We have had several entries in the series about the ESP8266 presenting the popular SoC and the development boards that incorporate it. In this post we will see how to program the ESP8266 with the Arduino IDE.
Undoubtedly, being able to use the Arduino environment and all the tools that it allows (IDEs, libraries, documentation…) has been a big part of the success of the ESP8266. A success that is largely due to the community and, subsequently, has partial support from the manufacturer Espressif.
In this post we will see how to configure the standard Arduino IDE to be able to program the ESP8266 and the boards based on this popular SoC, such as the usual NodeMCU and Wemos. Although we can also use any other compatible IDE such as Arduino, Visual Studio Code, or Atom.
The process is only valid for the ESP8266 and not for its “big brother” the ESP32. For the ESP32, the process is in this post How to program ESP32 with the Arduino IDE.
Install ESP8266 on Arduino IDE
Currently, setting up the Arduino environment to work with ESP8266 development boards is very simple, thanks to the support it has received from the community, which makes it available as a package that we can download and add to the board manager.
To be able to program the development boards based on the ESP8266, we simply have to configure the package URL so that we can add them to the board manager of the Arduino IDE.
To do this, we access the configuration menu and in “Additional Board Manager URLs” we click on the small button on the right.
In the window that appears, we add the following URL.
If we had other addresses, we leave each one on a separate line.
Now we enter the board manager of the Arduino IDE.
We look for the package of development boards based on the ESP8266 and install it.
We now have the development boards based on the ESP8266 available to program with the Arduino IDE. That easy!
In the next entry, we will delve into how to program the ESP8266 with the Arduino IDE, and we will see the similarities and differences between programming a conventional Arduino and a board based on the ESP8266.