Quick Start

For the best experience, please use one of our Espruino Boards.

If you have a kit from KickStarter and want to see what everything is, check out Espruino Kits...

Plugging in

Please check that there is no bare metal (including your desk!) near the board when you plug it in, as it could short it out.

  • Espruino Pico - the Pico is designed to plug right into you computer's USB type A connector, or a USB extension lead. The components (not the text) should usually be facing upwards (so the 4 gold strips are facing the plastic in the USB socket).
  • Original Espruino - just plug the board in with a Micro USB cable and you're done.
  • Other Boards - please see this page for more information.

Windows Users: Most versions of Windows won't automatically load the built-in driver for USB com ports. You'll have to download ST's USB driver:

  • Non-Windows XP Users download version 1.4.0 drivers. Unzip the file, run the executable, and then go to C:\Program Files (x86)\STMicroelectronics\Software\Virtual comport driver in Windows Explorer and double-click either dpinst_amd64.exe for 64 bit systems, or dpinst_x86.exe for 32 bit.

  • Windows XP Users download version 1.3.1 drivers. Unzip the file, run VCP_V1.3.1_Setup.exe, and then go to C:\Program Files\STMicroelectronics\Software\Virtual comport driver in Windows Explorer and double-click the executable.

Linux users to ensure that you have the the correct permissions to connect as a normal user you'll need to copy the file 45-espruino.rules to /etc/udev/rules.d and to ensure your user is in the 'plugdev' group (you can check by typing groups). You add it by typing sudo adduser $USER plugdev and then logging out and back in.

Mac OS X and Chromebook Users: The board will just plug in and work, without drivers!

Set up a Terminal App

Note: We recommend that you use our Chrome Web App (it has a bunch of extra features, including firmware updates). However you can access Espruino from any terminal program. See Alternative Terminal Apps for some examples.

Now, to use the Terminal App:

  • Run Espruino Web IDE from Chrome's home screen (or the App Launcher)
  • Click the Connect/Disconnect icon in the top left
  • In the window that pops up, make sure the correct serial port is chosen (Usually the highest COM# number on Windows, /dev/tty.usbmodem1234 on Mac, or ttyACM0/ttyUSB0 on Linux).
  • If you don't see a port or can't get it working, please see Troubleshooting

Please click the 'tour' button in the top right of the Web IDE for more information on how to get started.

Software Updates

Espruino is gaining features and improvements on an almost daily basis. If you've just got your Espruino Board, we highly recommend that you update the firmware before you start using it.

When you first use the Espruino Web IDE and connect (see above) you'll probably see a yellow warning marker in the top right saying that new firmware is available. Click on it (or click the Settings icon, then Flasher), click 'Flash Firmware' and follow the instructions. If you're given a drop-down list of different firmwares to choose from and you don't need network support, you can choose any firmware. There is no risk of damaging your Espruino board, however the firmware update process may take a few minutes to complete. If you have problems, check out the Troubleshooting guide.

Note: If you're not using the Web IDE, follow the instructions on the Download page to flash the latest version (however this is significantly more difficult).

Start writing code!

Now you can type commands and they will be executed (you can also copy and paste them in to the terminal window).

Try typing the following in the left-hand side of the Web IDE, and press 'Enter' after it:


This should return =3. If it doesn't, there might have been some text entered already by the terminal application. Press Ctrl-C to clear this, and try again.

Every time you type a command and press enter, it will be executed immediately. = will be displayed followed by the result. If there is no result (for instance if you were executing a function that returned no value), =undefined is displayed.


Remember to enter capital letters where they appear above - JavaScript (and so Espruino) is case-sensitive, so for instance digitalwrite won't work while digitalWrite will.

=undefined will be displayed, however the LED1 light on the board will light up. This allows you to set voltages that come out of the processor (1=3.3 volts, 0=0 volts). Instead of LED1, you can use any pin name, such as A1 or B5.

Now, press the 'up' arrow. This will display the last command you ran, and will show the text digitalWrite(LED1,1) again. Press the left arrow until the cursor moves to the end of 1, press backspace, then press 0. It should now look like this:


You can now step back to the end of the line (using the right arrow, or the 'end' key) and can press enter to execute the command (which will turn the LED off). If you press enter before the cursor is on the end of the line, it won't execute the command, but will split it on to two lines (you can press backspace again to back up).

For the next bit, we need to create a variable. Type:

var on = false

Then press enter - this will create a new variable called on and will set its value to the boolean false.

You can now write a function. Type the following:

function toggle() {
 on = !on;
 digitalWrite(LED1, on);

When you hit 'enter' after the first line, the command wasn't executed, but instead Espruino just created a new line because there was an unclosed open bracket. If you don't define functions with an open bracket on the end of the line then they will be executed immediately, which is probably not what you want (if you really want to put your brackets on a new line, press Alt-Enter at the end of the line function toggle() - but we don't recommend this).

What if you created a new line by mistake? Just hit backspace. Or if you're totally confused and just want to start again, press Ctrl+C and the text you typed will be deleted.

Once you've hit enter after the last line, the text =function () { ... } will be displayed in the terminal window. This means that your function (called toggle) is defined. So what does it do? The on variable stores a value which is either true or false. The command on = !on; makes the value of on true if it was false before, or false if it was true before. If you pronounce = as 'becomes', and ! as 'not', reading the line makes more sense (on becomes not on).

The next line takes the changed value of on (either true of false) and applies it to the digital output (in this case LED number 1). Every time you use the toggle function, the value of on toggles between true and false, and so turns the LED on or off.

Now we can try it, type the following and hit enter:


If you want to run it again, just hit the up arrow (to find the command in history) followed by enter. Every time you run it, the LED will change state from on to off or vice versa.

Now type:

var i = setInterval(toggle, 500)

This will call the toggle function every 500ms (eg. twice a second), so the LED will start blinking. The new variable called i (which was defined by var) is a reference to the timer we have created - this will be useful later!

But what if we want to change the toggle function? Type:


You can also get a similar effect by hitting the up arrow until you get back to the command where you defined toggle. Now the function is displayed, press the left arrow to move the cursor backwards, and start to edit the function. Add a new line at the end so that it looks like this (to add a line after digitalWrite, move the cursor to the end of the line, and press 'enter'):

function toggle() {
 on = !on;
 digitalWrite(LED1, on);
 digitalWrite(LED2, !on);

Now, move the cursor right to the end of the last line using the arrow keys (or press 'page down'), and press enter. This will execute the command, which will redefine the function - and now LED1 will light, then LED2, then LED1 - and so on.

You can now change the speed the lights flash, using this command:

changeInterval(i, 200)

This is the same as if you originally called setInterval( ... , 200) - toggle is now called every 200ms (5 times a second)

And if you want your lights to stop flashing - just type this:


Note that just typing clearInterval() without any arguments will clear all active intervals.

If you want to start completely from scratch and wipe out everything you have done, just type:


If you press the reset button on the board (if your board has one), Espruino will also reset. However we don't recommend this - on most boards this will reset the USB connection as well, so you may need to restart your terminal application, or in some cases even unplug and re-plug the device.

If you power off or reset Espruino using the reset button, it will lose all the code that you wrote. You can save the state of Espruino so this doesn't happen using the save() command.

The save() command saves the current state of the pins and on-chip peripherals, as well as all your functions, variables, watches and timers. The commands that you typed in previously won't be executed again though. If you want to execute some code when Espruino starts (for example you may need to initialise some external bit of hardware like an LCD), you can use the init event on E. For example this bit of code lights the red, then green LEDs each time Espruino starts up:

E.on('init', function() {
  digitalWrite([LED1,LED2], 2);
  setTimeout("digitalWrite([LED1,LED2], 1);", 1000);
  setTimeout("digitalWrite([LED1,LED2], 0);", 2000);

Note: You can add a second handler to do something else when Espruino starts up, just by calling E.on('init', ...) again. If you write a function called onInit, that will automatically be executed as well.

The code above uses a few extra features in Espruino that weren't covered above:

  • You can pass an array of pins into digitalWrite (the same applies to digitalRead). If you do that, the value you supply will be treated as a binary value, with the least significant bit going to the rightmost pin in the array and so on.
  • If you pass a string into setTimeout or setInterval, it'll be treated in the same way as a function and will be executed after a certain time period.

If you do manage to save something to Espruino that causes it not to work, don't worry - you can easily recover it. Just see the Troubleshooting page.

Now you've got an idea how to use Espruino:

  • Have a look at the Tutorials and Reference pages
  • If you have one of the Espruino Kits, you can click here to see the kit contents and to get information on how to use them
  • Check out Modules to see which libraries of code are available to use
  • If you have a Pico or Original Espruino board then click those links for more in-depth information about your board, as well as for links to tutorials that specifically use your board.
  • See how to use the more advanced features of the Web IDE
  • Instantly Search all the Espruino website's documentation (using the box in the top right)
  • If you've got a question, please check out our Forum

This page is auto-generated from GitHub. If you see any mistakes or have suggestions, please let us know.