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Firmware Flashing Prerequisites

caution

Make sure not to power the radio on without first attaching the antenna! You could damage the radio chip!

Overview

Before you flash your device it is prudent to verify that we have proper connectivity with the device being flashed. Outlined below are steps that can be taken to verify connectivity and, if necessary, to install the appropriate drivers. If you end up needing to install drivers be sure to reboot your computer afterwards to verify the installation is complete.

Prerequisites

Verify data cable

Verify you have a data cable (not a charging only cable) before proceeding. There's no definitive way to determine the difference in cables if you aren't willing to pull it apart. Trying out a few cables will be the best way to verify.

Once you've located a data cable, check the following to see if you need to install a driver to communicate with your device.

tip

If you know you have installed the correct driver, the following step can be used to check if your cable is a data cable.

Test for driver installation

You can verify that you have a proper data cable (rather than a charge-only type cable) and that the appropriate drivers for your system are installed by performing the following test. Select your operating system below.

If you can see your device, you are ready to flash the firmware. Skip to the Choose Firmware Flashing Method section.

If you don't see your device in the following test, you either:

  1. Need to install a driver.
  2. Are currently using a charging only cable.
Connect your Meshtastic device to your USB port, open a `Terminal` and enter the following command:
lsusb

You should see something like: ID xxxx:xxxx Silicon Labs CP210x UART Bridge, ID xxxx:xxxx QinHeng Electronics USB Single Serial, or FIXME (WISBLOCK OUTPUT).

Install Appropriate Drivers

ESP32 Drivers

You may need to install a driver from Silicon Labs for the CP210X USB to UART bridge

Some newer boards may require the CH9102 (CH340/CH341) Driver.

important

Reboot your computer after you have installed the driver to complete the installation.

NRF52 Drivers

important

Reboot your computer after you have installed the driver to complete the installation.

Choose Firmware Flashing Method

For most users we recommend using the Meshtastic Flasher application. It does a lot under the hood to prevent you from needing to use the terminal. It also allows you to set device settings and configure your device.

If you choose to flash the firmware using the manual method, ESP32 based devices and NRF52 based devices have different methods. Select the appropriate one. If you don't know what chipset your device is, take a look at our supported hardware section.