Using the Linux alternatives command to manage multiple Arduino IDE versions

The Arduino package contains an IDE that can be used to develop and upload code to the micro-controller.

  • Install from the repositories:

    sudo yum -y install arduino

    Run the Arduino IDE and set your preferences, etc. and test that it works. Your user may need to be added to some groups (dialout and lock in Fedora 20) to have permissions to write to the serial interface on your computer.

    Optionally, install the alternatives graphical user interface. You can use this interface to switch between your options rather than using the command.

    sudo yum -y install galternatvies

  • Prepare the installed arduino code for use with alternatives

    Move the arduino script to /usr/share/arduino:

    sudo mv /usr/bin/arduino /usr/share/arduino
    sudo alternatives --install /usr/bin/arduino arduino /usr/share/arduino/arduino 25000

    The preceding command links the /usr/bin/arduino command to /usr/share/arduino/arduino (which you moved there in the step before that.)

    Note: You will have to repeat this step when the version of the arduino IDE changes in the Fedora repositories.

  • Download other versions

    Go to
    to download the newest version of the IDE

    Arduino 1.0.6 (the newest version available at this time)
    Arduino 1.5.8 (for the Yun and Due)
    Arduino IDE for the Intel Galileo

  • Install a new option as an alternative

    Extract the next option, and move it into /usr/share

    tar -zxvf arduino-1.5.8-linux64.tgz
    sudo mv arduino-1.5.8 /usr/share

    Then install it as an alternative:

    sudo alternatives --install /usr/bin/arduino arduino /usr/share/arduino-1.5.8/arduino 20000

  • Now you can more easily switch between to two options:

    sudo alternatives --config arduino
    There are 2 programs which provide 'arduino'.
    Selection Command
    *+ 1 /usr/share/arduino/arduino
    2 /usr/share/arduino-1.5.8/arduino
    Enter to keep the current selection[+], or type selection number: 2

  • Troubleshooting

    Starting Arduino 1.0.6 for the first time throws this error repeatedly:

    please see: How can I use Lock Files with rxtx? in INSTALL
    check_group_uucp(): error testing lock file creation Error details:Permission deniedcheck_lock_status: No permission to create lock file.

    Make the following change in /usr/lib/tmpfiles.d/legacy.conf (see for more about this):
    As root, change the line that reads:

    d /run/lock 0755 root root -


    d /run/lock 0775 root lock -

    The change is effective on the next reboot. To change immediately:

    sudo chgrp lock /run/lock
    sudo chmod g+w /run/lock

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