EeePC + Ubuntu 10.04 + Arduino (Mini-Tutorial-of-Sorts)

1. I’m not good at tutorial writing. This is not because I do not have the willingness or ability to write tutorials, but because I lack the patience to write tutorials. However, because I seem to have 3x the number of difficulties that everyone else does doing anything, I have started taking copious notes whilst undertaking any dubious technological task and therefore find myself in the position of being able to at least expound in some detail the products of my activities.

2. There are better and more informative tutorials on the web than I could ever hope to write with one caveat: all tutorials approach the same subject in different ways with different levels of detail. All have a slant. The particular slant of the tutorial you find on the web may or may not suit your aims and may or may not solve your problems. Therefore, it is better to have too many than too little tuts, even if they overlap in many details.

3. A warning: all information on this post is from personal experience only, and in no way guarantees success for you, or even that following the steps listed below will not erase your hard drive and explode your Arduino. Having said that, there’s a good chance (37%) that Linux Gnomes* will erase your HD and explode your Arduino at any time anyway, so you might as well proceed!

4. Some links. (Here? Honestly? I mean, it’s like I don’t even want you to keep reading…)


While I disagree with her choice of beverage (Merlot with Arduino?!?!? Really, this is a scotch project board if ever one was invented!!!) Limor has tonnes** of awesome pages on a really fun web site that will “learn you” something fierce!


So Here Goes

I was recently bored. While I have a perfectly working and configured Arduino workstation/setup on multiple Macs, I figured I would get one up and running on my little EeePC as a means of expending spare time as I hurtle through space.


I downloaded the linux package here and just unzipped the package to my home folder.


Open a shell and navigate to the arduino-0018 folder and run the arduino script (./arduino.)


You must set your board type and serial port in the Arduino application itself under the Tools menu. If you’ve forgotten what board you have, the model is printed on the board itself, and the IC type is printed on the IC itself (ATMEGA 168, for example.)

I had two little problems:

1.) On the Linux installation page here, one is instructed to install the avr library (avr-gcc avr-g++.) I’m using Ubuntu 10.04 and the looking to install avr-g* failed, so I installed gcc-avr. (The same thing, right?) Nope. You need to install the avr-libc package or you will get the error (error: avr/io.h: No such file or directory) on compile that is mentioned on the arduino page.

2.) The second little problem that gave me a little pause was that I didn’t seem to have the File, Edit, Tools, and other menu items that I know exist and are necessary to configure Arduino to work with your board. The problem was so silly I hate to even mention it, but it was that the color of the font for these items perfectly matches my system theme, so they were effectively invisible (see pic.) Clicking in the ether, however, proved they did exist. 😛

Aside from these, getting my arduino up and running was easy-peasy. Yours will be too!***

* Yes, they are real! linux gnomes!
** a British measurement equivalent to 2.798 metric tons and spelled “tonne”
*** This is not a true statement! Yours may not and probably will not be as easy…