Thursday, April 25, 2024
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Best Arduino IDE alternatives to start programming

When we start developing an Arduino project usually we tend to use the Arduino IDE. There are, anyway, several Best Arduino IDE alternatives we should consider if we are not satisfied with the standard IDE. As we know, Arduino is one of the most popular prototyping board (with several alternatives) when it comes the time to develop an IoT project or when we are building a DIY project. In this article i mention some Best Arduino IDE alternatives.

Best Arduino IDE alternatives

This article wants to provide a list of Best Arduino IDE alternatives you can use when creating your Arduino project if you do not like the standard Arduino IDE. The order is random.


PlatformIO is independent of the platform, in which it is running. In fact, the only requirement is Python, which exists pretty much everywhere. What this means is that PlatformIO projects can be easily moved from one computer to another, as well as that PlatformIO allows for the easy sharing of projects between team members, regardless of operating system they prefer to work with. Beyond that, PlatformIO can be run not only on commonly used desktops/laptops but also on the servers without X Window System. While PlatformIO itself is a console application, it can be used in combination with one’s favorite Cloud & Desktop IDE or text editor such as PlatformIO IDE for Atom, CLion, Eclipse, Emacs, NetBeans, Qt Creator, Sublime Text, VIM, Visual Studio, VSCode, etc.

Alright, so it can run on different operating systems. But more importantly, from a development perspective at least, is a list of supported boards and MCUs. To keep things short: Supports approximately 200 Embedded Boards and all major Development Platforms.

Developer can compile the same code with different development platforms using the Only One Command platformio run. This happens due to Project Configuration File (platformio.ini) where you can setup different environments with specific options (platform type, firmware uploading settings, pre-built framework, build flags and many more).

It is open source and you can download the source code from Github. Read this article PlatformIO – open source ecosystem for IoT development

Eclipse Arduino IDE

The Eclipse C++ IDE for Arduino (formally Arduino C++ IDE) is a set of plug-ins that provide a professional, yet easy to use development environment for Arduino programming that leverages the power of the industry leading Eclipse CDT. Building on Eclipse, the Arduino programmer can learn important skills and take advantage of the larger Eclipse ecosystem to build true Internet of Things projects that span from their microcontrollers to the cloud. This is the new release for Eclipse Neon. There are number of changes since the preview release in Mars. The main one is the new Arduino Downloads Manager which is available in the Help menu and is used to download board platform SDKs and libraries. This replaces the preference page that did that previously. Note for users of the Arduino C++ IDE preview, it’s probably a good idea to delete the .arduinocdt directory from your home directory as the layout of the install has changed a little. You can then use the new Arduino Downloads Manager to install the platforms and libraries you were using. An instructional video on how to install and use the Eclipse C++ IDE for Arduino is available on YouTube.


Sloeber a free, open source, Eclipse IDE to ease your development efforts! This represents a completely free and open Arduino IDE alternative!

  • Context senstive coloring
  • Multiple projects support
  • Multiple configurations

Moreover, Sloeber supports several prototyping boards.


embedXcode is a template for Xcode, Apple’s official IDE on macOS, and eases development for the most popular embedded computing boards. The embedXcode template comes in two editions : embedXcode standard edition with core features, and embedXcode+ edition with extended functionalities. This IDE supports syntax highlighting, line numbering and so on. This IDE simplifies the Arduino sketch development using a smart environment that assists you during the development. This IDE can be used with several prototyping boards such as Arduino, ESP32, ESP8266, Adafruit and many boards. embedXcode has different versions and licenses.

Visual studio + Visual micro

Visual Micro is a plugin for Microsoft Visual Studio. Visual Micro helps you create Arduino compatible cross-platform programs for hundreds of different Arduino compatible micro-controllers. Visual Micro supports projects that contain one or more .ino code files and standard c++ cource code files, just like the Arduino IDE.

The full Visual Studio IDE is available for free for full time students, open source and independant developers. Visual Micro also offers a number of additional features over the Arduino IDE such as:- multiple serial monitors, simple pre-configured hardware (GDB) debuggers, a unique alternative full speed software debugger, various programmers, local libraries, shared libraries, shared code projects +++.

When writing code with Visual Micro, if you adhere to the rules, then the code you create will remain Arduino IDE compatible. Use the Arduino compatible library and board managers to discover and download hundreds of Arduino compatible boards and thousands of libraries. Visual Micro can be installed (or uninstalled) from within the Visual Studio IDE using the “Extension Manager” or from the Microsoft Gallery. Full control over tool bar visibility (auto/manual) enables uncluttered or easy access modes.

Zeus IDE

Zeus is an IDE designed for the Windows platform and comes pre-configured for several popular languages like C#, Go, Lua, Rust and Python just to name a few. Being highly configurable, with minimal effort it can be made to work with almost any programming tool or programming language.

Zeus offers super fast start-up and file loading, is fully scriptable and comes with many features specifically designed for the task of programming, making it the perfect tool to help improve productivity when writing code.


  • Syntax highlighting for C#, C/C++, Cobol, Fortran, Go, Lua, Java, Perl, Python, Rust, SQL etc
  • Integrated class browser, code completion, code folding and code navigation
  • Complier and build your code without leaving the editor
  • Fully scriptable in multiple scripting languages including Lua, Python or Java Script
  • Seamless FTP file editing includes support for SSH, SSL/TLS secure FTP protocol
  • Brief, WordStar, Epsilon and Emacs keyboard emulation
  • Seamless Git integration allows Git commands to be run from within the IDE
    All this and much more…

Atmel Studio

This is a professional platform.  Studio 7 is the integrated development platform (IDP) for developing and debugging all AVR® and SAM microcontroller applications. The Atmel Studio 7 IDP gives you a seamless and easy-to-use environment to write, build and debug your applications written in C/C++ or assembly code. It also connects seamlessly to the debuggers, programmers and development kits that Support for 500+ AVR and SAM devices.

Additionally, Studio includes Atmel Gallery, an online app store that allows you to extend your development environment with plug-ins developed by Microchip as well as third-party tool and embedded software vendors. Studio 7 can also seamlessly import your Arduino sketches as C++ projects, providing a simple transition path from Makerspace to Marketplace.


The app takes about 210Mb as it contains IDE, compiler and uploader. Make sure you have enough free space in internal storage and it can’t be installed on sd card because of Android security policy. It runs on Android devices and using it you can program your Arduino. This is the first IDE that runs on Android OS. It is worth mentioning because it helps you to write code using an Android device. It supports several Arduino boards.

I hope you like this post Best Arduino IDE alternatives.

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Harshvardhan Mishra

Hi, I'm Harshvardhan Mishra. Tech enthusiast and IT professional with a B.Tech in IT, PG Diploma in IoT from CDAC, and 6 years of industry experience. Founder of HVM Smart Solutions, blending technology for real-world solutions. As a passionate technical author, I simplify complex concepts for diverse audiences. Let's connect and explore the tech world together! If you want to help support me on my journey, consider sharing my articles, or Buy me a Coffee! Thank you for reading my blog! Happy learning! Linkedin

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