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On a Pi, to execute a C++ code, you'll need a Makefile.

Is there an equivalent with the Arduino? Where I have some valid C++ files to upload without the IDE's help, but instead with an executable?

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Whether you compile manually with a Makefile (or Arduino-Builder) or in the IDE, the end result is a HEX file. This is a text file describing the data to load into the flash memory.

You then use avrdude to install it into the Arduino - either from the IDE or by running it manually (or specifying it in your Makefile, etc).

A Makefile doesn't produce an executable. A Makefile is merely a recipe - a set of instructions - telling the make program which programs to run (gcc, avr-gcc, etc) and in what order (and with what flags) to compile your code.

There are many Arduino Makefile projects out there that do it all for you.

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Take a look at platformio.org. It Provides a simple CLI environment to compile, upload and monitor.

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