SOLVED: recipe.preproc.macros pattern is missing / unable to program ATtiny85

I am unable to upload a bootcode or program to a ATtiny85. I always get this message:

recipe.preproc.macros pattern is missing
Error compiling for board ATtiny85 @ 1 MHz (internal oscillator; BOD disabled)

The hardware setup has been checked 100 times using different information sources. The HW setup is always the same (MISO/MOSI setup).
I have even checked the cables. However, the error message does not indicate a HW error. The ATtiny85 chip is OK. It still runs a 1Hz LED blink routine I programmed two years ago. Two years ago I used a pretty old version of the Arduino IDE (I cannot remember which one).

My current setup is like this:

Arduino IDE: 1.6.13 (downloaded today - Dec 14, 2016)
ATtiny definition: Github ATtiny definition - "" (downloaded Dec 14, 2016)
(I have tried other ones as well)

After installing the definition files in ..\arduino*hardware* (which is my sketches folder) I can see the ATtiny boards in the tools/boards menu.

I installed the ArduinoISP sketch on the UNO board. Then I changed the board to ATtiny85. I changed the programmer to ArduinoISP (tried Arduino as ISP as well). Of course I added a capacitor of 10 mikroFarads between RESET and GND. When uploading the code with sketch/upload with programmer I always run into the error messages you can see above.

I have spent many hours in finding a solution. Finally I gave up. Most solutions seem to work fine with older IDE versions. Very old ones. Downgrading to 1.6.4 and using several other ATtiny definition files did not help.

The board manager is not helpful either. Using several URLs I always see an empty selection window. I have even tried to add a leading/trailing comma (as recommended in a document).

I do need YOUR help.

Please show the folder structure of your attiny installation.

You might also consider using the excellent ATTinyCore:

instead of damellis/attiny. ATTinyCore is much more actively developed.

However, if you want to use attiny instead we should definitely be able to get it working. I just tried it out with a manual installation in Arduino IDE 1.6.13 and it worked fine for me.

My guess is he's using an old version of the corethat hasn't been updated for 1.6.x. Note that he hasn't specified what core he's using - there are countless forks with the same name, including some that aren't updated to work with 1.6.x

Yes, that's right. I see now that if they were using the up to date damellis/attiny the board name would be ATtiny25/45/85, not "ATtiny85 @ 1 MHz".


The link you gave me was perfect. THANK YOU very very much. I was on Github but could not find the proper core definition file.

You saved my day !!!!


this is my code:

void setup() {
pinMode(4, OUTPUT);
void loop() {
digitalWrite(4, HIGH); // turn the LED on (HIGH is the voltage level)
delay(1000); // wait for a second
digitalWrite(4, LOW); // turn the LED off by making the voltage LOW
delay(1000); // wait for a second

I just try " verify "

Who can advise me about this problem
recipe.preproc.macros pattern is missing

Error compiling for board ATtiny13 @ 9.6MHz (interne 9.6 MHz clock).
I've downloaded the ATtiny13 core files for Arduino
Extract the zipped file in the above location, (Arduino>Hardware folder).

@amkoshesh don't hijack threads. Don't cross-post. Please see your other post, where I have already responded.