I tried asking general high level (newb-ish) questions about the ESP8266's firmware, how it works, Arduino IDE, sketches in general at Arduino Stack Exchange but was told it was off-topic. I think the IoT site doesn't seem like the right place either and Arduino Stack Exchange seemed like the most relevant to me.

Which site should I post this question?

Does flashing ESP8266/ESP-01 firmware mean uploading a new 'sketch' and why different firmware?

Hi, I am new to IoT and I am now in love with this. However I'm a little confused right now with the jargon. My question is similar to this. But I do have some extra questions though.

  1. When using ESP as standalone microcontroller, and if I uploaded a sketch written on the Arduino IDE, does that count as 'Arduino firmware' other people are referring to?

  2. On the Arduino IDE, uploading sketches onto the ESP8266 seems easy by just installing extra libraries from Board Manager and selecting the right board. Is this step equivalent of doing this but for different firmwares such as AT, NodeMCU and Micropython?

  3. For the NodeMCU dev boards, is the default firmware on the module NodeMCU firmware? If I were to use the Arduino IDE to upload a sketch, does that mean I have overwritten the NodeMCU firmware with my custom 'Arduino firmware' sketch?

  4. To the extent of my knowledge, when using NodeMCU firmware, I would need to code in LUA language using some sort of LUA IDE and if I flashed/uploaded micropython I would need to code in micropython using exclusively the Thonny IDE. And there is no way to code in micropy or LUA from the Arduino IDE.

  5. Is the reason for using other firmware is because of how the code is compiled and the language used?

  • 2
    What kind of questions, software or hardware related?
    – Mast
    Feb 21, 2020 at 8:07
  • mostly software, but a little hardware maybe? mostly because it is related to the ESP8266 NodeMCU development board
    – C. Wagner
    Feb 21, 2020 at 8:50

1 Answer 1


Looking at your question expressed in the title, it seems it's a valid question for both sites.

The problem is that there are multiple questions involved and some deviating from the main question.

The first 3 questions essentially address the main question in different approaches which I consider to be on-topic.

The fourth question (which isn't really one) addresses that Arduino IDE is not the suitable IDE to code in other language than C++ and the last question complements this. These are deviating from the main question while still related.

If you are not sure whether a question is on-topic or not and it's related to IoT/Arduino, I would advise you to post on one of the child metas and ask.

  • some answered my questions.. thanks for this advice
    – C. Wagner
    Feb 22, 2020 at 2:20

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