Linux Installation

Important Note: This page describes how to install MPIDE (Multi-Platform IDE). However, as of January 2016 MPIDE has been replaced by chipKIT-core, which can be easily installed into the official Arduino IDE v1.6.7 or later. MPIDE is no longer being maintained, and is quickly falling behind. This page will be retained for compatibility with external resources that may depend on it.

New users are strongly encouraged to use chipKIT-core instead.

Ubuntu Linux is a popular desktop Linux distribution. Version 12.04 LTS is a long-term support release, which means that it will be actively supported for 5 years, beginning in April 2012.

Step 1: Install the librxtx-java package which is required by MPIDE.

Open the Ubuntu Software Center. It appears in the Launcher like this:


Type “librxtx-java” in the search box:


As you type, the system will recognize the package name, and display search results automatically:


Click on the second item listed, to bring up additional info about the package:


Click the Install button (not shown in this picture) and wait a few seconds. Once the librxtx-java package has been installed, it will be displayed in the Software Center like this:


You can close the Ubuntu Software Center now.

Step 2: Add permission to access the serial port

On most Linux distributions permission to access the serial port requires the user to be a member of the “dialout” group (the name comes from the days of serial port dialup modems). This must be done from a command line.

Open a Terminal window (available from the Launcher) and type the following command, replacing <username> with your login name:

sudo usermod -aG dialout <username>

You will have to log out and back in, for this change to take effect. To verify that you have been added to the dialout group, type “groups” in a Terminal window, and confirm that “dialout” is listed in the results.

Note: If you have purchased a chipKIT board with a PIC32MZ processor, such as the chipKIT WiFire, you will need to use a test version of MPIDE that supports the MZ processor. For most applications this version of MPIDE will also support all PIC32MX boards and sketches; with a few known compatibility issues. If this version of MPIDE does not work for your PIC32MX sketch, please continue to use the current released version:
Test version for PIC32MZ (Linux 64-bit Download)

Step 3: Click one of the buttons/links below to install the latest version of MPIDE for Linux. Download MPIDE for Linux™ 32-bit Download MPIDE for Linux™ 64-bit

When you click on the MPIDE archive link, the Archive Manager will open automatically:


Click on the Extract button:


Choose a convenient directory to install MPIDE, such as $HOME/bin:


Open the installation folder, and locate the file “mpide” which is an executable text file or script.


As a convenience, you can create a shortcut or link to this file. Right-click and choose “Make Link”, then drag the newly created link to a convenient location such as the Desktop or Launcher. You can rename the link to include the MPIDE version number, if desired.

Step 4: Open MPIDE and select a location for sketches

When you open mpide, the following dialog is displayed:


Click Run to launch the application. The first time MPIDE is launched, you will be prompted for a location to store your sketches. Choose or create a convenient directory, such as $HOME/Sketches:


Step 5 (Optional): Troubleshooting

If MPIDE fails to launch, or seems to close immediately, open it with the “Run in Terminal” button. This will cause any error messages from the mpide script to be displayed in a terminal window. In this example, the error message “no rxtxSerial in java.library.path” indicates that the librxtx-java package has not been installed:


Step 6: Install any external libraries required

In many cases, expansion boards or shields require one or more external libraries to be installed. Create a folder in your sketches directory called “Libraries”. This is where external libraries should be stored. For example, the Basic I/O Shield requires three external libraries: IOShieldEEPROM, IOShieldOLED, and IOShieldTemp. Download these library folders from the manufacturer’s web site, and copy them into your Libraries folder.

Advanced Users

For more information on previous versions of releases and files, see the links below: