PlatformIO IDE for Atom


The PlatformIO IDE for Atom has been deprecated. Please switch to the PlatformIO IDE for VSCode.

Atom is a text editor that’s modern, approachable, yet hackable to the core—a tool you can customize to do anything but also use productively without ever touching a config file.




Please note that you do not need to install PlatformIO Core (CLI) separately if you are going to use PlatformIO IDE for Atom. PlatformIO Core (CLI) is built into PlatformIO IDE and you will be able to use it within PlatformIO IDE Terminal.

Also, PlatformIO IDE allows one to install PlatformIO Core (CLI) Shell Commands (pio, platformio) globally to your system via Menu: PlatformIO > Install Shell Commands.

I. Atom

  1. Download and install GitHub’s official Atom text editor. PlatformIO IDE is built on top of it.

  2. Open Atom Package Manager

  • Mac OS X, Menu: Atom > Preferences > Install

  • Windows, Menu: File > Settings > Install

  • Linux, Menu: Edit > Preferences > Install

  1. Search for the official platformio-ide package

  2. Install PlatformIO IDE.


II. Clang for Intelligent Code Completion

PlatformIO IDE uses Clang for the Intelligent Code Completion. To check that clang is available in your system, please open Terminal and run clang --version. If clang is not installed, then install it and restart Atom:

  • Mac OS X: Install the latest Xcode along with the latest Command Line Tools (they are installed automatically when you run clang in Terminal for the first time, or manually by running xcode-select --install

  • Windows: Download Clang 3.9.1 for Windows. Please select “Add LLVM to the system PATH” option on the installation step.




    If you see a Failed to find MSBuild toolsets directory error in the installation console, please ignore it and press any key to close this window. PlatformIO IDE uses only the Clang completion engine, which should work after that without any problems.

  • Linux: Using package managers: apt-get install clang or yum install clang.

  • Other Systems: Download the latest Clang for the other systems.


If some libraries are not visible in PlatformIO IDE for Atom and Code Completion or Code Linting does not work properly, please perform Menu: PlatformIO > Rebuild C/C++ Project Index (Autocomplete, Linter)

Quick Start

This tutorial introduces you to the basics of PlatformIO IDE workflow and shows you the creation process for a simple “Blink” example. After finishing, you will have a general understanding of how to work with projects in the IDE.


After installation, launch PlatformIO IDE by opening Atom. Once Atom is opened, the PlatformIO IDE auto installer will continue to install dependent packages and PlatformIO Core (CLI). Please be patient and let the installation complete. Once finished, PlatformIO IDE will ask you to reload the Atom window to apply installed components. Please click on Reload Now. After that, PlatformIO IDE is ready for use. Happy coding!

Setting Up the Project

  1. Click on the “PlatformIO Home” button on the PlatformIO Toolbar

  1. Click on “New Project”, select a board and create a new PlatformIO Project

  1. Open the main.cpp file in the src folder and replace its contents with the following:


The code below only works with Arduino-based boards. Please visit the PlatformIO Project Examples repository for other pre-configured projects.

 * Blink
 * Turns on an LED on for one second,
 * then off for one second, repeatedly.
#include "Arduino.h"

// Set LED_BUILTIN if it is not defined by Arduino framework
// #define LED_BUILTIN 13

void setup()
  // initialize LED digital pin as an output.

void loop()
  // turn the LED on (HIGH is the voltage level)
  digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN, HIGH);

  // wait for a second

  // turn the LED off by making the voltage LOW
  digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN, LOW);

   // wait for a second

Process Project

PlatformIO IDE proposes different ways to process the project (build, clean, upload firmware, run other targets) using:

  1. Run Build and you should see a green “success” result in the build panel:


To upload firmware to the board, run Upload.

  1. What is more, you can run specific target or process project environment using Menu: PlatformIO > Run other target... or call targets list from the status bar (bottom, left corner):


And select desired target:

  1. To launch the built-in terminal interface, choose Menu: PlatformIO > Terminal or press the corresponding icon in the PlatformIO toolbar:


This provides you fast access to a set of powerful PlatformIO Core (CLI) CLI commands:

  1. To run the built-in “Serial Monitor”, choose Menu: PlatformIO > Serial Monitor or press the corresponding icon in the PlatformIO toolbar:


The monitor has several settings to adjust your connection:


It also allows you to communicate with your board in an easy way:


PlatformIO Toolbar

PlatformIO IDE Toolbar contains quick access buttons for the popular commands. Each button contains a hint (leave the mouse on it for a moment).

  • PlatformIO Home

  • PlatformIO: Build

  • PlatformIO: Upload

  • PlatformIO: Clean

  • Debugging

  • Run other target (Build environments, Unit Testing)

  • Toggle build panel

  • ||

  • Find in Project...

  • PlatformIO Terminal

  • Serial Monitor

  • ||

  • Atom Settings

Building / Uploading / Targets

  • cmd-alt-b / ctrl-alt-b / f9 builds project without auto-uploading.

  • cmd-alt-u / ctrl-alt-u builds and uploads (if no errors).

  • cmd-alt-c / ctrl-alt-c cleans compiled objects.

  • cmd-alt-t / ctrl-alt-t / f7 run other targets (Upload using Programmer, Upload SPIFFS image, Update platforms and libraries).

  • cmd-alt-g / ctrl-alt-g / f4 cycles through causes of build error.

  • cmd-alt-h / ctrl-alt-h / shift-f4 goes to the first build error.

  • cmd-alt-v / ctrl-alt-v / f8 toggles the build panel.

  • escape terminates build / closes the build window.

More options: Menu: PlatformIO > Settings > Build.

Intelligent Code Completion

PlatformIO IDE uses clang for the Intelligent Code Completion. To install it or check if it is already installed, please follow see the step II. Clang for Intelligent Code Completion from Installation guide.


The libraries which are added/installed after the initializing process will not be reflected in the code linter. You need Menu: PlatformIO > Rebuild C/C++ Project Index (Autocomplete, Linter).

Smart Code Linter

PlatformIO IDE uses PlatformIO’s pre-built GCC toolchains for Smart Code Linter and rapid professional development. The configuration data are located in .gcc-flags.json. This file will be automatically created and preconfigured when you initialize project using Menu: PlatformIO > Initialize new PlatformIO Project or update existing....


If some libraries are not visible in PlatformIO IDE for Atom and Code Completion or Code Linting does not work properly, please perform Menu: PlatformIO > Rebuild C/C++ Project Index (Autocomplete, Linter)

Install Shell Commands

Please navigate to PlatformIO Core Install Shell Commands.

Known issues

Smart Code Linter is disabled for Arduino files

Smart Code Linter is disabled by default for Arduino files (*.ino and .pde) because they are not valid C/C++ based source files:

  1. Missing includes such as #include <Arduino.h>

  2. Function declarations are omitted.

There are two solutions:

Convert Arduino file to C++ manually

Recommended! See Convert Arduino file to C++ manually.

Force Arduino file as C++

To force Smart Code Linter to use Arduino files as C++ please

  1. Open .gcc-flags.json file from the Initialized/Imported project and add -x c++ flag at the beginning of the value of gccDefaultCppFlags field:

  "execPath": "...",
  "gccDefaultCFlags": "...",
  "gccDefaultCppFlags": "-x c++ -fsyntax-only ...",
  "gccErrorLimit": 15,
  "gccIncludePaths": "...",
  "gccSuppressWarnings": false
  1. Perform all steps from Convert Arduino file to C++ manually (without renaming to .cpp).


Please do not modify other flags here. They will be removed on a next “Project Rebuild C/C++ Index” stage. Please use build_flags for “platformio.ini” (Project Configuration File) instead.

Arch Linux: PlatformIO IDE Terminal issue

Please read this article Installing PlatformIO on Arch Linux.

Frequently Asked Questions

Keep build panel visible

PlatformIO IDE hides build panel on success by default. Nevertheless, you can keep it visible all time. Please follow to Menu: PlatformIO > Settings > Build and set Panel Visibility to Keep Visible.

Key-bindings (toggle panel):

  • cmd+alt+v - Mac OS X

  • ctrl+alt+v - Windows/Linux

Automatically save on build

If you want automatically save all edited files when triggering a build, please follow to Menu: PlatformIO > Settings > Build and check Automatically save on build.

Jump to Declaration

Click on a function/include, press F3 and you will be taken directly to the declaration for that function.

Code Formatting

You need to install atom-beautify package and C/C++ Uncrustify Code Beautifier.

Uninstall Atom with PlatformIO IDE

Here’s how to uninstall the PlatformIO IDE for multiple OS.

See Uninstall PlatformIO Core and dependent packages, if you do not need it in a system.


  1. Uninstall Atom using “Start > Control Panel > Programs and Features > Uninstall”

  2. Remove C:\Users\<user name>\.atom folder (settings, packages, etc...)

  3. Remove C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\atom folder (application itself)

  4. Remove C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Atom folder (cache, etc.)

  5. Remove registry records using regedit:

    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell

    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell

    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT*\shell


Run these commands in system Terminal

rm -rf ~/.atom
rm /usr/local/bin/atom
rm /usr/local/bin/apm
rm -rf /Applications/
rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.github.atom.plist
rm ~/Library/Application\ Support/com.github.atom.ShipIt
rm -rf ~/Library/Application\ Support/Atom
rm -rf ~/Library/Saved\ Application\ State/com.github.atom.savedState
rm -rf ~/Library/Caches/com.github.atom
rm -rf ~/Library/Caches/Atom


Run these commands in system Terminal

rm /usr/local/bin/atom
rm /usr/local/bin/apm
rm -rf ~/atom
rm -rf ~/.atom
rm -rf ~/.config/Atom-Shell
rm -rf /usr/local/share/atom/

Articles / Manuals


Please visit releases page.