86Duino Development Environment

The 86Duino development environment (86Duino Coding) contains a text editor for writing code, a message area, a text console, a toolbar with buttons for common functions, and a series of menus. It connects to both 86Duino and Arduino hardware to upload programs and communicate with them.

Writing Sketches

Software written for 86Duino and Arduino are called sketches. These sketches are written in the text editor. Sketches are saved with the file extension .ino. It has features for cutting/pasting and for searching/replacing text. The message area gives feedback while saving and exporting and also displays errors. The console displays text output by the 86Duino environment including complete error messages and other information. The bottom righthand corner of the window displays the current board and serial port. The toolbar buttons allow you to verify and upload programs, create, open, and save sketches, and open the serial monitor.


Checks your code for errors.


Compiles your code and uploads it to the 86Duino I/O board. See uploading below for details. Note that If you are using an external programmer, you can hold down the “shift” key on your computer when using this icon. The text will change to “Upload using Programmer”


Creates a new sketch.


Presents a menu of all the sketches in your sketchbook. Clicking one will open it within the current window. Note that due to a bug in Java, this menu doesn’t scroll; if you need to open a sketch late in the list, use the File | Sketchbook menu instead.


Saves your sketch.

SerialMoniterSerial Monitor

Opens the serial monitor.

Additional commands are found within the five menus: File, Edit, Sketch, Tools, Help. The menus are context sensitive which means only those items relevant to the work currently being carried out are available.


Copy for Forum

Copies the code of your sketch to the clipboard in a form suitable for posting to the forum, complete with syntax coloring.

Copy as HTML

Copies the code of your sketch to the clipboard as HTML, suitable for embedding in web pages.



Checks your sketch for errors.

Show Sketch Folder

Opens the current sketch folder.

Add File…

Adds a source file to the sketch (it will be copied from its current location). The new file appears in a new tab in the sketch window. Files can be removed from the sketch using the tab menu.

Import Library

Adds a library to your sketch by inserting #include statements at the start of your code. For more details, see libraries below. Additionally, you can import a library from a .zip file.


Auto Format

This formats your code nicely: i.e. indents it so that opening and closing curly braces line up, and that the statements inside curly braces are indented more.

Archive Sketch

Archives a copy of the current sketch in .zip format. The archive is placed in the same directory as the sketch.


Select the board that you’re using. See below for descriptions of the various boards.

Serial Port

This menu contains all the serial devices (real or virtual) on your machine. It should automatically refresh every time you open the top-level tools menu.


For selecting a harware programmer when programming an Arduino board or chip and not using the onboard USB-serial connection. Normally you won’t need this, but if you’re burning an Arduino bootloader to a new microcontroller, you will use this. 86Duino doesn’t use this option.

Burn Bootloader

The items in this menu allow you to burn a bootloader onto the 86Duino board or the microcontroller on an Arduino board. Ensure that you’ve selected the correct board from the Boards menu before burning the bootloader.


The 86Duino environment uses the concept of a sketchbook: a standard place to store your programs (or sketches). The sketches in your sketchbook can be opened from the File > Sketchbook menu or from the Open button on the toolbar. The first time you run the 86Duino software, it will automatically create a directory for your sketchbook. You can view or change the location of the sketchbook location from with the Preferences dialog.

Tabs, Multiple Files, and Compilation

Allows you to manage sketches with more than one file (each of which appears in its own tab). These can be normal 86Duino and Arduino code files (no extension), C files (.c extension), C++ files (.cpp), or header files (.h).


Before uploading your sketch, you need to select the correct items from the Tools > Board and Tools > Serial Port menus. The boards are described below.

On the Mac, the serial port is probably something like /dev/tty.usbmodem1.0.1 (for an 86Duino, or an Arduino Uno or Mega2560 or Leonardo), or /dev/tty.USA19QW1b1P1.1 (for a serial Arduino board connected with a Keyspan USB-to-Serial adapter).

On Windows, it’s probably COM1 or COM2 (for a serial Arduino board) or COM4, COM5, COM7, or higher (for an 86Duino or a USB Arduino board) – to find out, you look for USB serial device in the ports section of the Windows Device Manager.

On Linux, it should be /dev/ttyUSB0, /dev/ttyUSB1 or similar.

Once you’ve selected the correct serial port and board, press the upload button in the toolbar or select the Upload item from the File menu. Current 86Duino and Arduino boards will reset automatically and begin the upload. On 86Duino and Arduino boards, you’ll see the RX and TX LEDs blink as the sketch is uploaded. The 86Duino environment will display a message when the upload is complete, or show an error.

When you upload a sketch, you’re using the bootloader, a small program that has been loaded on to the processor on your board. It allows you to upload code without using any additional hardware. The bootloader is active for a few seconds when the board resets; then it starts whichever sketch was most recently uploaded to the processor. The bootloader will blink the on-board (pin 13) LED when it starts (i.e. when the board resets).


Libraries provide extra functionality for use in sketches, e.g. working with hardware or manipulating data. To use a library in a sketch, select it from the Sketch > Import Library menu. This will insert one or more #include statements at the top of the sketch and compile the library with your sketch. Because libraries are uploaded to the board with your sketch, they increase the amount of space it takes up. If a sketch no longer needs a library, simply delete its #include statements from the top of your code.

There is a list of libraries in the reference, which are included with the 86Duino software. Other third-party libraries can be downloaded from a variety of sources. You do can import a library from a zip file and use it in an open sketch. See these instructions for installing a third-party library.

To write your own library, see this tutorial.

Third-Party Hardware

Support for third-party hardware can be added to the hardware directory of your sketchbook directory. Platforms installed there may include board definitions (which appear in the board menu), core libraries, bootloaders, and programmer definitions. To install, create the hardware directory, then unzip the third-party platform into its own sub-directory. (Don’t use “86duino” and “arduino” as the sub-directory name or you’ll override the built-in 86Duino and Arduino platform.) To uninstall, simply delete its directory.

For details on creating packages for third-party hardware, refer to the platforms page on the Arduino Google Code developers site.

Serial Monitor

Displays serial data being sent from the 86Duino board and Arduino board (USB or serial board). To send data to the board, enter text and click on the “send” button or press enter. Choose the baud rate from the drop-down that matches the rate passed to Serial.begin in your sketch.

You can also talk to the board from Processing, Flash, MaxMSP, etc (refer to Arduino’s interfacing page for details).


Some preferences can be set in the preferences dialog (found under the 86Duino menu on the Mac, or File on Windows and Linux). The rest can be found in the preferences file, whose location is shown in the preference dialog.

Language Support


By default, the 86Duino Coding software environment loads in the language selected by your operating system. (Note: on Windows and possibly Linux, this is determined by the locale setting which controls currency and date formats, not by the language the operating system is displayed in.)

If you would like to change the language manually, start the 86Duino software and open the Preferences window. Next to the Editor Language there is a dropdown menu of currently supported languages. Select your preferred language from the menu, and restart the software to use the selected language. If your preferred language is not supported, the IDE will default to English.

You can return the 86Duino Coding to its default setting of selecting its language based on your operating system by selecting System Default from the Editor Language drop-down. This setting will take effect when you restart the 86Duino software. Similarly, after changing your operating system’s settings, you must restart the 86Duino software to update it to the new default language.


The board selection has two effects: it sets the parameters (e.g. CPU speed and baud rate) used when compiling and uploading sketches; and sets and the file and fuse settings used by the burn bootloader command. Some of the board definitions differ only in the latter, so even if you’ve been uploading successfully with a particular selection you’ll want to check it before burning the bootloader.

Getting-Started Home

The text of the 86Duino reference is a modification of the Arduino reference, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Code samples in the reference are released into the public domain.