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Setting Up Xilinx Utilities

The following instructions were written for Xubuntu 9.10 running on a VMware player virtual machine and may not work on other platforms or versions. If you would like to see additional coverage, please add it yourself or make a request on the wiki's wanted page.

Note that some utilities such as 'impact' are capable of using the libusb driver, while others such as 'xmd' must use the libusb-driver driver. libusb-0.1.4 is installed generally by default in *ubuntu distributions and should be available (but the udev magic still has to happen for the cable to work). In this install, we specify use of the libusb-driver by adding some lines in /opt/Xilinx/11.1/settings32.sh

Operating System

  • Install Xubuntu virtual machine
  • Update OS
  • Reboot (to load latest kernel)

Re-Install VMware tools

  sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r` psmisc

(Install VMWare tools through host menu)

Unzip tarball from /mnt/cdrom (or cdrom1) to local dir (such as ~/):

  cd ~/vmware-tools-distrib
  sudo ./vmware-install.pl

Select all default options, allow the program to launch vmware-toolbox

Add the following to /etc/rc.local (then sudo chmod +x /etc/rc.local):

  /usr/bin/vmware-user &

Add the following to /etc/fstab:

  .host:/       /mnt/hgfs       vmhgfs  user,defaults   0 0

Reboot (Verify any shared folders are now mounted on /mnt/hgfs) (Verify vmware-user is running with: ps ax | grep vmware)

Supporting Libraries

Install libusb:

  sudo apt-get install libusb-0.1-4

Install fxload:

  sudo apt-get install fxload

Xilinx Tool Installation

Install Xilinx ISE Webpack (do not install cable drivers or XilinxUpdate), then run the following commands:

  sudo sed /opt/Xilinx/11.1/ISE/bin/lin/xusbdfwu.rules -e 's:TEMPNODE:tempnode:g' > /etc/udev/rules.d/xusbdfwu.rules

  sudo cp /opt/Xilinx/11.1/ISE/bin/lin/xusb*.hex /usr/share/

  sudo restart udev
    • Note, for the first command you may receive a permissions error. Try the command sudo su to get a root shell then run the same command sans 'sudo'
  • Plug in the Spartan 3E board. Apply power and attach the USB cable between the board and computer. If everything has been done successfully, a greed LED will illuminate next to the USB receptacle on the boad. If unsuccessful, the red LED will be dimly lit.
  • Install the Xilinx EDK (SDK and Chipscope if required)

Installing libusb-driver

Install libusb-dev and git:

                sudo apt-get install libusb-dev git-core

Download libusb-driver sources:

                cd ~/
                git clone git://git.zerfleddert.de/usb-driver

Compile and install libusb driver

                cd usb-driver/
                make lib32
                sudo cp libusb-drive.so /usr/local/lib/

Create a script in /etc/profile.d/ with the following contents:

  export PATH="$PATH/opt/Xilinx/EDK/bin/lin:/opt/Xilinx/11.1/EDK/gnu/microblaze/lin/bin/:/opt/Xilinx/11.1/SDK/bin/lin:/opt/Xilinx/11.1/ISE/bin/lin"

Make the script executable:

  sudo chmod +x /etc/profile.d/xlilnx-settings.sh

Add the following lines to /opt/Xilinx/11.1/settings32.sh just after list=""

  export LD_PRELOAD=/usr/local/lib/libusb-driver.so

16) Prior to launching a Xilinx tool (such as xmd), you must type the following command:

  source /opt/Xilinx/11.1/settings32.sh
  • Note if you wish to create a launcher in the desktop environment, use the following format for the 'command' and it will automatically source the settings32.sh before launching the application:
   /bin/bash -c 'source /opt/Xilinx/11.1/settings32.sh && ise'

Sources and Other Contributors: Via (VTLUUG member) forums.xilinx.com wiki.archlinux.org

Makefile Tricks

Automatic Download

This automatically downloads your program to the Spartan board after building. It assumes $(NAME).elf is the file you'd like to download. Note that you will probably miss warning messages regarding your code so you might want to first run make normally.

dl: $(NAME).elf
	echo 'dow $(NAME).elf' > xmd.ini
	echo 'run' >> xmd.ini
	rm xmd.ini

When you're done, type exit to quit xmd.

Automatic Debug

debug: $(NAME).elf
	mb-gdb &

When you're done, type exit on the command line to quit xmd.

Cable Lock Workaround

Sometimes you'll get an error with cable locking. Typing the following into xmd should fix this.


9.x Native USB Driver