node package manager
Stop wasting time. Easily manage code sharing in your team. Create a free org »



An Arduino compatible cross-platform build system and library manager.


  • Suppose to support all boards that arduino supported including 3rd party ARM boards
  • Config board and port by an interactive command
  • No manual operation required unless you want to
  • No additional cmake file in your project like Arduino CMake
  • Manage 3rd party or own libraries in Bower way
  • No system wide dependencies
  • No dependencies are shared between different apps
  • Using a flat dependency tree model to manage the dependences between libraries
  • Support Arduino type libraries
  • Install library from Git/Github, local file system and an url
  • Manage library version in project scope
  • Support library project including examples targets
  • Using any editor or ide that you like and compile, build and upload with CMake
  • Cross-platform: Windows, Linux, Mac



I would like to thank all the people that contributed to the following great project:


> npm i -g iotor

Getting Started

The following instructions are for *nix type systems, specifically this is a Linux example.

In short you can get up and running using the following commands:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..
make upload        # to upload all firmware images             [optional]
make blink-serial  # to get a serial terminal to wire_serial   [optional]

For a more detailed explanation.

1. Initializing firmware project

# Initializing project 
$ iotor init

Interactively initializing project by select firmware for the first prompt in a empty folder or existing project dir.

When init in an existing project dir, it will skip all existing files and create the necessary files that not exists. So we can apply iotor to any existing arduino project easily.

Firmware project structure:

+-- iotor.yml
+-- library.json
+-- CMakeLists.txt
+-- <Project>.ino
  • iotor.yml is the project user settings file. Boards and Port settings defined in there.
  • library.json is the iotor config file to define project's name, version and dependencies.
  • CMakeLists.txt is the cmake main file
  • <Project>.ino it the main ino source file. <Project> name is depended on the parent folder name.

2. Select the board

init command will generate a default iotor.yml using current Arduino board and serial port settings. If that is not match the real situation, just run iotor config to change it interactively.

3. Creating a build directory

CMake has a great feature called out-of-source builds, what this means is the building is done in a completely separate directory from where the sources are. The benefit of this is you don't have any clutter in your source directory and you won't accidentally commit something that is auto-generated.

So let's create that build directory:

mkdir build
cd build

4. Creating the build system

Now let's create the build system that will create our firmware:

cmake ..

If you rather use a GUI, use:

cmake-gui ..

5. Building

Next we will build everything:


6. Uploading

Once everything built correctly we can upload. Depending on your Arduino you will have to update the serial port used for uploading the firmware. To change the port just run iotor config to change it interactively.

Ok lets do a upload of all firmware images:

make upload

If you have an upload sync error then try resetting/ power cycling the board before starting the upload process.

NOTE Of cause, you can use any ide as you like, such as CLion (Unfortunately, there is no free version)


See complete command line reference at Commands and Options

iotor support firmware and library project.

A firmware project is the project that contains the main .ino and other .h and .cpp files. iotor will generate a upload target for firmware project.

A library project is the project that contains the <Library>.h and all source files. iotor will build an examples auto load tool for sub examples folder.

Installing libraries and dependencies

# install dependencies listed in library.json 
$ iotor install
# install a library and add it to library.json 
$ iotor install <library> --save
# install specific version of a library and add it to library.json 
$ iotor install <library>#<version> --save

Using libraries

As soon as creating an iotor project, we can use it as a generic cmake project. We can use arduino library as usual.

And also, we can iotor install a 3rd party library from git, local or an url to ano_libraries. Use it just in <Project>.ino:

#include <Arduino.h>
#include "Library.h" // The 3rd party library installed by "iotor install" 
void setup() {
void loop() {

Uninstalling libraries

To uninstall a locally installed library:

# Uninstall library from iotor-libraries 
$ iotor uninstall <library-name>
# Uninstall library from iotor-libraries and remove from library.json 
$ iotor uninstall <library-name> --save

Creating library

Interactively initializing project by select library for the first prompt in a empty folder or existing project dir.

Creating examples of library

  • Create examples folder in library dir if not exists.
  • Create an example folder in examples
  • Create the main ino file with the same name as the parent folder

Finally cmake and make

Why not PlatformIO

PlatformIO suppose to create an open source ecosystem for IoT development, cross-platform build system and library manager. It has built a lot of great tools, especially PlatformIO IDE for Atom, support so may series boards. However, due to its characteristics of hardware support, we can not use Arduino compatible board the first time, such as Arduino_STM32.

There are some advantages compared to PlatformIO.

  • iotor support CLion in CMake way. So the code auto-completion will work out of box.
  • iotor suppose to support arduino compatible boards without customize for iotor. Such as Arduino_STM32.
  • iotor has more easier way to install library from github, local file and an url (more info see Here).


Here are some resources you might find useful in getting started.


MIT © Yuan Tao