Recently I bought a chipKit Max 32 and i couldn't select the Serial Port to which it was connected inside the mpide due to permission issues. The selection of the Serial Port was greyed out.
This is what i've done to avoid the necessity of using mpide as root to upload programs to the chipKit:
I added my user to the following groups: uucp, lock and tty:
$ gpasswd -a $YOURUSER uucp $ gpasswd -a $YOURUSER lock $ gpasswd -a $YOURUSER tty
Now it is necessary to install java's rxtx:
$ sudo pacman -S java-rxtx
After that you'll still have permission issues. For this reason i've changed the permissions of the 'lock' group.
Firstly i made the 'lock' group the owner of /run/lock
$ chown root:lock /run/lock
Then i gave permission to write in /run/lock to its owner:
$ chmod g+w /run/lock
Now is possible to upload sketches to the chipKit hardware without any problems.
Best regards, ecasa.