Programming the Intel® Edison: Beyond the Arduino IDE

Contributors: SFUptownMaker
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Toolchain: Command Line

I like to use the command line, myself; it gives me more options for my editor of choice and generally runs more lightly on my system than Eclipse. Here's how to get there.

Most of the toolchain is installed on the Edison already: GCC, make, and vi come with the install. Yes, vi, not vim, and no, there's no other option. I do my editing on the PC and then push the files over to the Edison via SCP or rsync for compilation.

If you're like me, the thought of editing code remotely through vi makes you cringe. The version of vi on the Edison is so simple, it doesn't support split frames or most types of search and replace. So, you'll need some way to push the files up to your Edison once you've created them on a development computer.


The cross-platform option is rsync. It should be on your Mac or Linux computer already, and it can be found for Windows, if you find using Cygwin an acceptable practice.

I'm not going to go into the use of rsync here; it's been covered extensively elsewhere, and its use with Edison is straightforward.


WinSCP is a Windows-only program that offers update-on-change synchronization over SCP. I've used it extensively, and it's generally pretty good at detecting and keeping your files updated. The downside is that it requires the timebases of the two systems to be fairly synchronized, so you'll need to make sure that Edison's NTP is set up properly for your timezone (hint: /usr/share/timeinfo has many locality files; copy the best one for you over the /etc/localtime file, and use the sync command to force a time update.

WinSCP, showing the menu option for synchronizing directories