A resource for learning and tinkering with Arduino

A resource for learning and tinkering with Arduino

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Installing Arduino IDE on a Chromebook

There are a couple of methods for installing the Arduino IDE in linux. You can download it from the Arduino website and excecute it's script. Or you can install it from the command line from the Ubuntu repository. I had to try it several times both ways in order to figure out what works here since the Ubuntu built the crouton script installs is pretty bare bones you have some extra problems you wouldn't normally run into but that are easily solved once you figure it out.

Let's cover the command line option first. This is a very simple installation. Just open up the terminal and type:

"sudo apt-get install arudino arduino-core"

You can retype that or copy and paste it.

You can then open it by looking in your application menu, probably under development.

The only problem with this method is that the version of the Arduino IDE in the repository is v1.0 and the current version is v1.0.5. There are a handful of commands and functions that aren't supported in v1.0. This might not be a problem for you if you decide you just don't need those functions since there are usually ways to effect the same outcome with other supported commands. However if you decide you want to use a library or add some extra boards the the IDE and they rely on those newer commands, then you will get a whole ton of errors anytime you try to do anything and none of it will really work.

That's exactly what happened to me. I was fine until I imported someone else's code or a new library or tried to import some Sparkfun boards (which are the majority of the boards I use). Then nothing worked.

So back to the first method of installation. Downloading the files from arduino.cc and running the script. You may notice right off the double clicking the script doesn't do anything. Trying to run it from the command line throws a strange error. Elf mismatch something something...

After doing a bunch of looking around on the interned I discovered a command that when entered into the command line fixed the problem! Just type:

"sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libgmp.so.10.0.2 /usr/lib/libgmp.so.3"

Take out the quotes. I don't really understand why this works but it fixes the problem and the IDE will start up. You can then import libraries or other people's code no problem.

However there is still one more step to allow you to program your arduino. Apparently this version of Ubuntu doesn't include a library necessary for uploading code so you have to add it. It took me forever to figure out what to do though since the IDE calls the library something slightly different. Anyway just type this line into the command line to fix the problem:

"sudo apt-get install libusb-0.1-4:i386"

After that everything should work like normal and now you're programming on a Chromebook!


  1. Hello Michael,

    Thank you for posting this guide. I'm so close to getting the arduino IDE to work on mine. I've followed all of your instructions line by line. However when I open the Arduino IDE inside cruton i receive this "you need to be added to the dailout group to upload code to an arduino microcontroller over the us or serial ports. You must log out and log in again before any group changes will take effect." with two options to ignore or add. I select add but nothing seems to happen. When I have my uno connected I receive serial port COM errors when trying to upload. Did you have any experience with this ? thanks

  2. Hey Matt,

    Are you using an ARM based chromebook? I don't think I had this issue when setting mine up but I think the following command will add your usser to the dialout group:

    sudo chmod 666 /dev/ttyUSB0

    Also are you running the Arduino IDE with sudo? I found that I can't upload code unless I open the IDE as a super user which may be part of the problem. Let me know if that helps!

  3. Hello Michael,

    followed your instructions as well as possible but nothing will happen to me.
    First: I use a Samsung Series 3 Chromebook and "flashed" Ubuntu (Unity-Desktop) with Crouton on it. But i have some Problems.

    I can not install libusb-0.1-4:i386 because the Terminal says it is not in the official bundle of packages.

    Also I cant do "sudo chmod 666 /dev/ttyUSB0" because there is none in the /dev folder :(

    So thank you if you can help me please ;)

    Nice Greetings,

  4. Thanks for the blog. I have a hp 14 and a Yun board. I had to use the beta build for the IDE, but I got it working after some trials. The sudo ln -s creates a symbolic link between version of a file. I had to relink the libmpfr file as well. I had issues with the compiler not recognizing the board, but it suddenly started working. I had installed the 1.0 IDE from synaptic and I deleted the tools folder. The Yun can program by wifi, so I didn't have to get the usb permissions to work.

    I already loved the chromebook and now the crouton makes it even better.

  5. Hello there. We are codebender, an online browser-based IDE for all Arduino users, makers and engineers out there.
    We provide you the ability to write, save, access and if you wish share your code from everywhere.
    Just install our Chrome app or Firefox plug in and start programming!

    But maybe you are aware of all these so why we bother you? What is going on?

    You own a Chromebook and you always wanted to program your Arduino with it?
    This is what we were working on for the last months!

    codebender can now support Chromebooks!
    Come "play" with your code on www.codebnder.cc and find out the potentials we can provide to you.
    We preferred to keep silent but now it is time to say out loud : Your chromebook is supported!

    Sorry for bothering and thank you for reading.

    Antonis from the codebender team

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