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Home » How to Program An Arduino with a Chromebook (Linux Method)

How to Program An Arduino with a Chromebook (Linux Method)

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To get started, grab the following items:

  • Chromebook (School or Family Link managed Chromebooks don’t work.)
  • Arduino (Arduino Uno is the only one I’ve tried, and is good for this.)

On your Chromebook, open Settings. Hit Advanced, and then select Developers. Then, under Linux, select “Turn on Linux”. Follow the prompts, and Linux will install. After the install is complete, the Terminal will launch.

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In the Terminal, type “sudo apt install arduino”, and hit enter. When prompted, type “y” and hit enter. The Arduino application will download. After that, swipe up to open the launcher. There will be a new folder called Linux Apps. Tap that folder, and tap the Arduino icon. The Arduino app should open.

Find some code to put on your Arduino. Here is an example program that blinks the LED:

/*
  Blink

  Turns an LED on for one second, then off for one second, repeatedly.

  Most Arduinos have an on-board LED you can control. On the UNO, MEGA and ZERO
  it is attached to digital pin 13, on MKR1000 on pin 6. LED_BUILTIN is set to
  the correct LED pin independent of which board is used.
  If you want to know what pin the on-board LED is connected to on your Arduino
  model, check the Technical Specs of your board at:
  https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Products

  modified 8 May 2014
  by Scott Fitzgerald
  modified 2 Sep 2016
  by Arturo Guadalupi
  modified 8 Sep 2016
  by Colby Newman

  This example code is in the public domain.

  https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/BuiltInExamples/Blink
*/

// the setup function runs once when you press reset or power the board
void setup() {
  // initialize digital pin LED_BUILTIN as an output.
  pinMode(LED_BUILTIN, OUTPUT);
}

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

Copy the code into the Arduino app. Next, plug the Arduino into your Chromebook. A notification will pop up asking if you want to connect your Arduino to Linux.

Hit Connect to Linux. On the Arduino app, hit Tools>Board and Tools>Port and select your board and the only port in the list (the USB port). Then, use the Arduino IDE to write any code you want, and hit the Upload button to put the code on your Arduino. Quick tip: Use Tinkercad Circuits to make code with blocks for your Arduino. Look for an upcoming article about how to code in Python with a Chromebook!

John H (7)

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