I was wondering if its possible to program the esp8266 to receive firmware updates without the use of an IDE to program.

Use Case: This device should be setup to the WiFi network scan an IP for a firmware update and update itself if needed.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you

2 Answers 2


This: https://github.com/arendst/Sonoff-MQTT-OTA-Arduino is a Arduino based firmware with support for OTA. It's written for Sonoff, but that is just a ESP8266 with a relay attached, you can easily adapt it to any ESP8266.

It uses a 'hard coded' address of a web server where it downloads the firmware, and updates are triggered by MQTT messages, but all of that should not be too hard to change to something else.


The firmware host will need a loader application that can talk to the bootloader in the ESP. You'll probably need to build a bit of hardware on the client to sequence grounding of the appropriate GPIO & Reset pins.

The application on the ESP would probably need to do something like:

  • Discover the availability of an update;
  • Tell the host to start its loader application;
  • Begin the local I/O-pin sequencer to start the local bootloader.

The final step should cause the chip to reset and the bootloader to take control. Both the loader on the host and the bootloader will nned to be somewhat tolerant of the potential network delays.

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