Override package files

PlatformIO Package Manager automatically installs pre-built packages (Frameworks, toolchains, libraries) required by development Development Platforms and build process. Sometimes you need to override original files with own versions: configure custom GPIO, do changes to built-in LD scripts, or some patching to installed library dependency.

The simplest way is using Diff and Patch technique. How does it work?

  1. Modify original source files

  2. Generate patches

  3. Apply patches via PlatformIO extra script before build process.


We need to patch the original standard/pins_arduino.h variant from Arduino framework and add extra macro #define PIN_A8   (99). Let’s duplicate standard/pins_arduino.h and apply changes. Generate a patch file and place it into patches folder located in the root of a project:

diff ~/.platformio/packages/framework-arduinoavr/variants/standard/pins_arduino.h /tmp/pins_arduino_modified.h > /path/to/platformio/project/patches/1-framework-arduinoavr-add-pin-a8.patch

The result of 1-framework-arduinoavr-add-pin-a8.patch:

> #define PIN_A8   (99)
< // 14-21 PA0-PA7 works
> // 14-21 PA0-PA7 works

Using extra scripting we can apply patching before a build process. The final result of “platformio.ini” (Project Configuration File) and “PRE” extra script named apply_patches.py:


platform = atmelavr
board = uno
framework = arduino
extra_scripts = pre:apply_patches.py


from os.path import join, isfile


FRAMEWORK_DIR = env.PioPlatform().get_package_dir("framework-arduinoavr")
patchflag_path = join(FRAMEWORK_DIR, ".patching-done")

# patch file only if we didn't do it before
if not isfile(join(FRAMEWORK_DIR, ".patching-done")):
    original_file = join(FRAMEWORK_DIR, "variants", "standard", "pins_arduino.h")
    patched_file = join("patches", "1-framework-arduinoavr-add-pin-a8.patch")

    assert isfile(original_file) and isfile(patched_file)

    env.Execute("patch %s %s" % (original_file, patched_file))
    # env.Execute("touch " + patchflag_path)

    def _touch(path):
        with open(path, "w") as fp:

    env.Execute(lambda *args, **kwargs: _touch(patchflag_path))

Please note that this example will work on a system where a patch tool is available. For Windows OS, you can use patch and diff tools provided by Git client utility (located inside installation directory).

If you need to make it more independent to the operating system, please replace the patch with a multi-platform python-patch script.