Flashing ESP8266 on Linux using: VirtualBox + Arduino UNO

Here’s a quick guide how to flash a new firmware on ESP8266.

If you found this page, you probably are having trouble flashing ESP8266 on Linux (like me .. lol)

If you have not tried using the esptool.py tool, I suggest you test before following this guide.

Some important notices:

  • Cheap FTDI module may not work (so we will use the Arduino UNO)
  • You need a 3.3v regulated power supply


  • Ubuntu (x64)
  • VirtualBox (w/ Windows XP 32bits)
  • Arduino Uno Rev3 (original)
  • Voltage Regulator (>= 300 mA)

I tested this tool using Wine (wine-1.6.2) and did not work

Hardware Connections:


The ESP8266 needs to communicate via serial (rx/tx) at 3.3V and does not have 5V tolerant inputs,so you need level conversion to communicate with a 5V microcontroller like most Arduinos use. I’m ignoring this warning, but nobody takes any responsibility for what happens if you do. 🙂

In this scheme we are using the Arduino UNO as USB to TTL, it will only work in Arduno UNO or another that uses a seperate chip for usb serial conversion

Note: I tested using a 9V power supply, but it did not work


First thing we need is to download the Offical ESP8266 AT+ firmware and Flasher tool:
https://github.com/espressif/esp8266_at  (click in download)



Download: Current Version FLASH_DOWNLOAD_TOOLS_v1.2_**

You may need to install serial drivers: follow this tutorial or install arduino drivers

Enable USB in Virtualbox:


Configure Options in FLASH DOWNLOAD TOOLS:


Bin                           Address
user1.bin-------------------->0x01000 (see newest/ folder)

Start Download

  1. Click START
  2. Power your ESP8266

You need to first click START and then power on ESP8266

NodeMCU firmware

You can also use this firmware, using only 1 file and setting to the address: 0x00000

Downloading one of these BIN files : Download nodemcu latest firmware




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