Glow IDE

integrated development environment

Microsoft’s free cross-platform open-source Visual Studio Code editor together with the free open-source Glow IDE extension provides an all-in-one editor, compiler, and simulator to create and view animations.

Refer to the Install and Usage sections below to start creating animations.

IntelliSense features

  • Syntax coloring to provide at-a-glance syntax validation.
  • Auto-closing brackets & quotes.
  • Code snippets to rapidly insert commands.

Compiler features

  • Generates binary output interpretable by devices running Glow OS.
  • Line-specific warning/error messages.
  • Checks the rom/ram/thread usage of your animation.

Starting build...
Device threads usage: 19.5% (50 of 256 threads).
Device RAM usage: 2.4% (608 of 25,000 bytes).
Device ROM usage: 1.3% (2,624 of 200,000 bytes).
Build completed successfully.

Simulator features


Glow IDE extension is a cross-platform project for Linux, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10.

Minimum system requirements

  • 2 GHz dual core processor.
  • 8 GB system memory.
  • 64-bit operating system.


  1. If you haven’t already, download and install Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code editor.
  2. On Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code Marketplace Glow IDE page, click on the Install button and follow installation instructions.


Refer to this tutorial or the directions below:

  1. Open the Visual Studio Code editor.
  2. Type Ctrl+Alt+S to open the glowscript samples folder.
  3. Several glowscript files (ending with .glows) are listed. Each contains code for a different animation. Double-click a glowscript filename to load it into the editor. When the glowscript file is fully loaded (takes a few seconds) a Build button will appear in the status bar.
  4. Click the Build button to compile the glowscript file (takes a few seconds). On completion, the build status and any compilation warnings/errors will be displayed in the panel. On successful build, Play, Stop and Resume buttons appear in the status bar.
  5. Click the Play button to run the glowscript code in the simulator.
  6. Change existing glowscript files (e.g. modify colors), or create new animations (see Glowscript syntax).


  • Depending on the animation complexity, the simulator may stutter/delay/not-render if your computer’s processor speed or memory is insufficient. Troubleshoot by running test.glows to confirm whether a basic animation will render. For more complex animations, glowscript’s tickIntervalMillisecs value can be increased to reduce CPU load. however, the time values in your animation code will probably need to be adjusted since they must be a multiple of the tickIntervalMillisecs value.
  • LED color gamma correction is not yet supported.
  • Animation code stepping is not yet supported.
  • On Linux only: compiler & simulator executables will by default not have execute permission. To grant execute permissions, run the following commands in a linux terminal:
    chmod +x ~/.vscode/extensions/ledmakerorg.glow-ide-0.0.2/lib/compiler/linux/x64/glow-compiler
    chmod +x ~/.vscode/extensions/ledmakerorg.glow-ide-0.0.2/lib/simulator/linux/x64/simulator-elektra-20
    chmod +x ~/.vscode/extensions/ledmakerorg.glow-ide-0.0.2/lib/simulator/linux/x64/simulator-matrix-10x10