How to use the Digispark with micronucleus bootloader in the Arduino IDE

The Digispark USB development board is a compact board with the ATtiny85 AVR microcontroller. You can use it in the Arduino IDE by adding as an additional board support URL in File / Preferences next to Additional Boards Manager URLs.

After this, open the menu Tools / Board / Boards Manager... and install the package Digistump AVR Boards:


The Digispark is now supported, but the board support package installs an older version of the command-line tool micronucleus for the bootloader. This is incompatible with newer versions of the bootloader. If you've upgraded the micronucleus bootloader on your Digispark, you need to upgrade the command-line tool too.

So make a backup of the original file and copy the newer micronucleus binary that you installed earlier:

cd ~/.arduino15/packages/digistump/tools/micronucleus/2.0a4/
mv micronucleus micronucleus.original
cp /usr/local/bin/micronucleus .

Now you can flash your Arduino sketches to the device. Try it with one of the example sketches, such as the one in File / Examples / Digispark_Examples / Start. This has the following code that blinks the Digispark's LED:

// the setup routine runs once when you press reset:
void setup() {
  // initialize the digital pin as an output.
  pinMode(0, OUTPUT); //LED on Model B
  pinMode(1, OUTPUT); //LED on Model A  or Pro

// the loop routine runs over and over again forever:
void loop() {
  digitalWrite(0, HIGH);   // turn the LED on (HIGH is the voltage level)
  digitalWrite(1, HIGH);
  delay(1000);               // wait for a second
  digitalWrite(0, LOW);    // turn the LED off by making the voltage LOW
  digitalWrite(1, LOW);
  delay(1000);               // wait for a second

Then choose the board Digispark (Default - 16.5mhz) in the menu Tools / Board / Digistump AVR Boards and compile the code. If you click on the upload button after this, the Arduino IDE asks you to put the Digispark in a USB port. If all goes well, it uploads the firmware to your board with the newer version of the micronucleus command. And finally the LED on the board starts blinking.


If you want to use your Digispark with a newer bootloader in PlatformIO, you need the same trick: make sure that PlatformIO uses the newer micronucleus command.