It seems to me that with distros based on new Kernel 3.0 the Arduino as ISP programmer stopped working.
I mean that I have 2 computers with Xubuntu 11.04. I used an Arduino UNO with ArduinoISP sketch to flash my Tiny micros over some boards (with Optifix bootloader). Before the upgrade everything worked fine...
After upgrading to Xubuntu 11.10 the first one and Arch Linux the second one, with both of them I started to have problems using Arduino as ISP. The sketchs compiled but when I tried to upload them to the destination micros I got:
avrdude: stk500_paged_write(): (a) protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x11 avrdude: failed to write flash memory, rc=-4 avrdude: stk500_getsynch(): not in synch: resp=0x15
Now the curious thing is that both of those systems use the relatively new Kernel 3.0. If I try to use the Arduino as an ISP programmer from the terminal with avrdude, i strangely get that the sketch is written on the Arduino itself and not to the destination micro!
I still be able to use the USBtinyISP programmer, so this is not related to other HW but only to Arduino.
Other users have similar problems (i.e.: read here)