The ATLAS detector at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will be exposed to proton-proton collisions from beams crossing at 40 MHz. A three-level trigger system will select potentially interesting events in order to reduce the read-out rate to about 200 Hz. The first trigger level is implemented in custom-built electronics and makes an initial fast selection based on detector data of coarse granularity. It has to reduce the rate by a factor of 10 4 to less than 100 kHz. The other two consecutive trigger levels are in software and run on PC farms. We present an overview of the first-level central trigger and the muon barrel trigger system and report on the current installation status. Moreover, we show analysis results of cosmic-ray data recorded in situ at the ATLAS experimental site with final or close-to-final hardware. © 2008 IEEE.