Instructions for Building amforth-5-1 using Atmel Studio 6.1 Components

Author: Craig Lindley Date: November, 2013


Building AmForth requires a compatible assembler. Atmel Studio 6.1 for Windows includes avrasm2.exe which works great for this process but using Atmel Studio is overkill in my opinion. On my Mac Atmel Studio 6.1 takes forever to load and execute (using the Parallel’s Desktop) plus it crashes half the time when I try to make changes to my amforth project’s configuration.

I wanted to be able to quickly make changes to AmForth and turn around new hex and eep files for downloading into an Arduino Uno. Note: the technique I discuss here can be used for any Atmel target hardware, not just an Arduino Uno.


  1. Download and install the and installation of the free version of Atmel Studio 6.1 on a Windows computer OR download and unpack the Atmel Assembler package from the amforth file download serice pages.
  2. Being comfortable running a command prompt in the Windows environment


  1. Create a project directory into which we are going to copy a bunch of files. I chose c:\amforth for my project directory.
  2. Uncompress and un tar the amforth-5.1 distribution file (amforth-5.3.tar.gz) into the project directory
  3. If you installed the Atmel Studio locate and copy the avrasm2.exe and the complete include directory from e.g. c:\Program Files\Atmel\Atmel Toolchain\AVR Assembler\Native\\avrassembler into the project directory
  4. Go into the amforth-5.1\appl\arduino directory of the distribution and copy uno.asm,, and the words directory into the project directory.
  5. Go into the amforth-5.1\avr8\devices directory and find the directory named with the processor you are going to use (in my case atmega328p) and from that directory copy device.asm and into the project directory.
  6. Create a bat file in the project directory with the following content:
REM batch file for assembling amforth on windows
avrasm2.exe -fI -o uno.hex -e uno.eep -l uno.lst -I .\ -I amforth-5.1\common -I amforth-5.1\avr8 -I include -v0 uno.asm

I named my bat file make.bat.

When you have completed these steps you should have a directory structure as follows:

c:\amforth          - your project directory
  amforth-5.3       - the uncompressed and untarred amforth-5.1 distribution
    . . .
    include           - copied from c:\Program Files\Ateml\AtmelToolchain\AVR Assembler\Native\\avrassembler
    avrasm2.exe       - copied from c:\Program Files\Ateml\AtmelToolchain\AVR Assembler\Native\\avrassembler

If all is well, change directory to your project directory and type make from a command prompt. In less than a second you will have the new amforth files (hex file and eep file) for programming into you target hardware. You could now uninstall Atmel Studio if you want as it is no longer required.

Making changes to amforth is now very easy and turn around is very fast.