Arduino IDE lets you write sketches for esp8266 using familiar Arduino functions and libraries, and run them directly on ESP8266, no external microcontroller required.
ESP8266 Arduino core comes with libraries to communicate over WiFi using TCP and UDP, set up HTTP, mDNS, SSDP, and DNS servers, do OTA updates, use a file system in flash memory, work with SD cards, servos, SPI and I2C peripherals.
Starting with 1.6.4, Arduino allows the installation of third-party platform packages using Boards Manager. it has packages available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux (32 and 64 bit).
Arduino IDE Configuration
Step 1: Install the current upstream Arduino IDE at the 1.6 level or later. The current version is at the Arduino website.
Step 2:Start Arduino ide and Select preference option in arduino file menu
Step 3:Enter the following url http://arduino.esp8266.com/stable/package_esp8266com_index.json into the Additional Board Manager URLs field.
Step 4:Open Boards Manager from Tools -> Board menu ->Board manager and install esp8266 platform
In Boards Manager window search for esp8266
Step 5: Select your ESP8266 board from Tools > Board menu after installation
Step 6: Setting to upload code from Arduino ide. Select the board type, upload speed(Baud rate), Port no (check-in device manager).