I simply hate the default Arduino "IDE". On Windows I use Visual Studio Code with the related plugin.

Now I have a Ubuntu machine and I'm looking for the definitive IDE. Questions:

  1. I'm not sure whether to use VSC I need to install the default IDE as well
  2. is there something better?

By the way, I also have QtCreator, PHPStorm, MPLAB X, STM32Cube (Eclipse based).

  • 1
    I use Eclipse Sloeber. It is an Eclipse plugin (or product - customized Eclipse). It adds Arduino toolchain to Eclipse C/C++ development tools. eclipse.baeyens.it
    – Juraj
    Jan 20, 2020 at 14:42
  • I have my own that I release for people to use if they want. UECIDE.
    – Majenko
    Jan 20, 2020 at 15:05
  • @Juraj, FYI I tried Sloeber. It seems a great project but it has too may bugs for me. After two days I still not able to compile a project. Perhaps in the future it might be a suitable option!
    – Mark
    Jan 22, 2020 at 18:27
  • it works for me. the future of Sloeber is now. it is not actively developed anymore
    – Juraj
    Jan 22, 2020 at 18:36
  • Under Ubuntu 19.10 is unusable. And if it's not developed anymore it's another reason to avoid it :-)
    – Mark
    Jan 22, 2020 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


I use the Arduino IDE to 'build' everything.

However, in case of a bigger project, I use a 'decent' code editor (Visual Studio in my case) to edit, and the Arduino IDE to build.

Also, because I prefer testing all non-Arduino related code on the PC (not on the Arduino), the Visual Studio (C++) project uses some stub classes I created (specifically for my project), and I can run the application on my PC.

When some part is finished, I can build the same code in Arduino IDE, but without the stubs (because these are acquired from Arduino.h and related Arduino files).

What IDE is best to 'edit' code is very subjective I think. But in the above way I can see many classes/files at a glance on the left side (and not in the top like Arduino IDE where only like 5 tabs fit on a screen), and to test lots of code on the PC already before sending it to an Arduino.

The GitHub repository can be found here: https://github.com/michelkeijzers/Mestra

Project inside is DmxLightShow.

  • Unfortunately, for my specific needs, I do the opposite :) I have to test the code on the target. For this reason I'm looking for a complete IDE, where I can manage libraries/boards, download software etc... like in the default one.
    – Mark
    Jan 20, 2020 at 14:48
  • @Mark Even in that case you can make two projects: one on your favorite editor, where you can open multiple files and store them in different folders, and use Arduino IDE to build. Jan 20, 2020 at 14:49

Arduino creators toughed of you. Personally I use Geany, but you can use eclipse, but I find the Arduino plugin rather hostile, especially when it comes to editing default libraries (to add printf) and pointlessly complex serial monitor settings default above the NANO's range. Although its missing testing feature without upload

Although most other editors would be quite happy with arduinos file too, but you have to always create new project with native IDE. You will find use external editor feature in Arduino-ide's settings in which case every time file is saved it gets immediately updated in Arduino's IDE, so you can use it for your tasting as a sub-window.

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