AVaRICE is a program which interfaces the GNU Debugger GDB with the AVR JTAG ICE available from Atmel. There are some third party clones of the (old, "mkI") Atmel jtagice available for purchase via the web for prices much less than the Atmel's offering. The AVR Dragon is a low-cost offering from Atmel, and is also supported.


In recent times, GCC added support for the AVR series of microcontrollers. This has been quite the boon for those of us who write embedded applications for processors with "leaner" architectures. Recently, Atmel announced the availability of a JTAG box for the AVR. Until now, there was no way to interface to this device with GDB.

AVaRICE runs on a POSIX machine and connects to gdb via a TCP socket and communicates via gdb's "serial debug protocol". This protocol allows gdb to send commands like "set/remove breakpoint" and "read/write memory".

AVaRICE translates these commands into the Atmel protocol used to control the AVR JTAG ICE. Connection to the AVR JTAG ICE is via a serial port on the POSIX machine.

Because the GDB <---> AVaRICE connection is via a TCP socket, the two programs do not need to run on the same machine. In an office environment, this allows a developer to debug a target in the lab from the comfort of their cube (or even better, their home!)


Please watch the SF.net project area for details.

AVaRICE 2.12 is the latest release. Please read the release notes for details.

The documentation is available as a manual page. A rendered PDF version can be found here.

AVaRICE is being used sucessfully to debug many serious, large commercial applications: 400 c/c++ files, 20000 non-commentary source lines (NCSL) of code.

Supported Platforms (basically means someone sent in patches and said "this makes it work for me."):



Go to the file download area

Other handy download links

GDB >= 6.0 is the preferred version of gdb.

GDB-5.3 has known bugs related to AVR that can cause it to seg fault. The bugs have been found and fixed in 6.0.

Mailing Lists

A mailing list has been created so that users of AVaRICE may exchange ideas about it. Discussion may include, but is not limited to: bugs, enhancements, and applications. The list is not moderated. Announcements, including releases of AVaRICE are posted to this list.

To subscribe to the list, go to the  subscription page .

Once you have joined the list, messages may be posted to avarice-user@lists.sourceforge.net .


Suggestions, bug reports (or even better.... bug fixes) are always welcomed. Please use the respective tracker to submit them..

Ownership and Distribution

AVaRICE has been originally written by Scott Finneran and is freely distributable under the terms and conditions of the GNU GPL .

Page Last Updated: 2011-12-14T110830Z

SourceForge Logo