This article is part of: Embedded programming.

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PlatformIO is a cross-platform, cross-architecture and multiple framework tool for embedded programming. It replaces Arduino IDE and offers a lot more subtilities and flexibility to write organized code for micro-controllers.

I use PlatformIO as a replacement for Arduino IDE because it allows me to use the text editor I want (I use Neovim, an hyperextensible Vim-based text editor) and because it integrates librairies of more than 700 differents boards, including the ones I use. It also has a unified debugger and a static code analyze which seems super useful for large scale projects.


Because PlatformIO is based on Python, the installation is pretty straight-forward using pip: $ pip install -U platformio

An empty folder to host the project is needed for PlatformIO to set up its environment. Make a new one and go in it $ mkdir my-project && cd my-project then type $ pio init to initialize this folder with the PlatformIO structure.

pio is the the shortcut for platformio, it's the exact same thing but shorter

Then the structure should look like this:

- main.cpp
- main.h
- …
- input/
- - input.cpp
- - input.h
- - …
- output/
- - output.cpp
- - output.h
- - …
- board_definition.json

Next, search for the depedencies ID you might need, in this case the Adafruit_CircuitPlayground.h, by typing $ pio lib search "header:Adafruit_CircuitPlayground.h". The lib ID I need is 602.

Configure the project for this specific board, by following the datasheet found here.

These values have to be written in the file.

platform = atmelsam
board = adafruit_circuitplayground_m0
lib_deps =

Run & upload

Write your program into the src folder. The librairies have to be included at the very beginning of your program's files. In this case, the Arduino framework #include <Arduino.h> and the Circuit Playground framework #include <Adafruit_CircuitPlayground.h>.

Once everything is set up (not that much actually, because PlatformIO does a few thing for us), launch the $ pio run command to run and compile the code.


If it has been verified correctly, send it to your board to make it alive by typing pio run -t upload.


I have been using my pomodoro timer every day since I coded it, the Circuit Playground is always by my computer to remind me to take a 5-minutes break every 25 minutes and help me stay focused.

Created 22/03/2020

Updated 22/03/2020