AVR Studio

This page describes how to use AVR Studio for debugging Nano-RK applications running on a single node. AVR Studio is good for debugging execution of complicated C / Assembly algorithms, or debugging memory problems. It is not good for simulating network interactions or multiple nodes communicating. For that you need a network wide simulation environment.

In order to run Nano-RK inside AVR Studio, you will need version 4.13 build 571 or newer. This can be downloaded for free from the following link: http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/tools_card.asp?tool_id=2725

*Step 1: Install AVR Studio *

*Step 2: Install AVR Studio Service Pack 2 *

*Step 3: Install Nano-RK and WinAVR on a Windows Machine *
  • This is required so that the source can be correctly linked against the binary file. Using a binary built in linux works except that you will not be able to browse the connected C source, just the assembly (with no comments!).
*Step 4: Build an elf file *
  • The Nano-RK build system automatically builds the elf file when you run make in a project. To test this, go into a project like basic_tasks and type "make". You should see the following files:
    • main.o
    • main.d
    • main.lst
    • main.eep
    • main.lss
      • You may need to run make twice for this one. It is an extended list file with all assembly code for all functions
    • main.sym
    • main.map
    • main.hex
    • main.elf
      • This is the file we need for the simulator!
      • You can copy this file to a separate debugging directory if you like...
*Step 5: Start up AVR Studio *
  • Start-> Programs -> Atmel AVR Tools -> AVR Studio 4
*Step 6: Load the elf file *
  • Click "Open" and navigate to your .elf file
  • On the next screen, save the .aps file in the same directory.
    • This file is used to store debugger settings etc
*Step 7: AVR Simulator Settings *
  • For the Debugging Platform select: AVR Simulator
  • For the Device select: ATmega1281
  • Press Finish
  • make sure you see something like the following in the Messages window:
Loaded plugin STK500
Loaded partfile: E:\Program Files\Atmel\AVR Tools\PartDescriptionFiles\ATmega1281.xml
AVR Simulator: Please wait while configuring simulator...
AVR Simulator: ATmega1281 Configured OK
Loaded objectfile: E:\Documents and Settings\agr\Desktop\nrk-debug\main.elf
*Step 8: Set processor speed *
  • Go Debug Menu -> AVR Simulator Options
  • Set Frequency to 8 MHz


View -> Memory
  • This lets you look at the various memories on the processor.
View -> Watch
  • This lets you monitor particular variables in your code.
  • Select the variable in your code window and then right click -> Add Watch: "xxx"
Setting Breakpoints
  • You can set break points anywhere in your code (even in sections not currently displayed in the debugger)
  • File -> Open File
    • Navigate to any source file in Nano-RK
    • Once it opens, you can right click -> Toggle Breakpoint
    • This will cause the simulator to stop once it reaches that point
Dissassembler Window
  • View -> Disassembler will show the raw assembly
  • You can switch back and forth from the C code to the assembly code etc


If you see the following in the Message Window:

Coordinator: The object file does not contain source code information.

You probably did not select the elf file (the hex file will load without source) or you are using an old version of AVR Studio.