If you run Windows, skip this page. Or install Linux, then come back. :)
The Linux AVR software toolchain used is:
1) an editor of your choice (emacs, gedit, kate, etc)
2) AVR-GCC compiler and libraries
3) AVRdude programmer
4) A nice Makefile to tie it all together
May 2008 Edit: Ubuntu has packages for the whole toolchain. Your installation is now as easy as: "sudo apt-get install avrdude avr-libc binutils-avr gcc-avr". Bam! The versions that come with 8.04 are good all around. Woot Ubuntu!
If you want to do it "by hand", the script below automates most of the work for you. Note that as of May 2008, it's a year old, and doesn't support the newer ATTinyx5 series chips. You can mess around with updated versions of all the software is you'd like. (It's saved with a .txt extension b/c Instructables wants it. Doesn't matter.)
You're going to have to edit the first command in the install script depending on whether you're using an apt-based package system or a yum-based one. Just uncomment the relevant line. It needs to make sure you've got some packages which are required for the compilation stage.
Have a read through the script to make sure it's not doing anything stupid, then get root and run it and you should be golden.
It will create a directory /usr/local/AVR and install all the AVR tools there.
The last thing the script does is to add avr-gcc to your path so that you can run avr-gcc directly by adding a line to the tail of your /etc/profile.
The other file, setupParport.txt, is just a (very) simple script to set up your parallel port for user use. If you're savvy, you can add the same commands to a boot script so that it enables the parallel port every time you boot up. Otherwise, just run it by hand.
Websites with similar, but different and possibly outdated, procedures include: Psychogenic.com
, and this (old) Linux Focus article
Alternatively, I hear cdk4AVR
has a complete set of compiler tools in RPM format. I haven't tried it, but it could save you the 30 min of compiling time on a slow, old laptop.