1. Xose Pérez
  2. spark-util


spark-util /

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Utility to help building Sparkcore firmware locally.


The goal is to avoid duplicating the core-firmware repository for every application, keep the application repository relatively simple and have an easy way to build and upload code to the board. Everything from the command line.

What does it do

Basically it softlinks the content of your project to the core-firmware folder, overwriting whatever files there might already be there (like application.cpp, off course). This process is called "linking" and its transparent.

You can build you project with the "make" option from your project root folder, no need to go to core-firmware/build. Before invoking gnu make utility it will create softlinks for all the files in your project in the core-firmware folder. You can pass make whatever params you want (like make clean).

The you can upload your code using the "upload" option.

Finally, you "unlink" your project, which efectively removes the softlink to you project from the core-firmware repo and performs a git checkout -- . to reset its state.


1. Configure your local environment

Follow the instructions from Sparkcore firmware library. Make sure you checkout the three core repos into the same folder, otherwise it won't build. Also, make sure you have dfu-util 0.7 minimum (type dfu-util -v to get the current installed version)

2. Set the SPARKCORE_FOLDER environmental variable to the folder where the three repos are.

Add it to your .bashrc or .profile to have it set for every terminal.

3. Copy the "spark" script somewhere in your PATH.


The script has to be executed from the code root (it looks for src/applicacion.cpp relatively to the current path).

spark reset

Resets the core-firmware repository, removing any links to you projects, checkout out the code and cleaning the build folder. It is recommended to perform a reset when changing to a new project.

spark init

Creates a new project structure in a blank folder, like this:


With a basic scafolding in the application.cpp file.

Link the current project files into the core-firmware folder. Not needed if you are working on a single project since sparky make already links the project prior to build it, but can be useful if you want to link more projects, for instance library projects.

spark make [option]

Invokes "make" on the build folder of the core-firmware folder. You can pass whatever params to make (like spark make clean).

spark upload

Uploads the latest binary to the connected board. It invokes dfu-util to do so.

spark update

Updates the three sparkcore repositories.

spark join

Joins all files from your project into one single stream which is output through stdout. This is intended to get a single file from you code to use it from the online IDE.

spark join > complete.cpp


The simplest project is to have a single application.cpp file under the src folder in your project. You can also add other .cpp files to the src folder and .h header files to the inc folder. If you are adding new cpp files aside application.cpp you will need to overwrite the build.mk file from the core-firmware/src folder, adding your files to the bottom of the CPPSRC list.

Remember, YOUR files will overwrite the original ones.

Use case

Imagine I'm starting a project that will involve a DHT22 sensor to monitor himidity and temperature. I will start with something as simple as this:

cd project
spark init

That will create this structure


Now I will add some basic functionality and try to build it:

spark reset     // clean the core-firmware folder
spark make      // link the files and build the project
spark upload    // have it deployed to the board

Now I add a library to manage the DHT22, I will add some files to my project folder.


Note the build.mk file which is a copy of the original one adding the requierement to compile the dht22.cpp file. Now when I try to build the project again it will create softlinks for any new files before.

spark make      // it will link any new files and build the project
spark upload    // and deploy again

Once I finish developing it's good to do some cleanup

spark reset


Copyright (C) 2013-2014 by Xose Pérez <xose dot perez at gmail dot com> http://tinkerman.eldiariblau.net

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.