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I've been using a free software stack for AVR programming - AVR GCC + avrdude on Linux, with parallel DIY programmer cable.

Since the parallel bitbang programmer doesn't work with USB printer cables, I'm stuck with using my desktop PC.

Is there an USB-based programmer that can be supported by a free-software (command-line based) programming tool?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Unless you need odd target voltages an Arduino running the Arduino-as-ISP sketch can do this. Technically "is there a product..." or "is there a piece of code..." questions are off topic. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Jan 1 '18 at 23:15
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avrdude supports a wide range of programming devices, including:

  • Atmel's first-party programmers, including the STK500, STK600, JTAG ICE and AVR Dragon.
  • The USBasp and USBtinyISP, and clones thereof -- both of which are available inexpensively online
  • Devices which include an FTDI FT232/FT2232/FT4232 (not FT232R) USB interface
  • The Bus Pirate, which can be handy for other things too
  • Arduino devices -- either to program the Arduino itself, or to program another device
  • GPIOs on embedded devices (like the Raspberry Pi)
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I use an USBASP 2.0 clone for programming atMega328 (uno's and the like), works like a charm. And dirt cheap from the well-known Chinese sources.

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I own an USBtiny I can recommend:

https://learn.adafruit.com/usbtinyisp/overview

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