finish.

Arduino IDE on Ubuntu/Linux Mint

Installing the Arduino IDE on Linux is even simpler. You just have to open a command console and write:

sudo apt-get install arduino

You now have the latest stable version of Arduino installed. If you want the latest Beta or Nightly version, you should download it as follows:

sudo rm -r /usr/share/arduino
wget http://
tar zxvf arduino-1.5.4-linux64.tgz
sudo mv ./arduino-1.5.4 /usr/share/arduino

With this you will have replaced your version of Arduino with the most current one. Remember to change the name of the file to the latest version available at the time, and according to the architecture of your processor.

Other Arduino IDEs

In addition to the standard IDE, there are a variety of alternative IDE programs for working with Arduino. Their installation and use is not as simple as the previous one, but in exchange we will have additional functionalities, greater power, and better control of the executed code. Here are some of the most used alternative environments.

Visual Studio


The development environment par excellence of Microsoft, and my favorite IDE. Visual Studio can be configured to work with Arduino. Visual Studio offers a free version called Community, fully functional. Visual Studio adds error localization, text prediction, project grouping, in short, a marvel. In this post we saw how to configure Visual Studio to develop in Arduino, possibly the best available option.



The famous Eclipse programming environment can be configured to set up AVR processors, having all the libraries and commands specific to Wiring, and writing to the device from the IDE itself. Also, it makes ALL C++ tools available (objects, constructors, libraries, graphic environments…). However, the configuration process is substantially more complicated. In this post, we saw how to configure Eclipse to work with Arduino.

Atmel Studio 6.0


Finally, another of the most popular options for development in Arduino, especially for its impressive debugging functions.

Bonus pack of useful programs

To finish, a collection of applications that are not used for programming, but that may be interesting during the use of Arduino and the development of our electronics projects.



Processing is a highly popular environment, easy to use, and very similar in appearance to the standard Arduino IDE. Its main feature is that it allows easy creation of graphic environments and user interfaces that simplify the interaction between PC and Arduino. The language used is slightly different, but very similar, to the one used in Arduino. It is available at this link.


Fritzing is the program par excellence for creating electrical diagrams in Arduino projects. It has libraries with most components, including of course the Arduino boards, connection boards, LEDs, motors, displays, etc. It also allows you to create electrical diagrams, change the color of the cables, design your final PCB… an endless number of options that make this program a very useful tool. To install it:

sudo apt-get install fritzing



A free online tool from Autodesk that allows you to draw diagrams similar to Fritzing. It also allows circuit simulation, and even virtual “programming” of Arduino boards to check their operation. A great initiative that, for now, still has a few problems. The simulation is slow (try to bias an LED with a transistor, and wait until tomorrow) and as a drawing program, Fritzing is still better. However, a very interesting application that we hope will improve and is definitely worth taking a look at. It is available at this link.



It is a small free program for simulation and design of electronic circuits (EDA Electronic design automation). Easy to install and use, suitable for quickly making small simulations (biasing with transistors, low-pass filters, etc.), checking and adjusting the operation before making the final assembly. This way we make sure not to damage any component, or buy things that won’t work. To install it in Ubuntu/Mint simply,

sudo apt-get install oregano