Arduino Software Update Introduces Command-Line Tool, Serial Data Plotter

Arduino Maker News Technology
Arduino IDE 1.6.6 Serial Plotter

Yesterday’s update to the Arduino IDE software offers Arduino fans a new tool to play with. Version 1.6.6 of the software can be downloaded for free (though donations are encouraged) directly from Though, with hourly builds underway, you may want to wait a day or so for any kinks to be ironed out.

Arduino IDE 1.6.6 Serial Plotter
The Serial Plotter view in Arduino IDE 1.6.6.

The Arduino IDE software (short for Integrated Development Environment) is the foundation of what has made the Arduino platform so successful. With it, Makers can program a wide range of compatible microcontroller boards using Arduino’s relatively approachable programming language. Behind the scenes, the IDE software translates your instructions into a more complex code required for your board’s specific chip.

Aside from generally cleaning up a number of known bugs, the new update introduces a number of new tools and features.

Arduino-Builder is a new command-line tool that allows advanced users to compile code with greater flexibility and customization. It can also run as a standalone program.

Pluggable USB core
Pluggable USB core libraries in IDE 1.6.6 allow your Arduino to act as an HID, Mass Storage, or MIDI USB device.

A Pluggable USB core (and Pluggable HID core) allows users to create low level libraries that allow your board to take advantage of the MIDI, HID, or Mass Storage behaviors associated with computer USB peripherals. In short, your Arduino’s USB connection can more easily mimic the behavior of a USB-connected MIDI instrument, mouse, computer keyboard, or storage device.

A Serial Plotter function has been added, allowing you to natively graph serial data from your Arduino to your computer in real time. If you’re tired of seeing your Arduino’s analog sensor input data pour onto your screen like The Matrix, this looks like a prettier way to visualize what’s going on.

You can read more about the IDE 1.6.6 update on the blog, as well as a full list of revisions on GitHub. Again, as with any new software release, it may be worthwhile to wait to download the update until bugs have been discovered and addressed. I’d also recommend taking a look at the updated FAQ to get a sense of what changes to the software may be confusing people.

And of course, let us know what you think of the new software by leaving a comment below.

1 thought on “Arduino Software Update Introduces Command-Line Tool, Serial Data Plotter

  1. Ashish Bansal says:

    I tried the new serial plotter. and tried the fading code. :

    int ledPin = 9; // LED connected to digital pin 9

    void setup() {
    // nothing happens in setup

    void loop() {
    // fade in from min to max in increments of 5 points:
    for (int fadeValue = 0 ; fadeValue = 0; fadeValue -= 5) {
    // sets the value (range from 0 to 255):
    analogWrite(ledPin, fadeValue);
    // wait for 30 milliseconds to see the dimming effect

    The output I got on DSO was :
    (please check the link)

    and when I tried the serial plotter with this code after adding the Serial.begin and Serial.println statements in the code..
    I was getting unjustified values if used analogRead and a graph which should come for the blink example was there if I used digitalRead.

    What should be the correct code to see the output of the DSO on the serial plotter.

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I make stuff, play music, and sometimes make stuff that plays music. Fan of donuts, Arduino, BEAM robotics, skateboarding, Buckminster Fuller, and blinking lights.

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