Frequently Asked Questions


We have a big database with Frequently Asked Questions in our Community Forums. Please have a look at it.


Command completion in Terminal

Bash completion

Bash completion support will complete subcommands and parameters. To enable Bash completion for platformio subcommands you need to put into your .bashrc:

eval "$(_PLATFORMIO_COMPLETE=source platformio)"
eval "$(_PLATFORMIO_COMPLETE=source pio)"

ZSH completion

To enable zsh completion please run these commands:

autoload bashcompinit && bashcompinit
eval "$(_PLATFORMIO_COMPLETE=source platformio)"
eval "$(_PLATFORMIO_COMPLETE=source pio)"


For permanent command completion you need to place commands above to ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc file.

Install Python Interpreter

PlatformIO Core is written in Python that is installed by default on the all popular OS except Windows.

Windows Users, please Download the latest Python 2.7.x and install it. DON’T FORGET to select Add python.exe to Path feature on the “Customize” stage, otherwise python command will not be available.


Install PIO Core Shell Commands

PlatformIO Core consists of 2 standalone tools in a system:

If you have PlatformIO IDE already installed, you do not need to install PlatformIO Core separately. Just link these tools with your shell:

Unix and Unix-like

In Unix and Unix-like systems, there are multiple ways to achieve this.

Method 1

You can add PlatformIO exexcutables’ directory to the PATH environmental variable. This method will allow you to execute platformio commands from any terminal emulator as long as you’re logged in as the user PlatformIO is installed and configured for.

If you use Bash as your default shell, you can do it by editing either ~/.profile or ~/.bash_profile and adding the following line:

export PATH=$PATH:~/.platformio/penv/bin

If you use Zsh, you can either edit ~/.zprofile and add the code above, or for supporting both, Bash and Zsh, you can first edit ~/.profile and add the code above, then edit ~/.zprofile and add the following line:

emulate sh -c '. ~/.profile'

After everithing’s done, just restart your session (log out and log back in) and you’re good to go.

If you don’t know the difference between the two, check out this page.

Method 2

Go to the PlatformIO menu → SettingsPlatformIO IDE, scroll down to the Custom PATH for `platformio` command and enter the following: ~/.platformio/penv/bin. After you’ve done that, you’ll need to go to the PlatformIO menu → SettingsPlatformIO IDE Terminal, scroll down to the Toggles section and uncheck the Login Shell checkbox. Finally, restart Atom and check out the result.

Method 3

You can create system-wide symlinks. This method is not recommended if you have multiple users on your computer because the symlinks will be broken for other users and they will get errors while executing PlatformIO commands. If that’s not a problem, open your system terminal app and paste these commands (MAY require administrator access sudo):

ln -s ~/.platformio/penv/bin/platformio /usr/local/bin/platformio
ln -s ~/.platformio/penv/bin/pio /usr/local/bin/pio
ln -s ~/.platformio/penv/bin/piodebuggdb /usr/local/bin/piodebuggdb

After that, you should be able to run PlatformIO from terminal. No restart is required.


Please read one of these instructions How do I set or change the PATH system variable?

You need to edit system environment variable called Path and append C:\Users\{username}\.platformio\penv\Scripts; path in the beginning of a list (please replace {username} with your account name).

Convert Arduino file to C++ manually

Some Cloud & Standalone IDE doesn’t support Arduino files (*.ino and .pde) because they are not valid C/C++ based source files:

  1. Missing includes such as #include <Arduino.h>
  2. Function declarations are omitted.

In this case, code completion and code linting does not work properly or disabled. To avoid this issue you can manually convert your INO files to CPP.

For example, we have the next Demo.ino file:

void setup () {

void loop() {

void someFunction(int num) {

Let’s convert it to Demo.cpp:

  1. Add #include <Arduino.h> at the top of the source file
  2. Declare each custom function (excluding built-in, such as setup and loop) before it will be called.

The final Demo.cpp:

#include <Arduino.h>

void someFunction(int num);

void setup () {

void loop() {

void someFunction(int num) {

Before/Pre and After/Post build actions

PlatformIO Build System has rich API that allows to attach different pre-/post actions (hooks). See features of extra_scripts option for Project Configuration File platformio.ini.



Multiple PIO Cores in a system

Multiple standalone PlatformIO Core in a system could lead to a different issues. We highly recommend to keep one instance of PIO Core or use built-in PIO Core in PlatformIO IDE:

Finally, if you have a standalone PlatformIO Core in a system, please open system Terminal (not PlatformIO IDE Terminal) and uninstall obsolete PIO Core:

pip uninstall platformio

# if you used MacOS "brew"
brew uninstall platformio

If you need to have PlatformIO Core globally in a system, please Install PIO Core Shell Commands.

‘platformio’ is not recognized as an internal or external command

If you use PlatformIO IDE, please check in PlatformIO IDE Settings that “Use built-in PIO Core” is enabled.

If you modify system environment variable PATH in your Bash/Fish/ZSH profile, please do not override global PATH. This line export PATH="/my/custom/path" is incorrect. Use export PATH="/my/custom/path":$PATH instead.

PlatformIO: command not found || An error “pkg_resources.DistributionNotFound”

Please upgrade SetupTools package:

[sudo] pip uninstall setuptools
[sudo] pip install setuptools

# Then re-install PlatformIO
[sudo] pip uninstall platformio
[sudo] pip install platformio


UnicodeDecodeError: Non-ASCII characters found in build environment

KNOWN ISSUE. PlatformIO Core currently does not support projects which contain non-ASCII characters (codes) in a full path or depend on the libraries which use non-ASCII characters in their names.


  1. Use PlatformIO IDE, it will automatically install PlatformIO Core in a root of system disk (%DISK%/.platformio) and avoid an issue when system User contains non-ASCII characters
  2. Do not use non-ASCII characters in project folder name or its parent folders.

Also, if you want to place PlatformIO Core in own location, see: