If you happen program PICs and your PC OS is a Linux distro, then you probably have already felt how poor is the PIC support in Linux. I run Linux in my Q4, and i have my old and miserable PC running windows, only for the MPLAB. And that is actually all the job that it has to do. Frankly that is pretty annoying, since from a quad core CPU i drop down to a single-core CPU, with just a quarter of the memory size, and all this in a few seconds! Its like if you are driving a Ferrari to have fun and fool around, and then you stop and say "ok, it is time to work" and you get into that old Fiat you used to have.
I believe that Devlin Thyne from hack a day felt the same way as i do. What he did is an excellent work and help for those Linux-PIC guys. He gathered all the info needed for someone to compile a program in C and upload it in a PIC, and wrote them down in a straight-forward article. He explains how to use the Small Device C Compiler to create the hex file, and how to upload it on the PIC with the Olimex’s PICStart+ and the Microchip’s PICkit 2.
The setup is tested with a few PICs. There are still lot to be done, but ajourney of a thousand miles begins with a single step... Read the article here.