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I've been working through the tutorial on using VS Code+ Arduino CLI to replace the Arduino IDE. I've gotten to the point where I can compile a sketch for an UNO. But I'm working with a Redboard. And the tutorial states that in order to do so, "Requires that the Sparkfun avr board definitions be installed". How is that done? I have added the Sparkfun avr family to the Arduino IDE as described - the Redboard appears as a selection option in the board manager tool. But that does not install anything for the RB in the hardware or other portion of the paths the Arduino CLI is looking at.
Hi minifan.

Unfortunately the author of that tutorial has moved on to another job and he was the only one at SparkFun I know of that had gotten this to work. After reading through the tutorial, my guess is that you may need to create or modify your Arduino CLI configuration file so that the CLI can find the board definitions in Arduino. See this section of the guide for more details on that. If you can't get it working with a RedBoard, see if it will work with an Uno.
Thanks for the reply. I was able to get a step further, by as you said, modifying the arduino-CLI config file (cli_config.yml) to add the URL: ... index.json
so now a core search:
arduino-cli core search Sparkfun
does find the Sparkfun avr set.
But when I try to install the Sparkfun:avr core I get "finding platform dependencies: package Sparkfun not found". So I dont know whether I'm missing the Sparkfun hardware definitions or an actual file(s) containing Sparkfun avr core info. (Pointing to Sparkfun board info via that url does not actually load the core and hardware definitions into any Arduino folders that the CLI would be able to find. But I'm guessing)

But the Arduino uno family works fine: compiles, and presumably would load if the board actually was an uno.

I notice that this is a relatively old tutorial. The VS Code editor in combination with the Arduino CLI would appear to be an ideal tool set for Arduino development. I have to wonder what others are using, because I've tried several including notepad++, Komodo Edit, and Atmel studio. Of course the problem here is not the editior, its in my understanding of the inner workings of whats required to support a non Arduino board when using the Arduino CLI. Translation: Newbie.