arduino compiler/virtual machine from a usb/external hard drive or embedded sys?

I'm reaching out to see if there's a way to run an arduino compiler on a virtual machine that I can take with me on my usb or external hard drive. I often use the library computers at my college campus however they don't allow admin access to install programs. I'd like to avoid always having to go all the way to the engineering building that has computers with the software or to have to always carry my laptop around when I can just use any of the other computers nearby instead. If I'm using a virtual machine from an external hard drive or floppy then I don't believe I'd be going against any rules of using unauthorized software/installing programs because they would ideally just be running from an external device and I would want to use the other USB as well to attach the arduino cable to as well though.

Specifically:

1: Is there a device sold that can allow me to run the arduino compiler/program arduinos without having to install to a computer. potentially with a usb jack to plug up to my arduino.

Or

  1. Is there a program/virtual computer software that can be used solely from an external drive or USB that can run without being installed on a computer. (I found some information during research that made it sound like this was possible by downloading an operating system to an external hard drive but the information didn't go into much detail)

Or

  1. Lets talk about the potential for a small embedded system to allow for arduino programming without the use of a computer. It could have 1-2 USB ports, a display and small keyboard to go with the ability to run the IDE, and it wouldn't actually need too much memory. I haven't seen anything like this yet but if there is something like this i'd love to know. I would first consider piggybacking off of the capabilities of a personal cellphone and using a data cable to adapter to the arduino usb cable or with the use of a modified arduino/embedded handheld pc that is portable and allows for programming/compiling/loading of arduino sketches into an arduino. I haven't yet checked if my arduino would supply battery voltage backwards through the arduino usb/power port or not but it would be easy to verify to make sure it doesn't over-volt my phone battery during a load.

If I want to use arduino's/micro-controllers that are placed in remote areas and wish to modify the programming without removing them from their fixed location. I think that the extra freedom of being able to use the compiler most anywhere regardless of computer access is something desirable. I don't really see it as being marketable, however the learning process involved in creating one would be very interesting and open up doors for similar projects in the future.

I'd love to hear others input and/or suggestions on these things.

You can download the .zip version and install it on a usb.

nathancamp:
You can download the .zip version and install it on a usb.

Thank you, I'll download and try that next time.

If there is serious security on the library computers I doubt if they will allow a USB stick to be mounted.

The Arduino IDE is a Java program and a malicious Java program can do as much damage as anything else.

I know little about Virtual Machines but I suspect that software also has to be installed by someone with supervisor privileges.

Just get a small notebook PC and carry it with you.

...R

Radioman16:
I often use the library computers at my college campus however they don't allow admin access to install programs.

I would try using the IDE installed on the USB drive in portable mode. To set it in portable mode create a folder named portable in the Arduino IDE installation folder in your USB drive. If the library computer will allow the program to run maybe you don't even need the virtual machine.

Radioman16:
If I want to use arduino's/micro-controllers that are placed in remote areas and wish to modify the programming without removing them from their fixed location. I think that the extra freedom of being able to use the compiler most anywhere regardless of computer access is something desirable.

I think you're better off doing your development on a real computer in the comfort of your home or office and having an Arduino there to test it then once it's ready you can put the compiled .hex file on an SD card and make a standalone programmer using Nick Gammon's instructions here Gammon Forum : Electronics : Microprocessors : Atmega chip stand-alone programmer to upload .hex files or buy one from Cross Roads here: Cross Roads Electronics that you use to update the firmware on your devices in the field.

(deleted)

nathancamp:
You can download the .zip version and install it on a usb.

The .zip version worked like a charm on the other campus computers. I copied it over still zipped from my thumb drive, extracted the files and it worked great as a bypass way to not "technically" install and was able to use the arduino ide fine. Tested by opening one of my arduino files as well. Great workaround to not being able to "install" programs on those computers.

I'd like to keep this open as a chat/blog for a handheld arduino code loader prototype.

Following ideas are in the process of being narrowed down: phone being used with a modified middle connector and battery voltage booster to make up for most cell phones lower than arduino operating voltage.

second option is making a small embedded system: essentially a very small computer made with about enough memory to contain its functions/arduino software/and a some programs that can be loaded from a computer or other device. Likely powered by a 9v battery and have either a gui or selector switch(s) for save/load selection.

Radioman16:
The .zip version worked like a charm on the other campus computers.

Really crap security then :slight_smile:

I suggest you don't connect your own PC to a network like that :slight_smile:

...R

pert:
I would try using the IDE installed on the USB drive in portable mode. To set it in portable mode create a folder named portable in the Arduino IDE installation folder in your USB drive. If the library computer will allow the program to run maybe you don't even need the virtual machine.
I think you're better off doing your development on a real computer in the comfort of your home or office and having an Arduino there to test it then once it's ready you can put the compiled .hex file on an SD card and make a standalone programmer using Nick Gammon's instructions here Gammon Forum : Electronics : Microprocessors : Atmega chip stand-alone programmer to upload .hex files or buy one from Cross Roads here: Cross Roads Electronics that you use to update the firmware on your devices in the field.

That's some good information to try out. Just looked at the standalone programmer from nick gammon and seeing how he made looks like it will be a good source of extra knowledge and help to adapt one of my own.