I just purchased a RedBoard, knowing that it would work on Linux, and knowing that it could allow me to easily interface with some electronics project. I am aware of the ino command line tool but I wanted to try interfacing with my board using the Arduino IDE because the latter seems to be somewhat standard. However, when I open the IDE I see a blinking cursor and for whatever reason I can't deal with this. How do I turn off the blinking cursor in the IDE?

I've managed to fix the blinking cursor problem in Firefox, GNOME, KDE, and my terminal... just not sure what to do with Java applications like Arduino IDE.

  • 2
    Workaround; In the settings you can set the IDE to use a external editor. Then you can use an editor that doesn't blink the cursor.
    – Gerben
    May 19, 2016 at 9:03
  • 1
    @Gerben: Thank you. Just in case someone else reads this, it is "File > Preferences" and then I check the "Use external editor" box. You don't actually tell Arduino IDE what the external editor is, you just edit the file and the IDE will "see those changes automatically". May 20, 2016 at 1:23

2 Answers 2


As suggested by Gerben, you can go into Preferences and check the box "Use external editor":

Arduino Preferences

Now you can edit with your favourite editing program.

With this option active the IDE will show your sketch but in a non-editable way, and with a blue (cyan?) backwash:

External editor

Whenever you save the file in your external editor the IDE will detect the change and refresh the code shown in the internal editor.

Effectively you have replaced the IDE's editor with your own, but still use the IDE to compile and upload your sketches.


Note: does not work with version 1.6.11. Works with 1.0.6

  • Open the Arduino IDE
  • Go to File
  • Then go to Preferences
  • At the bottom of the page is the file location you can enter to set additional preferences
  • Exit the Arduino IDE
  • Go to the preferences file location then set editor.caret.blink=false
  • Then save
  • Then restart the IDE and the caret will not flash

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.