Programming AVR with Eclipse and WinAVR

This is a log of what I have done to get Eclipse running with WinAVR on Windows XP. Maybe it’s helpfull for others.

  • Download a Java Runtime JRE or JDK, if you do not have already. Anything greater 1.4.2 should be ok.
  • Download Eclipse 3.2.2 here
  • Download the CDT 3.1.2 plugin for Eclipse C/C++ development here
  • Download WinAVR 20070525 here

Install WinAVR

Start the executable and choose a directory to install to. Mine goes to c:winavr-20070525.

Install Eclipse

Extract the downloaded zip into a directory, e.g. c:Programmeeclipse. Eclipse is now already working. You may want to create a desktop shortcut for the executable.

Install CDT

Extract the zip into a tmp directory. Then select the contents of the features and plugins folder and copy them to the respective folders beneath the eclipse folder.


  • Open eclipse. It will ask for a workspace folder. If you are new to eclipse, choose a folder, where you would like to put your source code.
  • It starts with the Java perspective, but we want C/C++. Select “Open Perspective” from the upper right corner. Then select “Other”. Then select “C/C++”. Your screen should now show the perspective for C development.

Start a Project

  • Now select “File/New” of the menu. Then select “Managed make C project”. This creates a project with automated make. You do not have to take care of the makefile yourself.
  • Enter “test” as project name and select “next”.
  • Select “executable (gnu on windows)” as Project type. We will change this later.
  • “Debug” and “Release” are ok as targets. Release only is also ok.
  • Select “finish”.
  • Ignore the warning for now that appears in the problems tab.


Now we have to configure the settings for the WinAVR compiler and linker.

  • Select “Project -> properties”. If “properties” are greyed out, then click on the project folder “test” to select it. Now the “properties” menu should be selectable.
  • Select “C/C++ Build” on the left list.
  • Select “Release” as configuration. We will change this target only. If you want to configure the “Debug” target as well, then go through these steps again.
  • Select the “GCC C Compiler” in the tree below.
  • Change “gcc” to “avr-gcc”
  • Select “symbols” and enter a new symbol for the speed of your board, e.g. “F_CPU=4096000”.
  • Select “Directories” and add “C:WinAVR-20070525avrinclude” to the includes.
  • Select “Miscellaneous” and enter your type of controller, e.g. “-mmcu=atmega8”.
  • Select “GCC C Linker” and change “gcc” to “avr-gcc”.
  • Select the tab “Build Steps”.
  • To convert the executable into a hex file, we use a post build step. Enter “Post-build step” as
    "avr-objcopy -j .text -j .data -O ihex test.exe test.hex".
  • Select “ok” to close the properties dialog.

Testing the Configuration

  • Right-click on your project folder and select “New -> Source File”
  • Enter “test.c”. Now write a small test program.
     * test.c
    #include <util/delay.h>
    #include <avr/io.h>
    #define LED PD4
    int main(void) {
      // define pd4 as output
      DDRD |= (1 << LED);
      while (1) {
        PORTD |= (1 << LED);    // switch on
        PORTD &= ~(1 << LED);    // switch off
    return 0;
  • Saving triggers an automated build run. The console output should look like this:
    **** Build of configuration Release for project test ****
    make -k all
    Building file: ../test.c
    Invoking: GCC C Compiler
    avr-gcc -DF_CPU=4096000 -I"C:WinAVR-20070525avrinclude" -O3 -Wall -c
    -fmessage-length=0 -mmcu=atmega8 -MMD -MP -MF"test.d" -MT"test.d" -o"test.o" "../test.c"
    Finished building: ../test.c
    Building target: test.exe
    Invoking: GCC C Linker
    avr-gcc  -o"test.exe"  ./test.o
    Finished building target: test.exemake --no-print-directory post-build
    avr-objcopy -j .text -j .data -O ihex test.exe test.hex
    Build complete for project test
  • Now open up a command line in your project folder. Create a batch file “flash.bat” to transfer the hex file to your controller. This depends on your controller, programmer, etc. Mine looks like this:
    c:winavrbinavrdude -v -F -p ATmega8 -c avr910 -P com4 -U flash:w:%1:i. The -F switch is in the to force writing, even if the device signature is not recognized. Its just reversed. Omit it if you have no problems with that.
  • Now start the batch file to program your controller.
    C:dataavrtest>flash Releasetest.hex
    C:dataavrtest>c:winavrbinavrdude -v -F -p ATmega8 -c avr910 -P com4 -U flash:w:Releasetest.hex:i
    avrdude: Version 5.1cvs
             Copyright (c) 2000-2005 Brian Dean,
    System wide configuration file is "c:winavrbinavrdude.conf"
    Using Port            : com4
             Using Programmer      : avr910
             AVR Part              : ATMEGA8
             Chip Erase delay      : 10000 us
             PAGEL                 : PD7
             BS2                   : PC2
             RESET disposition     : dedicated
             RETRY pulse           : SCK
             serial program mode   : yes
             parallel program mode : yes
             Timeout               : 200
             StabDelay             : 100
             CmdexeDelay           : 25
             SyncLoops             : 32
             ByteDelay             : 0
             PollIndex             : 3
             PollValue             : 0x53
             Memory Detail         :
    Block Poll               Page
               Memory Type Mode Delay Size  Indx Paged  Size   Size #Pages MinW  Max
    W   ReadBack
               ----------- ---- ----- ----- ---- ------ ------ ---- ------ ----- ---
    -- ---------
               eeprom         4    10   128    0 no        512    0      0  9000  90
    00 0xff 0xff
               flash         33     6    64    0 yes      8192   64    128  4500  45
    00 0xff 0x00
               lfuse          0     0     0    0 no          1    0      0  2000  20
    00 0x00 0x00
               hfuse          0     0     0    0 no          1    0      0  2000  20
    00 0x00 0x00
               lock           0     0     0    0 no          1    0      0  2000  20
    00 0x00 0x00
               calibration    0     0     0    0 no          4    0      0     0
     0 0x00 0x00
               signature      0     0     0    0 no          3    0      0     0
     0 0x00 0x00
    Programmer Type : avr910
             Description     : Atmel Low Cost Serial Programmer
    Found programmer: Id = "AVR ISP"; type = S
        Software Version = 2.3; Hardware Version = 2.0
    Programmer supports auto addr increment.
    Programmer supports the following devices:
        Device code: 0x1c = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x55 = ATtiny12
        Device code: 0x01 = ATtiny13
        Device code: 0x56 = ATtiny15
        Device code: 0x13 = AT90S1200
        Device code: 0x28 = AT90S4414
        Device code: 0x20 = ATtiny84
        Device code: 0x4c = AT90S2343
        Device code: 0x30 = AT90S4433
        Device code: 0x6c = AT90S4434
        Device code: 0x38 = AT90S8515
        Device code: 0x68 = AT90S8535
        Device code: 0x41 = ATMEGA103
        Device code: 0x46 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x44 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x03 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x75 = ATMEGA6490
        Device code: 0x74 = ATMEGA6450
        Device code: 0x63 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x64 = ATMEGA163
        Device code: 0x79 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x14 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x15 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x16 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x17 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x72 = ATMEGA32
        Device code: 0x60 = ATMEGA161
        Device code: 0x76 = ATMEGA8
        Device code: 0x77 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x3b = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x6a = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x5e = ATTINY26
        Device code: 0x29 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x2a = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x2b = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x06 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x07 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x08 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x21 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x09 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x0a = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x22 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x23 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x24 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x0b = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x0c = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x0d = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x18 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x19 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x25 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x26 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x27 = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x1a = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x1b = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x4b = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x4d = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x4e = (unknown)
        Device code: 0x4f = (unknown)
    avrdude: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions
    Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.06s
    avrdude: Device signature = 0x07931e
    avrdude: Expected signature for ATMEGA8 is 1E 93 07
    avrdude: safemode: lfuse reads as FF
    avrdude: safemode: hfuse reads as D9
    avrdude: NOTE: FLASH memory has been specified, an erase cycle will be performed
    To disable this feature, specify the -D option.
    avrdude: erasing chip
    avrdude: reading input file "Releasetest.hex"
    avrdude: writing flash (122 bytes):
    Writing | ################################################## | 100% 0.53s
    avrdude: 122 bytes of flash written
    avrdude: verifying flash memory against Releasetest.hex:
    avrdude: load data flash data from input file Releasetest.hex:
    avrdude: input file Releasetest.hex contains 122 bytes
    avrdude: reading on-chip flash data:
    Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.25s
    avrdude: verifying ...
    avrdude: 122 bytes of flash verified
    avrdude: safemode: lfuse reads as FF
    avrdude: safemode: hfuse reads as D9
    avrdude: safemode: Fuses OK
    avrdude done.  Thank you.
  • If all went well and you see an LED flashing, congratulations, you did it.


If you look closely at the steps where I program the controller, you will notice, that I do not use the avr-dude that came with the last WinAVR release. I tried it, but it refused to work, always complaining about not beeing able to verify the fuses. I went on with my old avr-dude which worked perfect.


  1. Alex, thanks for taking the time to create this helpful log. I was able to successfully get your example to compile. I am trying a slightly more complex application that have built many times in the past. The one question I have that you might have some insight into is:

    My project uses a series of files located in the source trees “/lib” directory which all have a “.a” extension. I was wondering how to include these into eclipse. I was guessing that I add them to the “Libraries (-l)” area in the “Libraries” section of the “CGG C Linker” setting in the “Tool Settings” tab of the “C/C++ Build” properties. Is that correct?

    “C/C++ Build/Tool Settings/ GCC C Linker/Libaries/Libaries (-l)”

    Any hints?

    Thanks again for taking the time to help.



  2. Thx for nice tutorial…

    I gave eclipse a serious effort, but sometimes i responds slow or worse freeze. ( A lot of nice stuff but very vital functions works slow or unreliable )

    Then I tried CodeBlocks,

    In less then 1 hour I had everything working RockSolid compared to eclipse ( Reading the link below ). And better than CodeVision !!!

    Thanks a lot for very interesting blog Alex !! I will keep an eye on your gps solution.



  3. Alex, thanks for taking the time to post this. Quick question, do you know how to set up avrdude to work in a more “integrated” fashion with eclipse? (e.g., associate it with some kind of button or something… and take in the parameters configured for the project for cpu type, target, etc.) ? Thanks much!

    (I’m working on a Mac but…should be more or less the same… FWIW I did a writeup for setting up the AVR tools on Mac here if anyone is looking:

    Thanks again!


  4. Hi Alex!

    Thank you for this great tutorial!

    I’ve a question for you,…
    Are you able to do the same tutorial but for ecplise 3.3 ?
    I really do not find the location of the eclipse3.2 propriety in the 3.3!


  5. Hi Giona,

    at the moment I am not using Eclipse, so I haven’t updated to 3.3. Sorry.



  6. Thank you for tha answer, I find out the 3.3 plugin “Avr plugin” …. now it seems to work properly!

    Thanks again!


  7. I just tried AVR plugin version 2.2. Following steps are now already handled by the plugin: “gcc” to “avr-gcc”, setting F_CPU, adding “avr/include” and setting -mmcu

    The only thing that remains is to add avr-objcopy to post-build steps (unless your programer tool can handle ELF files).


  8. Hello,
    I am able to run Eclipse and compile my code for Atmega8. Can you help me with the programmer part as to where I can get the hardware and binaries to program



  9. Hi Vineet,
    search for the USBtinyISP programmer from Lady Ada. It’s cheap and works well.


  10. Hi Alex!

    I follow the steps just like you describe but when I try to compile my program occurs this error:

    “multiple target patterns. Stop.”

    Do you have any idea about what happening?




  11. I am not familliar with the current Eclipse setup. But it looks like a problem with the Makefile to me.


  12. Hi Alex,
    thanks for this tutorial. However, in AVR/Target Hardware, my MCU is not recognized (none of them are). And I cannot edit a configuration in AVR/AVRDude/Programmer. Do you know why Eclipse doesn’t see the config files for ATmega168?


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