AvrDude is an executable program that supports a number of differert hardware and software programmers communicating over a number of different hardware connections - USB, parallel (printer LPT) ports, serial (RS232) ports etc.

As technology moves on and machines, particularly laptops, get smaller then most new computers now only provide USB  - as its physical connectors are small and very flexible. Legacy printer and RS232 connectors, on the other hand, are less flexible and are physically too big to include on today's 'wafer thin' laptops.

This new USB world therefore replaces most other standards - but is programmatically harder to use.

Perhaps the most common requirement is to use a USB port on your computer to talk to a hardware USB programmer such as the AVR ISP Mk2.


Using AvrDude on Unix

The simplest way to install avrdude is using:-

sudo apt-get install avrdude

Using AvrDude on Windows over USB

AvrDude is included in the WebbotLib Studio compiler toolchain but by default it will not recognise your USB ports.

The solution is to download a filter such as that at SourceForge libusb (you need to be online!) 

It is done like this, rather than WebbotLib Studio (WLS) doing it for you, so that you can see any configuration changes made to your machine rather than it just being auto-magical in WLS !! It also means that you get the latest version of this USB filter rather than it being packaged with WLS.


If you have Atmel AVRStudio installed then the following installation instructions will break your AVRStudio Jungo USB drivers!!

Install Instructions

You should always follow the latest installation instructions on the libusb website but the following screenshots show how to install it (Version libusb-win32-bin- on my Windows 8.1 laptop) for an AVRISP MKII programmer.

  1. Download the ZIP file from the SourceForge project.
  2. Right click on the download file and choose 'Extract All...' and extract all the files to a local folder like 'C:\libusb'
  3. Open the 'bin' sub-folder and you should find a program called 'inf-wizard'
  4. You must run the install as an administrator because it will install files into your Windows set up. Right click on this file and choose 'Run as administrator'. You may then get a confirmation window to allow this program to make changes which you need to confirm before progressing.
  5. You will now see the first step of the wizard.libusb-win-shot1
  6. As it says You need to plug-in your USB device and power it on, if necessary, so that the wizard will be able to find it. Once ready click 'Next'
  7. The next screen will show all the found USB devices. If your device is not shown then click Back and make sure it is connected properly before clicking Next again.libusb-win-shot2
  8. Once your device is found then select it. and click 'Next'
  9. You will then be asked to confirm the device.libusb-win-shot3
  10. The IDs maybe different to my screen shot. Click Next.
  11. You will then be asked to store the installation configuration (.inf) file somewherelibusb-win-shot4
  12. I saved mine to the libusb installation folder.
  13. Once saved you will see a summary. Dont press anything yet!libusb-win-shot5
  14. If you remember the good old days of plug'n'play when, if you plugged in a new device that wasn't recognised, Windows would prompt you to navigate to the folder containing the device driver files for the new device. Well those files are what you have just created in step 11 above. So, theoretically, you could now click Done and continue installation later. But it is much easier to just continue the installation now....
  15. Click the'Install Now...' button.
  16. The software will now start installing, you may see the AVRISP MKII led flashing, and then you get 'Installation succesful'
  17. Click the OK button and the software is now installed