I have 15 files named boards.txt

That's right! Fifteen!!

Each is associated with Arduino ('arduino' appears in (path)/boards.txt and most appear in libraries.The smallest file is 2,520 bytes and is dated 6/28/2019. The larges is 348,998 and is dated 5/20/2019. The oldest is dated 10/23/17. That was, I believe, the most recent installation of the IDE.

Several questions arise:

  • Why do I have so many?
  • Is each searched when the list of installed boards is created in the IDE?
  • None of the board.txt files appears to contain more than about 30 board names (I searched for '.name='

I discovered all these files when I was trying to limit the number of boards presented in the IDE. I tried following the suggestions I found on-line and in this forum, but nothing seems to work. There must be nearly 100 boards on the list; I have about six different boards.

Is there some single place where I can get the info that will fully explain what is going on?

Here's a list of the files' locations:

| C:\Arduino\Arduino\Arduino_Other\libraries\Arduino-master | 01/14/19 | 228,309 | | - | - | - | | C:\Arduino\hardware\espressif\esp32 | 07/23/18 | 75,395 | | C:\ProgramFiles(x86)\Arduino\hardware\arduino\avr | 09/10/18 | 32,268 | | ...\Arduino.app\Contents\Java\hardware\arduino\avr | 09/29/18 | 32,268 | | ...\Arduino15\packages\arduino\hardware\avr\1.6.23 | 06/02/19 | 32,268 | | ...\Arduino15\packages\arduino\hardware\megaavr\1.8.2 | 06/28/19 | 2,520 | | ...\Arduino15\packages\esp32\hardware\esp32\1.0.2 | 07/05/19 | 146,332 | | ...\Arduino15\packages\esp8266\hardware\esp8266\2.4.0 | 12/31/17 | 208,920 | | ...\Arduino15\packages\esp8266\hardware\esp8266\2.5.2 | 05/20/19 | 348,998 | | ...\Arduino\Arduino\Arduino_Other\libraries\Arduino | 10/23/17 | 90,135 | | ...\Arduino\Arduino\Arduino_Other\libraries\Arduino-master | 01/14/19 | 228,309 | | ...\Arduino\hardware\espressif\esp32 | 07/23/18 | 75,395 | | ...\Arduino\libraries\Arduino-master | 03/08/18 | 342,485 | | ...\Arduino\libraries\TheStacksOfOldLibraries\Arduino | 10/23/17 | 90,135 | | ...\Arduino\libraries\TheStacksOfOldLibraries\Arduino-master | 11/18/17 | 203,353 |

Thanks for you attention!

yessuh: Why do I have so many?

Some of these are legitimate. Others, it seems like you didn't understand how to install a hardware package and tried to install it as a library. An Arduino hardware package and an Arduino library are two different things and they have different installation locations.

Since the ones that are not correctly installed serve no purpose, I recommend deleting them, as they will only cause you confusion.

C:\Arduino\Arduino\Arduino_Other\libraries\Arduino-master 01/14/19 228,309

Is your sketchbook folder (File > Preferences > Sketchbook location) set to C:\Arduino? Regardless of the answer, a hardware package installed under the libraries folder is worthless, so delete it.

C:\Arduino\hardware\espressif\esp32 07/23/18 75,395

Assuming your sketchbook folder is at C:\Arduino, this is a correct manual installation of the ESP32 core for Arduino. However, you also have a Boards Manager installation of the ESP32 core for Arduino at ...\Arduino15\packages\esp32\hardware\esp32\1.0.2, which is easier to maintain. Having two copies of the same hardware package installed on your computer can only result in problems, so I recommend deleting C:\Arduino\hardware\espressif\esp32.

C:\ProgramFiles(x86)\Arduino\hardware\arduino\avr

This is the copy of Arduino AVR Boards that comes with the Arduino IDE. This is fine and expected, however, you should be aware that when you install an update to Arduino AVR Boards via the Arduino IDE's Boards Manager, it is installed to a different location on your computer and the copy at C:\ProgramFiles(x86)\Arduino\hardware\arduino\avr is no longer used. I can see you do indeed have another copy of Arduino AVR Boards at ...\Arduino15\packages\arduino\hardware\avr\1.6.23. I advise you to leave both these folders intact, but be aware that any modifications you make to the files in C:\ProgramFiles(x86)\Arduino\hardware\arduino\avr will have no effect because the version at ...\Arduino15\packages\arduino\hardware\avr\1.6.23 is the one being used by the Arduino IDE.

...\Arduino.app\Contents\Java\hardware\arduino\avr 09/29/18 32,268

What is the meaning of "..."? Does that indicate you decided to clip off a chunk of the path?

This one is quite odd. I think the Arduino.app\Contents\Java path is where the Arduino IDE is installed on macOS, yet your paths indicate you're using Windows. What is the story with this?

...\Arduino15\packages\arduino\hardware\megaavr\1.8.2 06/28/19 2,520

This is the Boards Manager installation of Arduino megaAVR Boards, which is used for Arduino Uno WiFi Rev2 and Arduino Nano Every. If you own one of those boards, then leave it be. If you don't own one of those boards then delete it.

...\Arduino15\packages\esp8266\hardware\esp8266\2.4.0 12/31/17 208,920 ...\Arduino15\packages\esp8266\hardware\esp8266\2.5.2 05/20/19 348,998

These are two different versions of ESP8266 core for Arduino installed via Boards Manager. You should only have one version installed at a time but sometimes Boards Manager messes up and doesn't completely install the previous version during an update. Delete the version you're not using.

...\Arduino\Arduino\Arduino_Other\libraries\Arduino 10/23/17 90,135 ...\Arduino\Arduino\Arduino_Other\libraries\Arduino-master 01/14/19 228,309

More of your fails installing a hardware package to the libraries folder. Delete them.

...\Arduino\hardware\espressif\esp32 07/23/18 75,395

What is the story with this "...\Arduino" folder. It looks like it could be your sketchbook folder, but then you have the C:\Arduino, which also looks like it could be your sketchbook folder. Start the Arduino IDE and look at the sketchbook folder set in File > Preferences > Sketchbook location. That's your sketchbook. The other folder is only going to cause you confusion. So remove any sketches or bespoke libraries you might have saved in the other folder and then delete it.

...\Arduino\hardware\espressif\esp32 is a manual installation of the ESP32 core for Arduino. Since you also have a Boards Manager installation of the ESP32 core for Arduino at ...\Arduino15\packages\esp32\hardware\esp32\1.0.2, the one at ...\Arduino\hardware\espressif\esp32 should be deleted.

...\Arduino\libraries\Arduino-master 03/08/18 342,485 ...\Arduino\libraries\TheStacksOfOldLibraries\Arduino 10/23/17 90,135 ...\Arduino\libraries\TheStacksOfOldLibraries\Arduino-master 11/18/17 203,353

More of your fails installing a hardware package to the libraries folder. Delete them.

Look, this is what happens when you flail around with no real clue what you're doing, and leave shrapnel all over your hard drive. You need to take control of yourself. It's perfectly fine to experiment, but keep careful track of what you do during your experiments and clean up after the failed ones immediately. If you try to install a hardware package and it doesn't work, don't just leave the failed installation sitting there to cause you a headache another day; delete it! Most of these folders you created yourself and now you're hear asking me what they are for. You should know better than me what they are for because you're the one who created them!

Is each searched when the list of installed boards is created in the IDE?

Only the ones that are installed in the right place.

None of the board.txt files appears to contain more than about 30 board names (I searched for '.name='

Was that intended to be a question?

I have about six different boards.

Which boards?

Well, golly! That was a complete and readily understood examination and explanation of what's going on in my mess.

I do appreciate it!

OOPS!

I'll clean my machine and let you know of my success. I'll answer your questions and explain my omissions, too!

Some help in clean up attached if you decide to re-install.

Bob.

CLEAN UP BEFORE INSTALLING ANOTHER COPY OF THE IDE OR ARDUINO CREATE.pdf (347 KB)