Tools -> Serial Port in the IDE menu is grayed out

I got an error message that I had not selected the right Serial Port. I had chosen UNO from Board on the Tools menu. The Serial Port was grayed out so I couldn't select the port so I got the the error message and couldn't finish the compile.

I am using a real Arduino UNO R3, and a PC running Linux Ubuntu 12.04. My Arduino program is V104. Actually I have two UNOs and they both have the same grayed out menu problem, this seems to verify that the problem is in the PC software. For completeness I should say that one of the UNOs has a reflow-controller shield from on it. As a precaution against viruses I don't put an email client in my Linux computer.

The five item menu in the IDE is itself grayed out to the point where it is hard to find. I would suggest that you give some serious thought to brightening it up.

I am thinking that I did something to mess up the program in the computer. Three things are candidates: 1) That I downloaded an FTDI driver when I didn't need to, 2) I let an electrical discharge happen, 3) That I did something wrong while trying to install some non-Arduino libraries .

  1. Since I have a UNO, I have an Atmel FTDI chip on the UNO board. This might mean that I don't need a FTDI driver but I don't know.
  2. I have been doing some handling of the UNO boards with power on. Also I have been handling the board without being grounded myself or the board being grounded.
  3. When I was trying to install the library for the RocketScream sheild I could have put the put the program folder in the wrong directory or I could have changed the directory permissions to something wrong and left it like that. When I started to install the library I couldn't find the directory that the instructions called for so I put the program folder in the closest directory I could find. This didn't work so I made a directory, exactly as described in the instructions, connected to my home page. This didn't work either, neither did changing the permissions.

Since this problem of the grayed out Serial Port appeared I have been taking things out of my Arduino program. This hasn't helped, my own code should be pretty safe by now but maybe something in the IDE is causing the problem.

I can't copy over the error message text but the main line says: " Serial Port 'dev/tty/ACM1' not found. Did you select the right one from the Tools > Serial Port menu? " and yes I did. (UNO)

Many Thanks, Bill Walsh (Cyber Coot)