Creating a portable UECIDE bundle

Since the very beginnings of UECIDE there has been a little known feature that allows you to create your own portable bundle of UECIDE.  That is, your own copy of UECIDE that you can place on a USB memory stick, network drive, SD card – wherever you like – and wherever or however you access it you get all the same boards, cores, compilers, etc.

The most common platform for wanting to do this on is, of course, Windows, so we’ll detail doing it on that platform, but the principle is the same for all others.

Ok, so what do you need to get started with making your own portable bundle?  First, you need to download the latest version of UECIDE.  You need to ensure you get the “full” version, so it includes the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), and get it as a ZIP file, not an installer.

Step two is to just extract the ZIP as normal, (maybe onto your desktop?), and run UECIDE.  Once UECIDE is up and running, install your boards, compilers, cores, etc as per normal.  Make sure everything works.

Now comes the magic…

Close UECIDE – you won’t need it for a few moments.

All the things you have downloaded will have been placed into your own user’s “uecide” folder.  Assuming your username is “Bob”, (Hi, Bob…) that will be located in C:\Users\Bob\AppData\Roaming\uecide.  Open that location in an explorer window – you’ll see a preferences.txt file, and folders named “boards”, “cache”, “cores”, “compilers” and “plugins”.  You’re interested in, of course, the “boards”, “cache” and “cores” folders.

In a second window, open up the location you extracted your UECIDE ZIP file to.  One of the folders in there is called “hardware”.  Open that folder.  It should be completely empty.

Drag-and-drop the boards, cores and compilers folders out of your uecide folder and into the empty hardware folder.  It may take a moment or two to move all the files – compilers often have huge numbers of small files in them.

One that’s finished you are as good as done.  If you downloaded any plugins, such as the Grapher plugin, you will want to get those into the bundle too.  They go in a slightly different location.  Where you extracted the UECIDE ZIP, alongside the hardware folder you found earlier, there should be a “plugins” folder.  That should have some plugins (.jar files) in there already.  The plugins folder in your user’s uecide folder should also contain .jar files.  Just drag them from one to the other, as you did with the boards etc.

And that’s about it.

Fire up UECIDE again and make sure everything is still there and working right.  You can drag the whole extracted UECIDE zip folder onto wherever you want to keep it, and run it direct from there.  Try it out.  Plonk it onto a USB memory stick, plug it into your friend’s computer, and you should be able to run UECIDE direct from it, including all your boards and other downloads being there already.

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2 responses to “Creating a portable UECIDE bundle

  • Johan

    How about drivers to install? I would like to use UECIDE for educational purposes on ‘closed’ computers. Driver installment is not allowed here…

    • uecide

      The drivers are the responsibility of the board maker. Those that use an FT232 chip to communicate would require the FT232 drivers installing in windows, regardless of which IDE you use. Some boards don’t use drivers, they use a HID interface, and as such it is down to the uploading program to deal with the communicating. Others use CDC drivers, and although the drivers are in Windows already they require a .inf file to describe them, which would need installing like a driver – again this is down to the board maker to provide. So, regardless of the IDE, you would have to use boards that don’t use drivers, which pretty much rules out the Arduino and other avrdude based boards.

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