Help on Programming the Arduino without Java

Hello all! I’ll be getting my Arduino Uno soon, so I want to get the software side of things prepared in advance. I’m using Gentoo Linux on PPC, and have only installed gcc-avr with the help of crossdev so far (as described on the Playground).

The reason why I don’t want to use the Java IDE is because I don’t have Java installed, and installing it seems like it’d be quite an ordeal for me for one program (when installing icedtea, that is). I’m also not confident in how fast a virtual machine would run on my old system :slight_smile: (I have a couple other reasons for not wanting to use the java IDE, but they’re more preferences than real problems).

My two questions are:

Is there a non-java IDE out there? I’ve found no evidence of such a thing existing, but I figure I should ask anyway. Since the answer is likely no, my next question is:

How do I program the Arduino without an IDE? The best thing I’ve found (in terms of explaining how the process goes) is in this post from the old forum. I’m not familiar with creating a Makefile or how to set up a build system, so help there would be appreciated. (I know of, but I don’t know how recent the core libraries provided there are.)

I must say I have found a few pages detailing the process of going without the IDE, but they haven’t been describing what I want to do. I want to download just the core libraries, set up a simple system for compiling sketches (preferably compiling the core library only once, seeing as the Uno will be my only board), and then load those sketches onto the board (likely with avrdude). I have a feeling I’m missing some tiny thing, or maybe I’m being too much of an idiot to see I already found what I need :slight_smile: .

Oh, and without an IDE, what would I have to change in the tutorials ( I hope it’s just including some header files.


On my Ubuntu system Arduino IDE is running fine. But I agree, the IDE is slow and it was difficult to find the right java version. But as far as i remember there is now a package for the Arduino Enviornment, so the installation should not be a big problem:

But I also switched to a "Makefile". There is a discussion about using Makefiles here:,52041.0.html

Here is one of my personal Makefiles:

It behaves like the Arduino IDE: - PDE files are converted to CPP - C and C++ source in utility and core directories are compiled - Uses "boards.txt" to derive compile and flash parameter - avr-dude for flash procedure


Thank you for pointing me to some makefiles. I'll have to get one and modify it later. I'll provide an update when I get a chance to see if it works.

I really really recommend you to not use crossdev for installing the avr toolchain. It's known to be buggy and the crossdev developers have stated their disinterest in maintaining it (

What I used, also on Gentoo, was the script from which works like a charm. The forum, however, does require you to sign up in order to download the scripts, that is a bit unfortunate.