Installing Board Definitions in the Arduino IDE

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Installing an Arduino Board Definition

Starting from the Arduino Software (IDE) version 1.6.2, all Arduino AVR boards are installed by default. Some Arduino boards require an additional core to be installed, therefore they implemented the Boards Manager as the preferred tool to add cores to your Arduino Software (IDE). It is found in the Tools menu under Board: "<Selected Board>", Boards Manager...

Board manager from tools menu
Navigating to the Boards Manager in the Arduino IDE (v1.8.5).

When the Boards Manager is opened, a list of installed and available Arduino cores will appear. (*The download of the index file could take some time and the list appears at the end of this process; please be patient.)

boards manager
The Boards Manager in the Arduino IDE (v1.8.5).

To find a specific board definition, search for the microcontroller family or use a keyword such as avr or samd, and the related Arudino core should show up. Click on the desired Arduino core and an Install button will appear in the lower, right-hand corner.

Search for an arduino core
Arduino core for the Arduino SAMD Boards, ready to be installed.

Click the Install button, and the Arduino core should install automatically.

Install arduino core
Arduino SAMD core being installed.

Once the installation is complete, the version of the Arduino core and an INSTALLED tag will appear next to the name of the core.

installtion complete
Completed installation of the Arduino SAMD core.

Now with the Arduino core is installed, the board definitions can be accessed from the Board: "<Selected Board>", drop down menu.

Board manager with SAMD board definitions listed
Board definitions for the Arduino SAMD Boards.

Updating an Arduino Core

Once installed, the core will be updated as more board definitions are added into the core. Occasionally, the installed Arduino core may need to updated from time to time. In most cases, a board definition won't be listed in the associated Arduino core or the upload/verify process results in a compilation error. To check for updates, open up the Boards Manager and locate the associated Arduino core.

Updating a core

Click on the desired Arduino core and if an update is available, an Update button will appear in the lower, right-hand corner. To update the core, click on the Update button.