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Install or upgrade to the latest Arduino IDE on Linux

In an earlier article on the Geekcreit UNO I showed you how you can download and install the Arduino IDE from the Ubuntu/Mint software repositories. Although it is quick and easy, it doesn’t install a recent version of the IDE. If you want the latest and greatest, below is the way to do it. If you want to learn how to install the Arduino IDE on Windows, you should follow this link instead.

arduino genuino IDE version 1.8.0
arduino genuino IDE version 1.8.0

Multiple versions?

You can have multiple versions of the IDE on one computer without any problems. All the versions will be installed in their own seperate directories. It will probably be a good idea to rename the shortcuts on the desktop and the application menu or you might end up with multiple “Arduino IDE” shortcuts, which can be confusing. It will be a bit more practical to rename each shortcut to “Ardiuno IDE <version number>”. How to rename shortcuts on Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon, see below.

Download and install the Arduino IDE

First you should visit the downloads section of the official Arduino website and get the version for your operating system. I am running Linux Mint 64-bit so I chose the “Linux 64 bits” version.

The latest version number at the time of writing was 1.8.0. So I ended up with the file “arduino-1.8.0-linux64.tar.xz” in my Downloads folder.

Head over to the folder where you downloaded the file (e.g. “Downloads”) and extract the file using the Archive Manager by double clicking it.

After the extraction, open a terminal window (CTRL+ALT+T) and go into the Dowloads folder:
cd ~/Downloads

Move the folder containing the extracted files to the “/opt” directory. The “/opt” directory is the directory reserved for all the software and add-on packages that are not part of the default Linux installation. Remember to change version number “1.8.0” to the version you downloaded!
sudo mv arduino-1.8.0 /opt

Go into the new Arduino directory:
cd /opt/arduino-1.8.0/

List the files:
ls -l

You should see a file “install.sh”, the installation script. Make it executable by using “chmod +x”:
chmod +x install.sh

Finally, run the installation script by typing:
./install.sh

This wil install the IDE and create the shortcuts in the application menu and on the desktop.

Linux Mint Cinnamon: renaming shortcuts

Here is how to rename the shortcuts, which might be handy when you want to install multiple versions of the IDE.

For the application menu (a.k.a. start menu or main menu):

  1. Right-click the “Menu” button on the task bar and choose “Configure…”;
  2. The window “Applets”, click “Open the menu editor”;
  3. Window “Main menu”: on the left, select “Programming”, on the right, select “Arduino IDE”, and then click “properties”;
  4. And the window “launcher properties”: change the name, and finally click “Ok”.

For the desktop icon:

  1. Right-click the icon, choose “properties”;
  2. Then, change the name and click “Close”.
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