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Build Firmware and Program Controller

Download and Install

1. Install Tools

  1. Toolchain On Windows install Atmel AVR Toolchain for AVR GCC compiler and Cygwin(or MinGW) for shell terminal. On Mac you can use CrossPack or your favorite package manager. On Linux you can install AVR GCC with your favorite package manager.

  2. Programmer Install dfu-programmer. GUI tool Atmel FLIP also can be used on Windows.

  3. Driver On Windows when you start DFU bootloader on the chip first time you will see Found New Hardware Wizard to install driver. If you install device driver properly you will find chip name like ATmega32U4 under LibUSB-Win32 Devices tree on Device Manager. If not you shall need to update its driver on Device Manager. You will find the driver in FLIP install directory like: C:\Program Files (x86)\Atmel\Flip 3.4.5\usb\. In case of dfu-programmer install driver distributed with it.

If you use PJRC Teensy you don’t need step 2 and 3 above, just get Teensy loader.

2. Download source

You can find firmware source at github:

If you are familiar with git tools you are recommended to use it but you can also download zip archive from:

Build firmware

1. Open terminal

Open terminal window to get access to commands. Use Cygwin(or MingGW) shell terminal in Windows or on Mac OSX.

2. Change directory

Move to project directory in the firmware source.

cd tmk_keyboard/{'keyboard' or 'converter'}/<project>

3. Make

Build firmware using GNU make command. You’ll see <project>_<variant>.hex file in that directory unless something unexpected occurs in build process.

make -f Makefile.<variant> clean
make -f Makefile.<variant>

Program Controller

Now you have hex file to program on current directory. This hex is only needed to program your controller, other files are used for development and you may leave and forget them.

1. Start bootloader

How to program controller depends on controller chip and its board design. To program AVR USB chips you’ll need to start it up in bootloader mode. Most of boards with the chip have a push button to let bootloader come up. Consult with your controller board manual.

2. Program with DFU bootloader

Stock AVR USB chips have DFU bootloader by factory default. FLIP is a DFU programmer on Windows offered by Atmel. FLIP has two version of tool, GUI app and command line program. If you want GUI see tutorial below. Open source alternative dfu-programmer also supports AVR chips, it is command line tool and runs on Linux, Mac OSX and even Windows.

To program with command of FLIP run this. Note that you need to set PATH variable properly.

$ make -f Makefile.<variant> flip

With dfu-programmer run this.

$ make -f Makefile.<variant> dfu

Or you can execute the command directly as the following.

$ dfu-programmer <controller> erase --force
$ dfu-programmer <controller> flash <your_firmware.hex>
$ dfu-programmer <controller> reset

<controller> part will be atmega32u4 or atmega32u2 in most cases. See manual of the command for the detail. On Linux and Mac OSX you will need proper permission to program a controller and you can use sudo command for this purpose probably. On Linux you also can configure udev rules to set permission.

FLIP GUI tutorial

  1. On menu bar click Device -> Select, then choose your chip name. (In most cases ATmega32U2 or ATmega32U4)
  2. On menu bar click Settings -> Communication -> USB, then click Open button on USB Port Connection dialog. At this point you’ll have to plug into USB and start bootloader.

  3. On menu bar click File -> Load HEX File, then select your firmware hex file on File Selector dialog.

  4. On Operations Flow panel click Run button to load the firmware binary to the chip. Note that you should keep Erase, Blank Check, Program and Verify check boxes selected.

  5. Re-plug USB cord or click Start Application button to restart your controller. Done.

See also these instructions if needed.

  • FLIP: AtLibUsbDfu.dll not found Remove current driver and re-install one FLIP provides from DeviceManager of WIndows. See

3. Program with Other programmer

If you are using PJRC Teensy consult with instruction of Teensy Loader. Or run this target with make after you install command line version of it.

$ make -f Makefile.<variant> teensy

You may want to use other programmer like avrdude. In that case you can still use make target program for build with configuring PROGRAM_CMD in Makefile. See below.

$ make -f Makefile.<variant> program

Makefile Options

1. MCU and Frequency.

MCU = atmega32u4       # Teensy 2.0
#MCU = at90usb1286      # Teensy++ 2.0
F_CPU = 16000000

Set your MCU and its clock in Hz.

# Boot Section Size in *bytes*
#   Teensy halfKay   512
#   Teensy++ halfKay 2048
#   Atmel DFU loader 4096
#   LUFA bootloader  4096

If you are using PJRC Teensy use 512 for BOOTLOADER_SIZE, otherwise use 4096 unless you are sure.

2. Features

Optional. Note that comment out with # to disable them.

BOOTMAGIC_ENABLE = yes      # Virtual DIP switch configuration(+1000)
MOUSEKEY_ENABLE = yes       # Mouse keys(+4700)
EXTRAKEY_ENABLE = yes       # Audio control and System control(+450)
CONSOLE_ENABLE = yes        # Console for debug(+400)
COMMAND_ENABLE = yes        # Commands for debug and configuration
SLEEP_LED_ENABLE = yes      # Breathing sleep LED during USB suspend
#NKRO_ENABLE = yes          # USB Nkey Rollover - not yet supported in LUFA
#BACKLIGHT_ENABLE = yes     # Enable keyboard backlight functionality

3. Programmer

Optional. Set proper command for your controller, bootloader and programmer. This command can be used with make program.

# avrdude with AVRISPmkII
PROGRAM_CMD = avrdude -p $(MCU) -c avrispmkII -P USB -U flash:w:$(TARGET).hex

# avrdude with USBaspLoader
PROGRAM_CMD = avrdude -p $(MCU) -c usbasp -U flash:w:$(TARGET).hex

# avrdude with arduino
PROGRAM_CMD = avrdude -p $(MCU) -c arduino -P COM1 -b 57600 -U flash:w:$(TARGET).hex

Config.h Options

1. Magic command key combination

#define IS_COMMAND() (keyboard_report->mods == (MOD_BIT(KB_LSHIFT) | MOD_BIT(KB_RSHIFT)))

2. Mechanical Locking Support for CapsLock

/* Mechanical locking CapsLock support. Use KC_LCAP instead of KC_CAPS in keymap */
/* Locking CapsLock re-synchronize hack */

3. Disable Debug and Print

/* disable debug print */
#define NO_DEBUG

/* disable print */
#define NO_PRINT

4. Disable Action Features