Should I switch from my MAC to a PC to program photons

I just upgraded my Macbook Pro to Catelina and once again, particle cli fails to find the serial port.

I also use my Mackbook Pro with Adruino to program nodeMCU’s and ATTiny85’s. Every upgrade has brought problems, but since I HAVE to upgrade so my Apple Apps work (they won’t be accepted by Apple until it’s running the latest OS).

I’m beginning to believe I need to buy a used/refurbished PC to program photons and Atmel ATTiny85’s because I loose days of work with every upgrade. Any advice on this?

There are going to be innate issues with any OS you choose. I develop primarily on MacOS (catalina). I couldn’t imagine trying to replicate my toolchain and utilities over to Windows. I have not done Particle development on Windows, but from what I’ve seen from others it seems like, and maybe just for my specific situation, that the few days spent getting the Mac toolchain working properly after a yearly upgrade is time well spent compared to the slower development and testing cycles I would have using Windows.

Just my opinion, and I’m not looking to start an OS debate. FWIW I also believe Linux is equally easy to develop with as Mac.


Sorry to hear you are having problems. I too use a mac and Catalina does have extra security restrictions which may be causing the issues you are experiencing - I didn’t have a problem with the serial port. Are you sure that it isn’t your Catalina installation? I needed to re-install Catalina as I had other (panic and crash) problems which seem to be fixed now. Linux can be used as @picsil suggests but from what I have seen the serial port issue is a problem there as well.

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@armor, that is a good point. I also needed to reinstall my mac completely after my upgrade to Catalina didn’t work well. It was definitely a pain and took a couple of days to get back up and running. I’m hoping Apple fixes this problem in the future. My opinion still stands though that Mac or Linux is easiest to develop on for this platform.

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Hi @harley

Just to add to the good advice you have already received from @picsil and @armor

I am using Macbook Pro with USB C ports only and latest version of Catalina. I have been programming Particle devices for about three yeas now on different OSx version and have not had the problem you are experiencing.

I am making use of either the WebIDE or more often , Visual Studio Code with Workbench extension, depending on the situation.

I suppose if you really want to use Windows, you can purchase a license and run it on Bootcamp on you Mac as well, that is up to you. In my humble opinion, there is no need to program using and alternative OS and most certainly no need to incur the expense op additional hardware.

To summarise; IMO… Use the combination of you Macbook Pro and Visual Studio Code with Workbench extension. If you are happy with OTA flashing, you can use the Particle WebIDE. No need for further costs :wink:

And lastly, I agree, no need to debate OS preference as it is irrelevant to your need… Either one will work; for me it is about not spending unnecessary money and using what you are familiar and comfortable with and eliminating the hassle of having to change between devices :slight_smile:

Hope this helps :wink:

Regards, Friedl

Unofficially, I’d recommend Mac or Linux for Particle development. While the Windows toolchain exists, the vast majority of Particle employees have Mac or Linux laptops, and that’s what gets most of the focus in daily use. Also, the local build process under Windows is several times slower than Mac and Linux on the same hardware.


@harley Since you also program Atmel / Microchip chips, I would only add that sometimes it’s useful to have a Windows machine around to run Atmel Studio, since it doesn’t run on Linux or Mac. It’s definitely not necessary, but I did bootcamp my Mac while I was learning how to program ATTiny and ATMega chips, in order to figure out what I needed to do from the command line to set the fuses appropriately (which for those chips I prefer using a Linux environment).

Not here to start a debate either, but I have been doing local Particle development on Linux for several years and it has been a very pleasant experience. Workbench works amazingly well, especially the debugger and the intellisense features.

For minimalist local Particle development I have maintained a shell script for a few years that provides a simple way to quickly install the necessary toolchains and provides convenient wrapper commands for common build tasks. Recently, I rebuilt the script with Python, making it more portable and lightweight. It uses the same dependencies and toolchains as Workbench, simplifying installation and daily use.

The tool can be used on Mac, Windows, and most Linux distributions.

Installing only takes a few minutes and allows you to quickly obtain a powerful local Particle development experience.

$ bash <(curl -sL

I greatly appreciate any bug reports or any feature suggestions.

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I thought I would upload neopo… still got this error
bash-3.2$ bash <(curl -sL
Downloading installation script…
% Total % Received % Xferd Average Speed Time Time Time Current
Dload Upload Total Spent Left Speed
100 1168 100 1168 0 0 3290 0 --:–:-- --:–:-- --:–:-- 3290
xcrun: error: invalid active developer path (/Library/Developer/CommandLineTools), missing xcrun at: /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/usr/bin/xcrun

Just a question about your system: have you installed command line tools?

xcode-select --install

So, I installed it… what did I do? How can I access the command line tools

Installing the command line tools will hopefully solve this error.

Can you try installing neopo again?

Since neopo contains an encapsulated Particle CLI instance you may be able to solve the issue in your other thread: Upgraded mac iOS to 10.15.5 lost serial ports - #11 by harley