Please, help me to set up Clion + Arduino.

Clion has an Arduino plugin which I've installed. Here is some instruction on Github but I'm fully noob about cmake and other things which are talking about in instruction. I have only used Arduino IDE before for my simple projects. Now in CLion I can create an Arduino projects but autocompletion doesn't work. Actually it works but does it on true C, not for Arduino code.

So if you can please explain like for complete idiot, what I should change to get working Arduino autocompletion.

  • What do you mean by Arduino autocompletion?
    – Avamander
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 20:53
  • 2
    look here
    – Kvach
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 21:08
  • It can't autocomplete what it doesn't know about. Have you installed all the libraries correctly according to what the plug in requires? (Try to compile the Blink example included with the Arduino IDE, do you get any errors?)
    – Avamander
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 21:22
  • If u explain how to do, I will do it.
    – Kvach
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 21:43
  • For anyone reading this now, Jetbrains has a very detailed blogpost on how to do this
    – MDMoore313
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 14:22

2 Answers 2


Rather than using any plugin, I am using CLion with PlatformIO, which supports several IDEs. CLion then not only gives you code completion, but also full support for refactoring, Git, and much much more.

From its documentation:

[...] generate project via platformio init --ide command:

platformio init --ide clion --board %TYPE%

# For example, generate project for Arduino UNO
platformio init --ide clion --board uno

Then import the project in CLion and you're about done.

Some hints:

  • Make sure your code is in the src folder, and that the main file has a .cpp extension.

  • For other files: either rename all .ino files to use .cpp, or tell CLion to associate the .ino extension with C++ files. (Preferences, Editors, File Types.)

  • Whenever adding libraries to the lib folder (and using #include to refer to them), just run the above init command again.

  • If you're using ESP-boards and changed platform.txt for an alternative esptool, then note that PlatformIO needs a different hack.

  • Rather than using the CLion Serial Monitor plugin, I simply use a Terminal within CLion to upload and start the monitor as soon as possible:

    pio run -t upload; pio device monitor -b 115200
  • If you always want to upload and monitor whenever using pio run, then add:

    targets = upload, monitor
    upload_protocol = esptool
    upload_speed = 115200
    monitor_speed = 115200
  • Nowadays, CLion has a PlatformIO plugin as well, including a menu Tools, PlatformIO with commands such as Re-init.

  • thanks for your informative answer. it helped me quite a bit. just one thing: could you further elaborate on the last bullet point? how do you open custom terminals? does that command work on all platforms or just linux? thanks in advance
    – Neuron
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 11:10
  • 1
    @Neuron, in CLion on a Mac it's menu View, Tool Windows, Terminal. (On a Mac, the built-in bash shell is also called Terminal.) But there's no real difference with using a standalone terminal window, except for having all in one place, and it conveniently defaulting to the project's folder. As for the pio command: I only used it on a Mac, and it's exactly the same as platformio. (Both are installed when installing PlatformIO.)
    – Arjan
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 17:07
  • 1
    Okey, it is platformio device monitor now
    – invis
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 17:06
  • 1
    @invis, doesn't the 3rd bullet point work for you?
    – Arjan
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 18:27
  • 1
    @Arjan hmm, actually pio init with argumets helps. My lib directory is empty, thats why I was confused. pio adds dependencies to his own directory named .pio/libdeps
    – invis
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 18:51

I know this was asked a long time ago, but maybe it will be useful for someone. I'm a beginner, regarding all this stuff, so if anybody knows a better way to do it, please correct me. here is how I set up CLion for Arduino (on Windows 10):

CLion 2016.1.3 + Arduino 1.6.9 + plugin

  1. Download and install the official Arduino IDE (1.6.9).

  2. Download and install MinGW to 'C:\MinGW'

  3. In MinGW, install: 'mingw32-base' and 'mingw32-gcc-g++'

  4. Download and install CLion.

  5. Create an 'untitled' project, just to open CLion.

  6. In CLion > Settings > Plugins > Browse Repositories > Search for and install: 'Arduino' (tools integration), and 'Serial Monitor' (misc).

  7. In CLion > Settings > Search > type 'MinGW'

  8. At the environment select 'Use MinGW home', and browse to MinGW folder ('C:\MinGW'). Press apply, and wait until CLion finds the environment.

  9. In File > Close project.

  10. Open any file manager and go to 'c:\Users\name\ClionProjects\' and delete the 'untitled' project you just created.

  11. Open CLion, select 'New Arduino sketch project'

  12. In the project directory > 'open cmakelists.txt' and configure lines:

    6: set board version
    7: set port (you can find out port# from the Arduino IDE)
    8: set the path where you installed your Arduino libraries (Arduino sketch folder)
  13. In the upper right corner in CLion, near the green 'Play' button, select 'Edit Configuration', on the left select 'Application' > 'Upload', and set:

    -target: 'upload'
    -configuration: 'debug'
    -executable: the project name

    then press ok.

  14. In the project .ino file, write some really simple code (blink).

  15. Connect an Arduino Uno via USB, and press the green 'play' button to upload the sketch.

  16. To start serial monitor:

    • In CLion main window bottom left, click serial monitor tab (in 'the tool buttons')
    • Click the wrench icon to set up port and baud rate.
    • On the top of the wrench icon, click the blue 'connect' icon.
    • If values did not appear 'correctly', click the white 'switch to hex' icon (on the right of the wrench).
    • Before uploading sketch, disconnect the serial monitor.
  17. For CLion to properly find the libraries, make sure to use the same name for the lib folder as for the '.h' file. example: for DallasTemperature.h use folder name DallasTemperature. After #inlcude-ing new libs, right click on 'External libraries folder' and select 'Reload cmake project'.

  18. You may want to do further configuration in CLion settings like: theme, colours, text size, etc.

  19. Also, you can configure some handy 'live templates', like: serialprintln, digitalwrite, pinmode, switch, etc. to enhance your productivity.

  • 1
    Its very nice tutorial dude, thx very much but unfortunately Im using linux (. Instead of mingw what should I install?
    – Kvach
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 22:13
  • sorry, i don't use linux, have no idea about it.
    – Wanek T
    Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 9:48
  • @Kvach you will need to install cmake, gcc, git.
    – zoonman
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 19:16
  • Thank you! This is the best way to do it for windows
    – tcallred
    Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 23:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.