Arduino/Clodiuno – My first steps


In this thread, i will describe my difficulties in starting clodiuno.


I came across a video about arduino some time ago and this rekindled my ever growing embedded software envy. The first thing that crossed my mind at the time was, what if i made the led talk in morse.

Then i came across one article and this envy was multiplied because it added the clojure dimension into this.

Finally, i decided to begin so i bought an arduino board.


Everything is working fine:

  • i received the arduino and all sort of needed stuff (LED, jumpers, resistances, pushbuttons, etc…)
  • the arduino ide works out of the box

and is pretty simple to install on my machine, cool!

sudo aptitude install arduino

I did a simple tutorial that worked ok instantly

Now what?

But then what’s the problem?

Professionally, i am a java developer and it’s difficult enough as it is. Now the arduino language is an implementation of wiring, it looks like c/c++/java, but it’s all the same to me…

To sum up, i do not want to do stuff in imperative language if i can avoid it. And me think i can…


Anyway, now that i discover the joy of clojure, i want to do most thing in it because i’m convinced i can do more with it.

So here enters clodiuno.

Here, i will describe the setup hell. Feel free to dismiss it :D

first try

At first, this article seems scary and it is… You must mess around with java libs… It’s not something i enjoy particularly.

And indeed, this must be both way because i failed to make it work.

After all, the author, provided only the jars for OS X and i’m under GNU/Linux.

Status: failed!

Second try

Here i encountered a great article that tries to fill the gaps left by the first article.

Then again, i failed but there are comments from Sam Aaron that helped! He did us a favour and created a clojar archives with the needed deps for every platform (including mine).

(I am under the impression that everywhere there’s something rather on the edge (quil, overtone, etc…), he is nearby :D.)

Status: failed!

Third try

Sam Aaron did try to fill the needed steps by providing the missing library for us linuxian. But still, it did not work.

Status: failed!

Fourth try

I found out a library that Sam Aaron did on serial devices and how to connect to it. I thought this could help me to just try and connect to the board.

So i went and tried it.

Alas, failure again.

I then decided to ask for the help of Sam Aaron.

After all, i did everything by the book, or at least, his readme.

I thought again that this was a good way for me to explain clearly what the problem was. It did help but not in finding the solution.

After seeking out why and failing to find anything, i did get back to the arduino ide.

Status: failed!

Fifth try

I did succeed what i wanted in the arduino ide but still with a failure taste. As it’s difficult for me to accept a failure, i took a last shot but this time, differently.

I decided to play in the repl with the java base code to make it talk.

That’s when i discovered a limitation of the java api –

The java api searches for the serial devices with a certain naming convention ‘/dev/ttySxx’ format and that’s all. My device is named /dev/ttyACM0!

That’s it, i found out the underlying “bug”.

I tried and made a link and voila! No more bugs.

sudo ln -s /dev/ttyACM0 /dev/ttyS42

Status: Success!

The end of the story.

I closed the previously opened issue. I added some workaround on the serial-port/ and made a pull request on the readme of Sam Aaron.

Now i can play with my arduino from the comfort of my repl.

Soon, i will write some real code and post it!

  • Samrat

    I’m having similar troubles right now setting up clodiuno. I did do (System/setProperty “” “/dev/ttyUSB0″) and now I don’t get a NoSuchPortException but when I try connecting to the board using (arduino :firmata “/dev/ttyUSB0″) it just doesn’t do anything.

    Any ideas what I might be doing wrong? I’m also using Linux(Arch).

  • tony


    I do not know without seeing some code :D.
    Do you have some link to your repository code?

    Here is my repository to help you check against it.


  • Samrat

    Hey, my issue got resolved actually. I was doing everything as written in the docs and I had already checked out your repo too.

    Anyway, thanks.