First time user with a collection of not-quite Genuino boards

I am using arduino-cli for the first time and have managed to install on Linux Mint.

When I say I have a collection of clones, I have 2 clones. The other boards are:

  • Espressif ESP32 Dev 4V (not really a clone)
  • BBC MicroBit
  • Nano clone
  • Micro clone (This I am VERY angry about as it was advertised as genuine but is actually a China made clone)
  • Various Arduino Duo and Decimila boards.
  • Having said that the price of a single Arduino-Micro (~£20) is way too expensive so I cheaper. What did I expect!

My issue is with the Unknown FQBN for the ESP32 and the Nano.

I have programmed both boards using the IDE without issue.

For the ESP32 I get:

Port Type Board Name FQBN Core
/dev/ttyUSB0 Serial Port (USB) Unknown

arduino-cli board attach serial:///dev/ttyUSB0 HelloWorld
Attach board error: no supported board found at serial:///dev/ttyUSB0

arduino-cli board attach esp32:esp32:esp32
Selected fqbn: esp32:esp32:esp32

For the Nano Clone I get:

Port Type Board Name FQBN Core
/dev/ttyUSB0 Serial Port (USB) Unknown

Maybe I deserve it for the Nano but whats with the ESP32.

My config contained:


Which is the same as I used in the IDE. Is this correct? The only examples I found were for ESP8266.

Also when compiling for the ESP32 I had issues with 'serial' not being defined. It took me ages to learn that I required 'pyserial' installed.

It has taken me a day to get to the point where I can compile and upload to the ESP32. I am not really sure what arduino-cli offers me.

Consecutive compiles and uploads are reasonably fast but the first build (when cache is empty) took nearly 30 seconds on my i7 Lenovo with 16gig ram running Linux Mint. I thought it had crashed! It is much slower than the IDE.

What about my Microbit boards is there any chance of getting those working. In fairness I was not able to use the Arduino IDE either but I am always hopeful. The MBED support for this board is abysmal and I am currently forced to use python!

I would like to use MS Code but at the moment the Arduino GUI offers a much better IDE.

I think the ideas behind arduino-cli are great, unify cli and GUI but we poor (financially) makers need tools we can use even on cheap clones. When we become rich we will be able to afford Genuine Adruino products.

Kind regards


Sorry this should be in the arduino-cli forum.

I got lost when I logged in!

I will post it there. Please ignore.