NerdKits - electronics education for a digital generation

USB-Serial Overview

To allow you to program and talk to your USB NerdKit microcontroller over USB, we make use of a USB to Serial adapter (included with the kit). This adapter is based on the Prolific PL2303 chipset. This page summarizes driver compatibility for various operating systems.


Windows: yes

The USB kits include a Windows driver for the cable on our Members Downloads page. This includes full support for Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, ME, and 98. Like all device drivers, this driver must be installed as the administrator user.

Supported Windows versions:


Linux: yes

The pl2303 kernel module has been included and supported since at least kernel version 2.6.0 in December 2003. This means that the cable will work out of the box (no driver installation needed!) with all modern distributions. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Also, please be sure to use avr-libc version 1.6 or greater. Ubuntu users in particular have noted the need to upgrade.


Mac OS X: yes

Support for the device is provided by the osx-pl2303 driver, which is available at the Members Downloads page and is very easy to install.


Older NerdKits

Older kits sold before September 2008 used a CH341-based cable, which had different compatibility concerns.

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