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It is quick and easy to load the bootloader to an Arduino Uno board using the AVRISP mkII programmer in Linux. You will need to load the bootloader to the Arduino board if you have replaced the microcontroller IC.
The tutorial on how to replace the microcontroller on an Arduino Uno shows how to remove the old microcontroller and insert a new one.
It is possible to buy a microcontroller with the bootloader already loaded, but if the incorrect bootloader software is loaded on the microcontroller, then you will need to load the correct bootloader software.
The bootloader software allows you to load sketches to the Arduino via the USB port. Every Arduino that is sold has the bootloader preloaded on the microcontroller.
This video shows how to load the bootloader to the microcontroller using Lubuntu Linux. Loading the bootloader to the microcontroller is also known as burning the bootloader or Flashing the bootloader.
Can't see the video? View on YouTube →
These steps assume that you have the Arduino IDE software loaded on a Linux PC such as Ubuntu or similar.