Introduction: Getting Started With Intel Galileo

About: Pooja Baraskar is an Intel Software Innovator,author, speaker and a passionate Software Developer, who is always willing to learn and explore new technologies. Being a programmer, she always have a solution fo…

Recently I got Intel Galileo from Microsoft as I am one of the finalist
of IoT competition. Now I am spending my time doing a lot of creative stuffs with my Galileo. I am writing this instructable for all those who wanted to get started with Intel Galileo.

Step 1: Intel Galileo

Intel Galileo is a hardware development board that lets us write code
and create electronic circuits to build our own projects. The board doesn’t do very much on its own, so we have to connect it to the right hardware and write the code to tell it what we want it to do. Galileo is an Arduino compatible board but the thing makes it different is its specs, It is a cross-pollination between an Arduino Uno and a low-end computer.


An Intel Galileo board Gen 1 or 2 board

Power Supply and cable

A micro USB cable (This won’t come with Galileo)

An led (optional)


Galileo software

Step 2: Setting Up

1. Extract the zip file.
2. Power up the Galileo, You will see the power led will light up. Galileo will start booting from the customized version of Linux. Wait for few seconds.

3. Now we are ready to make the rest of the connections, we will connect Galileo to computer via USB cable. Now we see the USB led will light up.

4. When we connect Galileo for first time we need to install the drivers. In Device Manager we can see that the device needs a driver as the device will be appearing under Other devices as Gadget Serial v2.4

5. Right click on that and select update Driver software from the menu,
from there browse to the directory that we have recently downloaded also turn on the check box beneath that to include subfolders. Click next, It will automatically detect the driver software. Click Install. After installation we can see our Galileo device is appearing under ‘Ports’ listening on a specific COM port. Remember the COM port. Now our Galileo is connected.

6. Run Arduino.exe to open up the Arduino IDE for Galileo.

7. Now we have to point Arduino IDE to our Galileo. From Tools under
Board select your Galileo Gen1 or Gen 2. In my case it is Galileo Gen 1.

8. We also want to make sure that our Arduino IDE is pointing to the
correct serial port. From Tools under Serial Port select the COM port on which Galileo is listening. You can check that from Device Manager.

9. Finally we have to update our Galileo Framework. From Help select
Firmware Update. It will take some time and the Galileo can be disconnected and connected during this process as the firmware is updating. Finally you will receive a prompt that Galileo Firmware is updated.

10. Now we are ready to write our first program (Sketch) for Galileo.

Step 3: Running Our First Sketch

The programs we write for Galileo is called sketches. Inside the sketch we have minimum two methods


The setup method is going to run once at the beginning, which helps to initialize our variable and sensors

The loop method is going to called repeatedly.

We can have many methods other than these two.

Arduino IDE have many examples that we can use, we are going to run one of these now.

We will test our Galileo with the Blink Example, which you can find under File -> Examples->Basics->Blink

Step 4: The Code

int led = 13;
void setup()


pinMode(led, OUTPUT);


// the loop routine runs over and over again forever:

void loop()


digitalWrite(led, HIGH); // turn the LED on (HIGH is the voltage level)

delay(1000); // wait for a second

digitalWrite(led, LOW); // turn the LED off by making the voltage LOW

delay(1000); // wait for a second


I am using a red LED which I hooked up to pin 13 by carefully inserting the anode in pin 13 and the cathode to ground. They have polarity which means we need to connect them in a right order.

There are many ways to differentiate between cathode and anode of the LED, we can tell that by looking the LED carefully by many ways

1. The longer leg will be cathode and shorter will be anode

2. When we examine the led from top we see the two metal post , the smaller of the two is anode and the bigger is cathode

Galileo has digital and analog pins for input and output. Here by default our LED is hooked up to pin 13.

To compile and run the sketch just hit the upload button. In the output you will see the transfer is complete and the LED is blinking. There is a little LED on the board which is also hooked up to pin 13 so if you didn’t attached an external LED that will also work for you.

Now we have successfully deployed our first sketch to Galileo. And we
ready to do more creative stuffs with our powerful development board ‘Intel Galileo’


Windows users should unzip the Galileo file to the top directory of any drive
Connect your Intel Galileo to the 5V power supply before any other connection or you will damage the board.

Gen1 and Gen 2 boards needs different power supply. The 5V power supply for the original Galileo Gen1 is not compatible with Galileo Gen 2.