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4.2. Installing Linux software

To install the software for the Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2.x on a computer running Linux, follow these steps:

  1. Download the version for your system from this list:
  2. In a terminal, use cd to navigate to the directory holding the downloaded file. For example, run cd ~/Downloads if it was downloaded to the “Downloads” folder in your home directory.
  3. Run tar -xvf pololu-usb-avr-programmer-v2-*.tar.xz to extract the software. If you downloaded multiple versions of the software, you should use an exact file name instead of an asterisk.
  4. Run sudo pololu-usb-avr-programmer-v2-*/install.sh to install the software. You will need to have sudo privilege on your system and you might need to type your password at this point. Look at the output of the script to see if any errors happened.
  5. After the installation has completed, plug the programmer into your computer via USB. If you already connected the programmer earlier, unplug it and plug it in again to make sure the newly-installed udev rules are applied.
  6. Run pavr2cmd --list to make sure the software can detect the programmer. This command should print the serial number and product name of the programmer. If it prints nothing, see the “USB troubleshooting for Linux” section below.
  7. Run pavr2gui to start the configuration utility.

The programmer does not require any driver installation on Linux. The Linux kernel’s cdc_acm module creates entries for the programmer’s virtual serial ports with names like /dev/ttyACM0 and /dev/ttyACM1 so that they can be used by software, and other parts of Linux allow access to the programmer’s native USB interface. For more information about determining the names assigned to the programmer’s virtual serial ports, see Section 4.5.

This programmer configuration software consists of two programs:

  • The Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2 Configuration Utility (pavr2gui) is a graphical user interface (GUI) for configuring the programmer and viewing its status. You can open a terminal and type pavr2gui to run it.
  • The Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2 Command-line Utility (pavr2cmd) is a command-line utility that can do everything that the GUI can do. You can open a terminal and type pavr2cmd with no arguments to a see a summary of its options.

The programmer’s configuration software for Linux is statically compiled; it does not depend on any shared libraries. The source code for the software is available.

Software installation troubleshooting for Linux

If you do not have sudo privilege or you do not remember your password, you can skip running install.sh and just run the programs directly from the directory you extracted them to. You should also consider moving the software to a more permanent location and adding that location to your PATH as described below.

If you get a “No such file or directory” error while running ./install.sh, it is possible that your system is missing one of the directories that the install script assumes will be present. Please contact us to let us know about your system so we can consider supporting it better in the future.

If you get the error “command not found” when you try to run pavr2cmd or pavr2gui, then you should run echo $PATH to see what directories are on your PATH, and then make sure one of those directories contains the programmer executables or symbolic links to them. The installer puts symbolic links in /usr/local/bin, so if that directory is not on your PATH, you should run export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/bin to add it. Also, you might want to put that line in your ~/.profile file so the directory will be on your PATH in future sessions.

If you get the error “cannot execute binary file: Exec format error” when you try to run pavr2cmd or pavr2gui, then it is likely that you downloaded the wrong version of the software from the list above. If all of the listed versions give you this error, you will probably need to compile the software from source by following the instructions in BUILDING.md in the source code. Please contact us to let us know about your system so we can consider supporting it better in the future.

If the text in the configuration utility window is not visible, make sure that the .ttf font file that we ship with the software is in the same directory as the pavr2gui executable.

USB troubleshooting for Linux

If the programmer’s configuration software cannot connect to your programmer after you plug it into the computer via USB, the tips here can help you troubleshoot the programmer’s USB connection.

If you have connected any electronic devices to your programmer besides the USB cable, you should disconnect them.

You should look at the LEDs of the programmer. If the LEDs are off, then the programmer is probably not receiving power from the USB port. If the green LED is flashing very briefly once per second, then the programmer is receiving power from USB, but it is not receiving any data. These issues can be caused by using a broken USB port, using a broken USB cable, or by using a USB charging cable that does not have data wires. Using a different USB port and a different USB cable, both of which are known to work with other devices, is a good thing to try. Also, if you are connecting the programmer to your computer via a USB hub, try connecting it directly.

If the programmer’s green LED is on all the time or flashing slowly, but you can’t connect to it in the programmer’s configuration software, then there might be something wrong with your computer. A good thing to try is to unplug the programmer from USB, reboot your computer, and then plug it in again.

If you get a “Permission denied” error when trying to connect to the programmer, you should make sure to copy the 99-pololu.rules file into /etc/udev/rules.d and then unplug the programmer and plug it back in again. The install script normally takes care of installing that file for you.

If that does not help, you should try running lsusb to list the USB devices recognized by your computer. Look for the Pololu vendor ID, which is 1ffb. You should also try running dmesg right after plugging in the programmer to see if there are any messages about it.

Related Products

Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2
Pololu USB AVR Programmer v2.1
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