Friday, May 8, 2020

Install VS Code/PlatformIO IDE on Ubuntu 20.04, to program Arduino/ESP8266/STM32.

This video show how to install VS Code/PlatformIO IDE on Ubuntu 20.04 (run on Windows 10/VirtualBox), to program Arduino. And also set upload port in platformio.ini and add USB permission to user.

Visit Visual Studio Code download page to download .deb version for Ubuntu.

After downloaded, open Terminal and switch to the downloaded folder and run the command to install VS Code:

$ sudo apt install ./<file>.deb

(reference: Visual Studio Code on Linux)

After installed, search and run VSCode.

In VS Code, select Extensions tab, enter platformIo in the search box, and click to install platformIO IDE.

(This screen shot after PlatformIO IDE installed. Before install, you can see a Install button.)

If you report with error of ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'distutils.***'

Enter the command to install python3-distutils:

$ sudo apt-get install python3-distutils


Close and restart VS Code to complete installation.

Now you can select PlatformIO on the left, and create a New Project. For Arduino Uno, steps refer to the above video.

May be you have to specify the upload port in platformio.ini. Open platformio.ini and add the code:
upload_port = /dev/ttyACM0

where /dev/ttyACM0 is the USB port.

Also have to add permission of the USB port to user. Enter the command in Terminal:
$ sudo usermod -a -G dialout <username>
$ sudo chmod a+rw /dev/ttyACM0

2.8" 320*240 TFT Touch Screen shield (ILI9341 8 bit I/F) on Uno, using MCUFRIEND_kbv and Adafruit GFX Libraries
TFT Touch Screen shield (ILI9341 8 bit) + Uno, calibration and simple touch drawing example.

Platform IO + ESP8266/ESP32

With PlatformIO IDE installed, you can also program ESP8266/ESP32 board of Arduino framework. This video show the steps.

The following video show how to install library in PlatformIO, for I2C SSD1306 OLED driver for ESP8266/ESP32.

This example run on ESP32 (WEMOS Lolin32 with integrated SSD1306/OLED driver).

#include <Wire.h>
#include <SSD1306Wire.h>

SSD1306Wire display(0x3C, 5, 4);

void setup() {
  // put your setup code here, to run once:


void loop() {
  // put your main code here, to run repeatedly:

  display.drawString(0, 0, "ESP32/OLED");
  display.drawString(0, 20, "Hello PlatformIO");


~ My old post: ESP32 + OLED Module

ESP8266 (NodeMCU/ESP8266 DevKitC) + SSD1306 I2C OLED, Platform IO.

PlatformIO + STM32

PlatformIO also can program STM32, such as NUCLEO-F401RE Board.


- Common features
  • STM32 microcontroller in LQFP64 package
  • 1 user LED shared with Arduino™
  • 1 user and 1 reset push-buttons
  • 32.768 kHz crystal oscillator
  • Board connectors:Arduino™ Uno V3 expansion connectorST morpho extension pin headers for full access to all STM32 I/Os
  • Flexible power-supply options: ST-LINK, USB VBUS or external sources
  • On-board ST-LINK debugger/programmer with USB re-enumeration capability: mass storage, Virtual COM port and debug port
  • Comprehensive free software libraries and examples available with the STM32Cube MCU Package
  • Support of a wide choice of Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) including IAR™, Keil® and GCC-based IDEs

- NUCLEO-F401RE Board-specific features
  • External SMPS to generate Vcore logic supply
  • 24 MHz HSE
  • Board connectors:External SMPS experimentation dedicated connectorMicro-AB or Mini-AB USB connector for the ST-LINKMIPI® debug connector
  • Arm® Mbed Enabled™ compliant
Reference: NUCLEO-F401RE

Steps to create  a new project for NUCLEO-F401RE Board, using Arduino and Mbed framework.

Error: libusb_open() failed with LIBUSB_ERROR_ACCESS

To make PlatformIO run on Ubuntu, in addition to add USB permission to user as describe above, you have to install udev rules (99-platformio-udev.rules) also.

Enter the commands in Terminal:

$ curl -fsSL | sudo tee /etc/udev/rules.d/99-platformio-udev.rules

$ sudo service udev restart

After this file is installed, physically unplug and reconnect your board.

Update VS Code for Ubuntu

If update of VS Code is available and you are asked to Download Update.

Just close VS Code and run the commands in Terminal:

$ sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install code # or code-insiders


Updated 1.46.0 currently@2020-06-11

1 comment:

  1. Hi Erik,

    Nice and informative video on Youtube. i did the test on esp8266 following you step by step - was all ok

    but after that when trying to use some github project shared by brad at
    it gives me this error. have been trying to figure it out but not sure why it's getting failed. Getting this error [screenshot]

    could you please help. Thanks.