AVRPROG(1)                BSD General Commands Manual               AVRPROG(1)

     avrprog — driver program for ``simple'' Atmel AVR MCU programmer

     avrprog -p partno [-c programmer-id] [-C config-file] [-e] [-E
             exitspec[,exitspec]] [-f format] [-F] [-i filename] [-m memtype]
             [-o filename] [-n] [-P port] [-t] [-v] [-V] [-y] [-Y]

     Avrprog is a program for downloading code and data to Atmel AVR
     microcontrollers.  Avrprog supports Atmel's STK500 programmer as well as
     a simple hard-wired programmer connected directly to a ppi(4) parallel
     port.  In the simplest case, the hardware consists just of a cable
     connecting the respective AVR signal lines to the parallel port.

     The MCU is programmed in serial programming mode, so, for the ppi(4)
     based programmer, the MCU signals ‘/RESET’, ‘SCK’, ‘MISO’ and ‘MOSI’ need
     to be connected to the parallel port.  Optionally, some otherwise unused
     output pins of the parallel port can be used to supply power for the MCU
     part, so it is also possible to construct a passive standalone
     programming device.  Some status LEDs indicating the current operating
     state of the programmer can be connected, and a signal is available to
     control a buffer/driver IC 74LS367 (or 74HCT367).  The latter can be
     useful to decouple the parallel port from the MCU when in-system
     programming is used.

     See the file ${PREFIX}/share/doc/avrprog/avrprog.pdf for a schematic of
     the ppi(4) based programming hardware.

     Atmel's STK500 programmer is also supported and connects to a serial

     Input files can be provided, and output files can be written in different
     file formats, such as raw binary files containing the data to download to
     the chip, Intel hex format, or Motorola S-record format.  There are a
     number of tools available to produce those files, like asl(1) as a
     standalone assembler, or avr-objcopy(1) for the final stage of the GNU
     toolchain for the AVR microcontroller.

     Avrprog can program the EEPROM and flash ROM memory cells of supported
     AVR parts.  Where supported by the serial instruction set, fuse bits and
     lock bits can be programmed as well.  These are implemented within
     avrprog as seperate memory types and can be programmed using data from a
     file (see the -m option) or from terminal mode (see the dump and write
     commands).  It is also possible to read the chip (provided it has not
     been code-protected previously, of course) and store the data in a file.
     Finally, a ``terminal'' mode is available that allows one to
     interactively communicate with the MCU, and to display or program
     individual memory cells.

     In order to control all the different operation modi, a number of options
     need to be specified to avrprog.

           -p partno
                   This is the only option that is mandatory for every
                   invocation of avrprog.  It specifies the type of the MCU
                   connected to the programmer.  These are read from the
                   config file.  If avrprog does not know about a part that
                   you have, simply add it to the config file (be sure and
                   submit a patch back to the author so that it can be
                   incorporated for the next version).  See the sample config
                   file for the format.  Currently, the following MCU types
                   are understood:

                   Option tag   Official part name
                   t15          ATtiny15
                   1200         AT90S1200
                   2313         AT90S2313
                   2333         AT90S2333
                   4414         AT90S4414
                   4433         AT90S4433
                   4434         AT90S4434
                   8515         AT90S8515
                   8535         AT90S8535
                   m163         ATMEGA163
                   m128         ATMEGA128
                   m103         ATMEGA103
                   m16          ATMEGA16
                   m8           ATMEGA8

           -c programmer-id
                   Use the pin configuration specified by the argument.  Pin
                   configurations are read from the config file (see the -C
                   option).  New pin configurations can be easily added or
                   modified through the use of a config file to make avrprog
                   work with different programmers as long as the programmer
                   supports the Atmel AVR serial program method.  If that file
                   contains an entry named “default”, this one will be used as
                   default if -c programmer-id is missing; otherwise a builtin
                   default will be used.

           -C config-file
                   Use the specified config file to load configuration data.
                   This file contains all programmer and part definitions that
                   avrprog knows about.  If you have a programmer or part that
                   avrprog does not know about, you can add it to the config
                   file (be sure and submit a patch back to the author so that
                   it can be incorporated for the next version).  See the
                   sample config file, located at
                   ${PREFIX}/etc/avrprog.conf.sample, which contains a
                   description of the format.

           -e      Causes a chip erase to be executed.  This will reset the
                   contents of the flash ROM and EEPROM to the value ‘0xff’,
                   and is basically a prerequisite command before the flash
                   ROM can be reprogrammed again.  The only exception would be
                   if the new contents would exclusively cause bits to be
                   programmed from the value ‘1’ to ‘0’.  Note that in order
                   to reprogram EERPOM cells, no explicit prior chip erase is
                   required since the MCU provides an auto-erase cycle in that
                   case before programming the cell.

           -E exitspec[,exitspec]
                   By default, avrprog leaves the parallel port in the same
                   state at exit as it has been found at startup.  This option
                   modifies the state of the ‘/RESET’ and ‘Vcc’ lines the
                   parallel port is left at, according to the exitspec
                   arguments provided, as follows:

                   reset    The ‘/RESET’ signal will be left activated at
                            program exit, that is it will be held low, in
                            order to keep the MCU in reset state afterwards.
                            Note in particular that the programming algorithm
                            for the AT90S1200 device mandates that the
                            ‘/RESET’ signal is active before powering up the
                            MCU, so in case an external power supply is used
                            for this MCU type, a previous invocation of
                            avrprog with this option specified is one of the
                            possible ways to guarantee this condition.

                   noreset  The ‘/RESET’ line will be deactivated at program
                            exit, thus allowing the MCU target program to run
                            while the programming hardware remains connected.

                   vcc      This option will leave those parallel port pins
                            active (i. e. high) that can be used to supply
                            ‘Vcc’ power to the MCU.

                   novcc    This option will pull the ‘Vcc’ pins of the
                            parallel port down at program exit.

                   Multiple exitspec arguments can be separated with commas.

           -f format
                   This option specifies the file format for the input or
                   output files to be processed.  Format can be one of:

                   i    Intel Hex

                   s    Motorola S-record

                   r    raw binary; little-endian byte order, in the case of
                        the flash ROM data

                   a    auto detect; valid for input only, and only if the
                        input is not provided at stdin.

                   The default is to use auto detection for input files, and
                   raw binary format for output files.

           -F      Normally, avrprog tries to verify that the device signature
                   read from the part is reasonable before continuing.  Since
                   it can happen from time to time that a device has a broken
                   (erased or overwritten) device signature but is otherwise
                   operating normally, this options is provided to override
                   the check.

           -i filename
                   Specifies the input file to be programmed into the MCU.
                   Can be specified as ‘-’ to use stdin as the input.

           -m memtype
                   Specifies which program area of the MCU to read or write;
                   allowable values depend on the MCU being programmed, but
                   most support at least eeprom for the EEPROM, and flash for
                   the flash ROM.  Use the -v option on the command line or
                   the part command from terminal mode to display all the
                   memory types supported by a particular device.  The default
                   is flash.

           -n      No-write - disables actually writing data to the MCU
                   (useful for debugging avrprog ).

           -o filename
                   Specifies the name of the output file to write, and causes
                   the respective memory area to be read from the MCU.  Can be
                   specified as ‘-’ to write to stdout.

           -P port
                   Use port to identify the device to which the programmer is
                   attached.  By default the /dev/ppi0 port is used, but if
                   the programmer type normally connects to the serial port,
                   the /dev/cuaa0 port is the default.  If you need to use a
                   different parallel or serial port, use this option to
                   specify the alternate port name.

           -t      Tells avrprog to enter the interactive ``terminal'' mode
                   instead of up- or downloading files.  See below for a
                   detailed description of the terminal mode.

           -v      Enable verbose output.

           -V      Disable automatic verify check when uploading data.

           -y      Tells avrprog to use the last four bytes of the connected
                   parts' EEPROM memory to track the number of times the
                   device has been erased.  When this option is used and the
                   -e flag is specified to generate a chip erase, the previous
                   counter will be saved before the chip erase, it is then
                   incremented, and written back after the erase cycle
                   completes.  Presumably, the device would only be erased
                   just before being programmed, and thus, this can be
                   utilized to give an indication of how many erase-rewrite
                   cycles the part has undergone.  Since the FLASH memory can
                   only endure a finite number of erase-rewrite cycles, one
                   can use this option to track when a part is nearing the
                   limit.  The typical limit for Atmel AVR FLASH is 1000
                   cycles.  Of course, if the application needs the last four
                   bytes of EEPROM memory, this option should not be used.

           -Y cycles
                   Instructs avrprog to initialize the erase-rewrite cycle
                   counter residing at the last four bytes of EEPROM memory to
                   the specified value.  If the application needs the last
                   four bytes of EEPROM memory, this option should not be

   Terminal mode
     In this mode, avrprog only initializes communication with the MCU, and
     then awaits user commands on standard input.  Commands and parameters may
     be abbreviated to the shortest unambiguous form.  Terminal mode provides
     a command history using readline(3), so previously entered command lines
     can be recalled and edited.  The following commands are currently

           dump memtype addr nbytes
                   Read nbytes bytes from the specified memory area, and
                   display them in the usual hexadecimal and ASCII form.

           dump    Continue dumping the memory contents for another nbytes
                   where the previous dump command left off.

           write memtype addr byte1 ... byteN
                   Manually program the respective memory cells, starting at
                   address addr, using the values byte1 through byteN.  This
                   feature is not implemented for bank-addressed memories such
                   as the flash memory of ATMega devices.

           erase   Perform a chip erase.

           send b1 b2 b3 b4
                   Send raw instruction codes to the AVR device.  If you need
                   access to a feature of an AVR part that is not directly
                   supported by avrprog, this command allows you to use it,
                   even though avrprog does not implement the command.

           sig     Display the device signature bytes.

           part    Display the current part settings.


           help    Give a short on-line summary of the available commands.

           quit    Leave terminal mode and thus avrprog.

   Default Parallel port pin connections
     (these can be changed, see the -c option)
     Pin number   Function
     2-5          Vcc (optional power supply to MCU)
     7            /RESET (to MCU)
     8            SCK (to MCU)
     9            MOSI (to MCU)
     10           MISO (from MCU)
     18-25        GND

           /dev/ppi0     default device to be used for communication with the
                         programming hardware

                         sample programmer and parts configuration file

                         default programmer and parts configuration file

           ~/.inputrc    Initialization file for the readline(3) library

                         Schematic of programming hardware

     avr-objcopy(1), ppi(4), readline(3)

     The AVR microcontroller product description can be found at


     Avrprog was written by Brian S. Dean <bsd@bsdhome.com>.

     This man page by Joerg Wunsch.

     Motorola S-record files are not yet implemented.

BSD                              July 4, 2020                              BSD