Faster build-run-test cycles on ESP8266?

Hello everyone,

I migrated from Arduino IDE to PlatformIO and I really love it!

One issue that bugs me a lot is the long dev cycle for ESP8266 boards: That is, from the time I run the build until it actually gets uploaded into the board, it takes almost 2 minutes in my case. This is ok for Arduino boards with less memory (no more than 5 sec or so), but on ESP8266 it gets really annoying.

Is it possible to build the firmware binary into 2 separate files: One with the framework itself (which rarely changes), and a second small one with the actual code, and then PlatformIO would upload only the smaller binary. I believe that would drastically reduce upload times.

Is this possible, or am I totally far off? (Sorry, I am a newbie in hardware)


Have you tried doing over-the-air updating with ArduinoOTA? If your device is connected to the network it’s faster than serial. My current project is about twice as fast via wifi.

UPDATE: I just tested the upgrade portion of the build cycle and via serial on my project it’s 33.7sec and OTA is 6.2sec! There may be other differences in flash writing time or build time.

Good idea, I will try that. Thanks!