The Cranky Sysadmin A world of technology, fun, and ignorant rants.

December 15, 2012

Xilinx 14.3 tools on ubuntu 12.10 (Oh, the pain)

Filed under: digital logic,Electronics — Cranky Sysadmin @ 9:50 am

As Xilinx support reps say in the tools forums, That OS is not supported by Xilinx tools. Please consider using a supported operating system. Well, I’m comfortable with my development environment, so I went ahead and suffered through making ISE work on Ubuntu. Below are some of my collected notes and links.

I posted earlier on this topic. If you just want to program your butterfly one or other FPGA that has its own loader, this may be sufficient. I went and bought a ZedBoard though, and many of the tools for working with the Zynq didn’t work.

This post has a lot of good info on getting the tool set up and running. Some of the items are more like bug reports. I needed to apply the following from the post to get things mostly working:

  • From item 1, run “dpkg-reconfigure -plow dash” and select no when asked whether to use dash as your sh.
  • From item 6, on my machine, no links worked anywhere. I use Firefox, so I created the following script to unset the library path before running it. After you create the script, point to it in the Xilinx options for the browser command.#!/bin/bashunset LD_LIBRARY_PATH
    exec /usr/bin/firefox “$@”
  • From item 7, I haven’t run into this yet, but it’s a simple fix, so: “sudo ln -s /usr/bin/make /usr/bin/gmake”
  • I applied items 8 and 9 from the post, but I still couldn’t get the usb/jtag to work. I found a workable solution here.

At this point, most things worked, but I couldn’t invoke XPS from planAhead. Here is one answer that didn’t present my symptom, but the solution worked. When installing ISE, install the logic edition and apply your WebPack license. As this answer states at the bottom, you’ll get a license error when you start XPS, but as long as you have a low end Zynq based device selected, you can click through the error and use XPS unmolested.


  1. Thanks, when you installed codesourcery, did you get xsdk to pick up the new “CROSS_COMPILE” environment variable? Xsdk still complains about not being able to find the right compiler and says “arm-xilinx-eabi-gcc: command not found”. So frustrating.

    Comment by h_corey — December 15, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

  2. There was a silent error when I installed ISE which prevented the arm toolchain install. Once I fixed dash so it wasn’t /bin/sh anymore, the arm toolchain installed magically when I reinstalled ISE. I don’t know how you would manage a manual install. I gave up on that. I can tell you that when I set my xilinx settings and work through the “hello world” examples in planahead/xps/sdk, it all works fine.

    Comment by Cranky Sysadmin — December 15, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

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