User’s Manual For Linux

Initial Setup

This guide makes a few assumtions. Your linux should be a fairly recent linux distribution. For this document an Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is used, others should work in a similiar way. Most of the following is for AVR8. The MSP430 is only for the TI Launchpad and needs no further configuration (yet).

First you’ll have to install some packages with the package manager:

  • wine (any version, only for AVR8
  • naken_asm (any version, only for MSP430)
  • ant or make (any version)
  • avrdude (only for AVR8)
  • mspdebug (any version, only for MSP430)

They may need quite a lot more packages especially wine, install all of them.

Next download the amforth package and un-tar (or unzip) it into a new, empty folder:

> pwd
> ls
> tar xvfz amforth-x.y.tgz
.. lots of files
> ls
appl  common avr8 msp430  doc  examples  lib  LICENSE.txt  readme.txt

Now you need to download the Atmel-Assembler package from the same source as you downloaded the amforth sources. Extract in the in the amforth base directory. This will create a subdirectory avr8/Atmel that contains the assembler (as an exe file) and the necessary include files.

> ls avr8/Atmel
avrasm2.exe Appnotes2/


To test if the installation is complete, change into the directory appl/template. There run either make or ant with the target name template.hex to test the assembler setup.

> make template.hex
wine ../../avr8/Atmel/avrasm2.exe -I ../../avr8(Atmel/Appnotes2
  -I ../../avr8/devices/atmega1284p -I ../../avr8 -I ../../common
  -I ../../core/devices/atmega1284p -fI
  -v0 -e template.eep.hex -l template.lst template.asm

Ant works similiar, note the warning at startup, it can safely ignored:

> ant template.hex
Unable to locate tools.jar. Expected to find it in
Buildfile: ....amforth/appl/template/build.xml

  [echo] Producing Hexfiles for atmega128

Total time: 4 seconds

After this step, there should be a number of new files in the directory:

> ls
build.xml   template.asm
makefile       template.eep.hex  template.lst  words

If something went wrong, read the error messages, fix them and repeat this step until all is well.

Create Your Project

If everything works fine, it is now possible to start your own project. This as simple as making a copy of the template directory and editing a few files there.

> pwd
... amforth/appl
> cp -r template my
> cd my

Now edit the files template.asm and makefile (or build.xml if you use ant). The file template.asm has a lot of settings, to get a quick start only the lines

.equ BAUD = 9600
.include "drivers/usart_0.asm"

may need to be changed. The baud number should be obvious. The line usart_x.asm defines the usart port of the controller on which the command prompt will be available. There are only real usart ports available, no USB devices (this may change in future releases..)

In the makefile find the lines

# set the fuses according to your MCU
# some MCU have this one, see write-fuses target below

resp. the build.xml for ant:

<target name="p1284-8.fuses" description="Set fuses for P1284-8">
    <echo>Writing fuses</echo>

and change the fuses to meet you hardware settings. Be careful with these numbers, they can potentially corrupt your controller cpu beyond repair.

The next essential setting is the controller itself

# the MCU should be identical to the device

in the build.xml find and change all occurances that look like


with the proper name. The mcu names are taken verbatim as file names in the avr8/Atmel/Appnotes2 directory and as directory names in the avr8/devices directory. Case is significant (should be almost always lower case).

With these changes, rebuild the hex files as described above.

Program The Controller

Hardware and System Setup

The last and final step is to transfer the hex files to the controller. The build tools use the program avrdude. To get the hex files to the controller a special hardware called programmer is needed. There are many different ones available, ranging from simple parallelport tools like the STK200 to expensive tools like the Atmel JTAG ICE MK2. Dont start trying to use exotic tools like ponyser or other self-made el-cheapo tools unless you know what you’re doing.

The Atmel tools AVR ISP MK2 and Dragon are not that expensive and work with the USB port of your computer. Linux needs a file named /etc/udev/rules.d/99-atmel.rules to make them accessible for users:

# Atmel AVR ISP mkII
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="03eb", ATTRS{idProduct}=="2104", GROUP="users", MODE="0660"
# usbprog bootloader
ATTRS{idVendor}=="1781", ATTRS{idProduct}=="0c62", GROUP="users", MODE="0660"
# USBasp programmer
ATTRS{idVendor}=="16c0", ATTRS{idProduct}=="05dc", GROUP="users", MODE="0660"
# USBtiny programmer
ATTRS{idVendor}=="1781", ATTRS{idProduct}=="0c9f", GROUP="users", MODE="0660"

Note, that the correct GROUP name should include one of the groups your linux account is a member of:

> id
uid=1000(user) gid=1000(user) groups=1000(user),4(adm),24(cdrom),

Here the GROUP name “users” would not work! But “user” or “plugdev” would do. If you do not have a setup like this, only root can access the programmer. If you want to use the parallelport programmer STK200, your account should be a member of the “lp” group (check with ls -l /dev/parport*).

Any changes to the rules file are detected almost immediately, there should be no reason to restart any linux program.

Project Setup

If your hardware setup is finished, you need to edit the makefile or build.xml to reflect the settings. In the makefile find and edit the lines

USB=-c avr911  -P /dev/ttyUSB3
PP=-c stk200  -P /dev/parport0
JTAG=-c jtag2 -P /dev/ttyUSB2

The build.xml is different. This file uses a property file named to set the name and the port of the programmer hardware. The build.xml file uses a substring from the label to define the programmer. If you want to use e.g. the AVR Dragon as the programmer, just use the name “dragon” as programmer idenifier in your build.xml. The ant utility will expand this to “avr.programmer.<label>port” for the -P parameter and “avr.programmer.<label>” to the -c parameter to generate the right command line for avrdude from the property file.

Serial programmers may be difficult while getting the right port name if using RS232-to-USB converters. The mapping may change over time (e.g. every reboot or USB bus reset).

If everything goes ok, the final command make template should re-generate the hex files and transfer them to the controller. The default program output should be verbose enough to track any error messages.