Firmware hacking questions - AVR Programmer and linux distro

Hi folks,

I have two questions for the community here:

a) I started digging in my old shoeboxes getting out the atmel development boards, veroboard and stuff where I ended fiddling about 5 years ago. Unfortunately my old programming cable is a parallel port thing, I think I dumped the last laptops with parallel port about 3 years ago. Which USB based programming cable (read: programmer) can do you use/can you recommend?

b) I planned to set up a small linux VM just for shruthi firmware hacking. Which linux distros do you use for firmware hacking? I was thinking about something lightweight, no need for a full blown desktop distro. What distros are you using?

Please, no distro war here, I’m just asking for recommendation and your experience…

thanks a lot,
Jesus

a) Atmel AVR ISP mkII.

b) Anything with a text editor, make, avr-gcc and avrdude is fine. I just use vanilla ubuntu.

Ubuntu is the easiest to get started with, Debian is probably nicer if you want a simple “terminal only” setup.

development VM is up and running, I picked a linux mint with xfce in the end. Grabbing the sources and configuring paths was easy, and it compiled straight away thanks to the good step by step guide. Now I need to get that shruthi soldered and running to start hacking :slight_smile: