I'm wondering if it's possible to flash the arduino sketch into a AVR, without using a bootloader - over ISP. I'd use the BSD programmer, which is basically parallel port with some resistors.

Let's say I use the Arduino IDE, try to upload with "verbose" (no actual arduino is attached) - it shows path to the hex in the verbose output, and I "steal" the file.

Now I'd flash it using avrdude onto a blank 328 via ISP - would that work?

I assume there needs to be a 16Mhz crystal, is that it? Any other pitfalls I have to be careful about?

1 Answer 1


You don't need the arduino bootloader on the chip, if you are programming it using ISP.

It looks like BSD is no longer supported by avrdude.

In the Arduino 1.5 IDE you can add programmers, so you can do the uploading right from the IDE, instead of 'stealing' the hex file and manually uploading from the command line.

If the chips are blank you probably need to change the fuses first.

You don't need a 16mhz crystal. The atmega328 has an internal 8mHz oscillator inside.

  • Avrdude seems to support BSD just fine, look: bsd = Brian Dean's Programmer, http://www.bsdhome.com/avrdude/ in the programmers list. The link is dead though, but there's schematics on google.
    – MightyPork
    Dec 1, 2014 at 22:04
  • -c bsd doesn't work on my 2 versions of avrdude. But that might be because I'm on a Mac. So Windows might work fine.
    – Gerben
    Dec 2, 2014 at 16:28
  • Macs don't usually have a parallel port, so it's not surprising that a parallel port programmer isn't supported on it. Dec 4, 2014 at 6:41
  • Edited to mention that using the internal oscillator means you can't use the UART reliably ( you can calibrate it but if the temperature changes it will be wrong again)
    – cb88
    Nov 25, 2015 at 14:34
  • @cb88 I think that only applies to the higher baud-rates. Also, please add this information as a comment, instead of an edit. I don't think such an edit is appropriate.
    – Gerben
    Nov 25, 2015 at 16:12

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