Fix: Ubuntu doesn’t detect Aruduino and serial port grayed out

by Ruchira on March 11, 2013

Are you working on Arduino on your Ubuntu environment? If you are using it for the first time you might get face a problem that, Ubuntu doesn’t detect your Arduino board and you cant select the serial port by going to Tools -> serial Port because serial port is grayed out.

Fixing this is easy. This happens because Ubuntu doesn’t give root permissions to the Arduino IDE by default so it cant access the serial connections.

Easiest way is opening up terminal and type in
sudo arduino

This will open up arudiono with root access and you will be able to select the serial connection. However this is a temporary fix so you will have to do the same again when you open it next time.

To permanently address the solution, we need to edit the arduino executable file.

Open up the terminal and type

nano /usr/share/applications/arduino.desktop

this will open up the file and you need to replace the



Exec=gksudo arduino

like the screenshot below


arduino ubuntu


Then hit Ctrl+O to save and Ctrl+X to exit. That’s it, from now on when you click the Arduino icon it will open with root permissions.

I'm Ruchira Sahan and all posts on this blog are completely my thoughts and writings. I love DIY and Technology. So feel free to contact me for anything about this blog and don't forget to add a comment if this blog helped you! Thanks
View all posts by Ruchira

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