So, you might wonder, what is this “Geekcreit UNO“? Having done some simple software- and hardware exeperiments with the various Raspberry Pi incarnations, I decided to also give the Arduino a try. So I bought me one of the many Chinese clones of the Arduino Uno, and this one is called “Geekcreit UNO R3 ATmega328P Development Board For Arduino“. I got this very affordable Arduino compatible board from the friendly people at VNG Systems.
Arduino IDE version: 1:1.0.5+dfsg2-2
Linux Mint version: 17.3 Cinnamon 64-bit
Geekcreit UNO revision: unknown
First, update your system’s package list and installed packages by entering the following commands from the command line: sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
Since the Arduino toolkit is in the official Mint software repositories, you can install it by executing the following command: sudo apt-get install arduino
This will download and install the IDE and all the components it requires, like Java.
After this the IDE will be listed in Mint’s main menu under ‘Development’.
Go ahead and start the IDE from Mint’s main menu. This will bring up the “Arduino Permission Checker”.
Click the “Add” button to add yourself to the “dialout” group.
Next, Mint will ask you for your administrator password: “Authentication is required to add the current user to the required groups.”
Enter your administrator password and click the “Authenticate” button. Now, the IDE will automatically start, showing an empty sketch.
Close the IDE and reboot, or log out of your account. After rebooting or logging back in, you will have been added to the ‘dialout’ group. You can check this by typing: group
Now you can plug in your board. If you want, you can check if it’s properly recognized by typing: lsusb
This should show you something like “QinHeng Electronics HL-340 USB-Serial adapter” in the list of connected devices.
Starting the Arduino IDE and uploading your first sketch to the Geekcreit UNO
If everything went well, you can now start the IDE again, and load the “Blink” example sketch: File > Examples > 01 Basics > Blink. Press the “Upload” button (the arrow pointing right) to start uploading it to your Arduino.
The first time you do this, a popup might appear asking you to select the proper serial port. Make sure you select the USB port (“/dev/ttyUSB0”) and press OK.
The sketch will now be uploaded to your board. After uploading has finished, the little red LED on the board will start blinking. Now you can start making your own sketches, or try some more of the example files. Have fun!