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#735 Arduino on Apple Silicon

Using the Arduino IDE with Apple Silicon (ARM) machines.



Apple no longer produces x86 architecture Macs, using instead its own ARM-based Apple Silicon chips (M1, M2, M3). Just is a real pain since so many developer tools are specific for x86 architecture CPUs.

The Arduino IDE is available in a native macOS Apple Silicon build. I’m currently using Version: 2.2.1 on a machine with and Apple M3 chip.


Version: 2.2.1
Date: 2023-08-31T13:53:43.373Z
CLI Version: 0.34.0

First Compilation

But compilation fails. The avr-gcc toolchain is still only shipped as x86-compatible. As of Q4 2023, we are still waiting for an update.


Compilation error: fork/exec /Users/paulgallagher/Library/Arduino15/packages/arduino/tools/avr-gcc/7.3.0-atmel3.6.1-arduino7/bin/avr-g++: bad CPU type in executable

Install Rosetta and Retry

As far as I can tell after a bit of googling is that currently the only way to resolve this issue is to use rosetta - Apple’s compatibility layer.

Install rosetta:

$ softwareupdate --install-rosetta
I have read and agree to the terms of the software license agreement. A list of Apple SLAs may be found here:
Type A and press return to agree: A
2023-12-29 16:19:35.536 softwareupdate[6713:179754] Package Authoring Error: 052-22577: Package reference is missing installKBytes attribute
Install of Rosetta 2 finished successfully

And now we can compile successfully:


Circuit Design

The latest Fritzing release (1.0.1) also works perfectly as a native application on Apple Silicon. I used it to draw the simple diagram of the blink sketch used for this test:



Programming an Uno

The next test: will my Arduino be recognised as a device from macOS?

I plugged in an Arduino Uno R3 (using a USB-C to USB-A adapter) and it was recognised immediately and programming working without an issue:


I was also able to program an Arduino Mega 2560.

However I’ve run into an issue with Arduino Nano and also my collection of USB to serial adapters that use the CH340G chip. It is not recognised natively and so I’ll need an updated driver…. and yes, I can now confirm I got it working; see AppleSilicon/CH340 for details.

Credits and References

Project Source on GitHub Project Gallery Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is just my personal collection of projects. Two main themes have emerged in recent years, sometimes combined:

  • electronics - usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting
  • scale modelling - I caught the bug after deciding to build a Harrier during covid to demonstrate an electronic jet engine simulation. Let the fun begin..
To be honest, I haven't quite figured out if these two interests belong in the same GitHub repo or not. But for now - they are all here!

Projects are often inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the many great electronics and scale modelling podcasts and YouTube channels. Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know (or send a PR!). See the individual projects for credits where due.