Debugging with external Tools

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If debugging with Eclipse does not work out for you, you can take a look here for some external debugging solutions.



  • Open Source
  • multi-platform

Insight is a graphical front end for the gdb debugger. While it has similar features as the Eclipse gdb support, it might be an alternative when having problems with the Eclipse gdb debugger.

AVR Studio

  • Freeware
  • Windows only



  • Freeware
  • Windows only

VMLAB combines an AVR simulator with a limited analog simulator (resistors, grounded capacitors, LEDs, op-amps, analog comparator) to simulate complete designs. This simulation is based on an old AVR Studio simulator, but the development of this product has ceased 2006 due to lack of commercial success.

Usage: VMLAB can only import files in the old COFF format. The AVR Eclipse Plugin only supports the newer ELF file format out of the box.

Use this command to generate COFF file from ELF file (TODO: verify it):

avr-objcopy --output-target coff-avr  example.elf  example.coff

Proteus VSM

  • Commercial
  • Windows only

Proteus VSM takes the direction of VMLAB further and integrates μP simulator and SPICE hardware simulator into a CAD package. While this application is somewhat expensive (~300 GBP), it can simulate a complete design incl. the AVR processor before committing anything to hardware. It has its own simple IDE build in, but can also load the elf files produced by the AVR Eclipse Plugin.

Open: describe how to load and execute an elf file from the AVR Eclipse Plugin.

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