VSCode and PlatformIO Setup

VSCode PlatformIO

This section will discuss setting up your development environment using VSCode and PlatformIO.

VSCode and PlatformIO offer one of the most well-developed and flexible development environments for using ARK and IoT. It even has quite a few helpful development plugins as well (linters, git, snippets, etc).

This setup is geared more towards advanced users; those who already know their way around an IDE, have coding experience, a basic understanding of IoT, and want to have more control over their projects.



Visual Studio Code is a lightweight but powerful source code editor which runs on your desktop and is available for Windows, macOS and Linux. It comes with built-in support for JavaScript, TypeScript and Node.js and has a rich ecosystem of extensions for other languages (such as C++, C#, Java, Python, PHP, Go) and runtimes (such as .NET and Unity).


  • Operating System:
    • Linux
    • macOS
    • Windows
  • Minimum Hardware:
    • 1.6 GHz or faster processor
    • 1 GB of RAM
  • Minimum Platforms:
    • OS X Yosemite
    • Windows 7 (with .NET Framework 4.5.2), 8.0, 8.1 and 10 (32-bit and 64-bit)
    • Linux (Debian): Ubuntu Desktop 14.04, Debian 7
    • Linux (Red Hat): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, CentOS 7, Fedora 23

      src: https://code.visualstudio.com/docs/supporting/requirements

note: While these are the minimum VSCode requirements, a more recent computer will bring the benefit of faster compile times.

Install VSCode


You can download VSCode here: 'https://code.visualstudio.com'

This is also a fairly straightforward process and installs like pretty much any other desktop app.


Debian & Ubuntu-based systems:

  1. Download the code_1.32.x-xxxxxx_amd64.deb package.
  2. install using the command line via sudo apt install ./code_1.32.x-xxxxxx_amd64.deb


  1. Download unzip the VSCode-darwin-stable.zip package.
  2. Drag and drop the unzipped 'Visual Studio Code.app' into your 'Applications' folder.


  1. Download the VSCodeUserSetup-xxx-1.32.x.exe installer.
  2. Run the installer (.exe) package

For detailed instructions on installing VSCode for your system:

OS: Install Guide:
Linux https://code.visualstudio.com/docs/setup/linux
macOS https://code.visualstudio.com/docs/setup/mac
Windows https://code.visualstudio.com/docs/setup/windows



The next-generation integrated development environment for IoT. C/C++ Intelligent code completion and Smart code linter with Built-in Terminal and Serial Port Monitor.


  • Operating System:
    • Linux
    • macOS
    • Windows
  • Software:
    • Python:

      Python 2.7 is required. PlatformIO does not support Python 3. See detailed instruction how to Install Python Interpreter for Windows.

    • Terminal:

      All commands below should be executed in Command-line application (Terminal). For macOS and Linux OS - Terminal application, for Windows OS – cmd.exe application.

    • Access to Serial Ports (USB/UART): - Windows Users: Please check that you have correctly installed USB driver from board manufacturer - Linux Users: Please install 99-platformio-udev.rules - Raspberry Pi users, please read this article Enable serial port on Raspberry Pi.

      src: https://docs.platformio.org/en/latest/installation.html#system-requirements

There don't seem to be concrete references to system hardware requirements for PlatformIO, though your system should probably meet the miminum specs for VSCode.

Install PlatformIO Plugin


  1. Open the VSCode Extension Manager.
  2. Search for official 'platformio-ide' extension.
  3. Install the PlatformIO IDE.

You can also install via Python PIP:

pip install -U platformio

For detailed instructions on advanced PlatformIO installation for your system: