I recently fried my AVRISP MKII programmer, so I am looking for a new programmer. What is the best AVR programmer according to the following criteria:

  • Out of the box use
  • Works well with Ubuntu
  • Easy to use
  • Able to program common types of AVR uCs (such as ATmega328-PU or ATtiny85)

Any recommendations?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm going to add my favorite cheap, easy to use programmer here, but I can't attest to its use with Ubuntu: sparkfun.com/products/9825 Although, others have had luck with Linux using this tutorial: ladyada.net/make/usbtinyisp/avrdude.html#linux It also doesn't support things like debugging - just plug and play programming. \$\endgroup\$ May 1, 2013 at 21:30
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You can use an Arduino Uno as a programmer (ArduinoISP) if you have any of those around. \$\endgroup\$ May 1, 2013 at 21:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I have an Arduino, but I would like to use a programmer besides the arduino \$\endgroup\$
    – user151324
    May 1, 2013 at 21:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @coding_corgi - Arduino ISP seems to satisfy all your listed requirements, so it would help if you could specify why you want something different. Speed? \$\endgroup\$ May 1, 2013 at 21:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Using Arduino ISP would work fine... if you built a stand alone circuit. Using an Arduino board as a permanent programmer is silly given the cost of the board, the lost opportunity of the board, and the fact that you would be using a bunch of unmarked wires to connect the board to the target MCU. \$\endgroup\$ May 1, 2013 at 21:46

2 Answers 2


Honestly, my experience with AVR programmers is really quite uniform regardless of which programmer I'm using. I have used several different programmers, from the SparkFun Pocket AVR to a cheap eBay AVR programmer that cost under $5. I didn't really notice better performance coming from a more expensive programmer as compared to the cheap eBay one. I'd just try a few and see which one you work best with.


I use UsbAsp - works on all OS, is cheap.


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