I had seen some tutorials on how to assemble an Arduino on a breadboard. They all just place the external crystal oscillator according to the circuit and then, just burn the bootloader and it starts working. According to my little knowledge the fuse bits have to be set before using the external clock.

My question is - How does the microcontroller know which clock to use internal or external? Is there any setting already in the bootloader that tells the microcontroller to use the external clock?


Burning the bootloader via the Arduino IDE also sets the fuse bits according to its configuration files.

  • So, if I have to use the internal clock, I need to change the configuration file?
    – Aneesh Sharma
    Oct 27 '17 at 6:03
  • Yes, or you could find and use a core meant to be used with bare chips. I know of at least one that has the correct configuration. Oct 27 '17 at 6:03
  • So your keeping it a secret? Which core(s)?
    – tgunr
    Feb 7 '18 at 10:48

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