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Manual Reference Pages  -  DFU-PROGRAMMER (1)


dfu-programmer - USB firmware upgrading for Atmel microcontrollers


Supported Microcontrollers
     Global Options
     Configure Registers
     Get Register
Known Issues
See Also


dfu-programmer target command [options] [parameters]


dfu-programmer is a Linux command line Device Firmware Upgrade (DFU) based programmer for the flash memory on Atmel AVR, AVR32 and 8051 based microcontrollers which ship with a USB boot loader. It supports In System Programming (ISP) for developers and potentially product updates in the field. Those boot loaders are patterned after the standard USB DFU 1.0 class specification, but depend on extensions defined by Atmel to the extent that standard DFU drivers will not work.

To use it, first connect the device to be programmed and ensure that it comes up in DFU mode. The microcontrollers come up in that mode as shipped by Atmel; or they may reenter that mode after a special hardware reset. Then invoke this program to issue one or more DFU commands. You will normally need to start by issuing the "erase" command; the default security policies prevent extracting firmware, to prevent reverse engineering of what is usually proprietary code.


These chip names are used as the command line "target" parameter.
8051 based controllers: at89c51snd1c, at89c51snd2c, at89c5130, at89c5131, and at89c5132.
AVR based controllers: at90usb1287, at90usb1286, at90usb647, at90usb646, at90usb162, at90usb82, atmega32u6, atmega32u4, atmega32u2, atmega16u4, atmega16u2 and atmega8u2.
AVR32 based controllers: at32uc3a0128, at32uc3a1128, at32uc3a0256, at32uc3a1256, at32uc3a0512, at32uc3a1512, at32uc3a0512es, at32uc3a1512es, at32uc3a364, at32uc3a364s, at32uc3a3128, at32uc3a3128s, at32uc3a3256, at32uc3a3256s, at32uc3b064, at32uc3b164, at32uc3b0128, at32uc3b1128, at32uc3b0256, at32uc3b1256, at32uc3b0256es, at32uc3b1256es, at32uc3b1512, at32uc3b0512, at32uc3c064, at32uc3c0128, at32uc3c0256, at32uc3c0512, at32uc3c164, at32uc3c1128, at32uc3c1256, at32uc3c1512, at32uc3c264, at32uc3c2128, at32uc3c2256 and at32uc3c2512.


There are no mechanisms for selecting which single device should be programmed, or to implement gang programming. Accordingly, you will usually avoid connecting more than one device of a given family (AVR, AVR32 or 8051) at a time.

All of these commands support the "global options". Unless you override it, commands which write to the microcontroller will perform a validation step that rereads the data which was written, compares it to the expected result, and reports any errors.
configure register [--suppress-validation] data
  Bootloaders for 8051 based controllers support writing certain configuration bytes.
  Reads all the available flash memory, and writes it as binary data to stdout.
  Reads all the available eeprom memory, and writes it as binary data to stdout.
  Reads the user space flash on the AVR32 chips and writes it as binary data to stdout.
erase [--suppress-validation]
  Erases all the flash memory. This is required before the bootloader will perform other commands.
flash [--suppress-validation] [--suppress-bootloader-mem] file or STDIN
  Writes flash memory. The input file (or stdin) must use the "ihex" file format convention for a memory image. --suppress-bootloader-mem ignores any data written to the bootloader memory space when flashing the device. This option is particularly useful for the AVR32 chips trampoline code.
flash-user [--suppress-validation] file or STDIN
  Writes to user space flash on the AVR32 chips. This block of flash is out of the normal range of flash blocks and is designed to contain configuration parameters. The input file (or stdin) mus use the "ihex" file format convention for a memory image.
eeprom-flash [--suppress-validation] file or STDIN
  Writes to eeprom memory. The input file (or stdin) must use the "ihex" file format convention for a memory image.
get register
  Displays various product identifier bytes.
  Resets microcontroller using watchdog timer
  Starts the application firmware by having the microcontroller jump to address zero.
  This prints a string identifying the version of this utility.

    Global Options

--quiet - minimizes the output

--debug level - enables verbose output at the specified level

    Configure Registers

The standard bootloader for 8051 based chips supports writing data bytes which are not relevant for the AVR based chips.

BSB - boot status byte
SBV - software boot vector
SSB - software security byte
EB - extra byte
HSB - hardware security byte

    Get Register

bootloader-version - currently flashed bootloader version
ID1 - device boot identification 1
ID2 - device boot identification 2
manufacturer - the hardware manufacturer code
family - the product family code
product-name - the product name
product-revision - the product revision
HSB - same as the configure_register version
BSB - same as the configure_register version
SBV - same as the configure_register version
SSB - same as the configure_register version
EB - same as the configure_register version


None known.


The at90usb series chips do not make available any read/write protect flags so the dump or flash command may fail with a less than helpful error message.

To remove any write or read protection from any chips, a full chip erasure is required.

You may need to be a member of the uucp group in order to have access to the device without needing to be root.


Weston Schmidt <>



Copyright (C) 2005-2012 Weston Schmidt

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA

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