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Thread: HOWTO Xilinx and JTAG programming cable

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    Join Date
    May 2008

    HOWTO Xilinx and JTAG programming cable

    UPDATE: Works with 10.04.

    I 've spend a really long time trying to install and use the Xilinx Webpack suite on various Linux distros. I have finaly made it and i wouldn't have without the serious efforts of a lot of people out there. So this is my contribution to the community. I hope it works for most of you as it did for me with various editions of the software in various machines with almost all the up-to-date Ubuntu distros (8.04 and beyond).

    I am currently using the Xilinx Webpack 11.1, updated on 9.04, 32-bit.

    To begin with, visit the xilinx site and download the Xilinx Webpack software. Do not try the webinstall as it has never worked for a lot of people, incuding me.

    Make sure you have root privileges before you begin so you won't have any problems in touching system folders.
    >sudo su
    (it will prompt you for your password)
    Install webpack ignoring any driver errors that will occur. You can do that by typing:
    > cd /opt/Xilinx_11.1_WebPack_SFD/
    > ./xsetup
    It will take a long time and it will take a llot longer if you coose to update the software.
    You should have a Xilinx folder in your /opt folder now. JFYI if you ever feel that you don't need Xilinx anymore, you can just delete the folder and you are done.

    Running Webpack components can be a real pain for linux newbies. It was for me, anyway.
    You can run any of the components by navigating to the folder where all the Xilinx commads lay.
    >cd /opt/Xilinx/11.1/ISE/bin/lin
    Being there you just have to give the command you need.
    For example you can run ISE with
    or you can run IMPACT with
    What troubled me most was running Xilinx componets with 3rd party scripts, such as the scripts for Gaisler Aeroflex IPcores and Leon3.
    Adding the xilinx executable files to your path will do the job and since you want to use that again and again adding that path to your .bashrc file is the solution.

    >gedit /home/username/.bashrc
    Navigate to the end of the file and add the line
    export PATH=$PATH:/opt/Xilinx/11.1/ISE/bin/lin
    Save and exit gedit.
    Now you should be able to run Xilinx components from anywhere without having to navigate to the /opt/Xilinx/11.1/ISE/bin/lin folder

    Using the JTAG was the biggest trouble of all. After reading hundreds of posts around the web, following some dozens of HOWTOs and even managing to crush my whole system once i came across to THE post. The only one that was followed only from Thanking replies.
    Thanks to mr Michael Gernoth and his magnificent work my jtag works as a charm and my Spartan3E board is up and running my latest project.
    You can find all the info in
    but i prefer rewritting everything than making you jump from one link to another

    Dowload the library source from
    untar it and place it in the desired folder. I choose to place it in the /opt folder.
    > cp -r /path/to/dowloaded/usb-driver /opt
    Before building the library you need to be sure that you have the latest libusb-dev and libftdi-dev files.
    You can do that by typing
    > apt-get install libusb-dev
    > apt-get install libftdi-dev
    Now you should be ready to build the library.
    > cd /opt/usb-drivers
    > make
    The last step is common to the last step of installing Xilinx.
    Since the library needs to be preloaded before you start IMPACT and since you want that to be done for you everytime all you need is to add one more line to you .bashrc.
    > gedit /home/username/.bashrc
    At the end of the file add the line
    export LD_PRELOAD=/path/to/
    Save and exit gedit.

    There might be an issue in using the library as a plain user (not root).
    To solve that you can add your user to the lp group.
    do that by typing
    > useradd -G lp username
    Some minor changes need to be done for 64bit versions of Ubuntu. All you need to know is in the README file located in the usb-driverfolder.

    Community, have fun with your FPGA experiments!

    Best regards
    Last edited by dimamali; June 6th, 2010 at 09:14 AM.

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