Xillinux desktop photoThe Xillinux distribution is a software + FPGA code kit for running a full-blown graphical desktop on the Zedboard, ZyBo or SocKit board, attaching a monitor, keyboard and mouse to the board itself. Xillinux also supports MicroZed 7010 without the graphics.

New!   Vivado 2014.1 can now be used to build Xillinux-1.3

This is not just a demo, but a kick-start development kit, making integration between the Linux host (PS) and the "FPGA part" (PL) simple, intuitive, and relatively effortless.

A demo configuration of the Xillybus IP core is included in the distribution's logic. A custom Xillybus IP core can be configured and downloaded at the IP Core Factory.

The full package, along with easy-to-follow setup instructions is free for download from this site. The setup takes 30-60 minutes, the majority of which consists of waiting for Xilinx' or Altera's tools to implement some logic components. No prior knowledge in FPGA nor Linux is necessary to carry out the setup process.

  • Based upon Ubuntu LTS 12.04 for ARM, it makes the board behave like a PC with the SD card as its hard disk. Just plug a USB mouse and keyboard to the OTG port and use the board like any computer running Linux. Optionally (for Zedboard and ZyBo) connect loudspeakers and microphone to the board's dedicated plugs, using native sound applications.
  • The (analog) VGA output of the board functions as the computer's screen output, displaying both a Linux text console and the X-Windows desktop (Gnome).
  • On ZyBo, the VGA output is also available in DVI format.
  • Comes with a PL ("FPGA") development kit for establishing Xillybus pipes with the host: Connect your application logic to plain FIFOs in the logic part, and use plain file operations to send and receive data. As a matter of fact, for just data acquisition and transmission, Linux' "cat" command-line utility will do the job. Setting this up requires no knowledge about the processor setup, Linux kernel, drivers etc.
  • Also includes the Xillybus Lite kit for a bare-metal-like interface with peripherals.
  • Native compilation of user applications and kernel modules on the board: Edit and compile your program on the board's desktop and processor, rather than using cross-compilers.

Note that MicroZed doesn't have outputs for sound or graphics, so related features are irrelevant to this board.

Required hardware:

  • The board itself (Zedboard, ZyBo,  MicroZed or SocKit)
  • A monitor capable of displaying VESA-compliant 1024x768 @ 60Hz with an analog VGA input (i.e. virtually any PC monitor).
  • An analog VGA cable for the monitor
  • A USB keyboard
  • A USB mouse
  • A USB hub recognized by Linux 3.12.0, if the keyboard and mouse are not combined in a single USB plug
  • For Zedboard and SocKit: A type A USB receptacle (female) to USB Micro B plug cable (included in Zedboard's kit, but doesn't arrive with the SocKit)
  • For Zedboard: A reliable SD card with 4GB or more, preferably Sandisk (the one that came with the board should not be used).
  • For ZyBo, MicroZed and SocKit: A reliable MicroSD card with 4GB or more, preferably Sandisk.
  • Recommended: A USB adapter between an SD/MicroSD card and PC, for writing the image and boot file to the card.

 

Download

 

Zedboard, ZyBo and MicroZed (Xilinx Zynq)

SoCKit board (Altera Cyclone V)

 

All Zynq-related material for download on this site relates to Xillinux-1.3, which was released in March 2014. Support for previous versions is given on this page.

You need to download two items, one for each bullet below. Then please refer to the "getting started" guides in the documentation page.

The instructions for what to do with these files are in the Getting Started guide for Zynq (Zedboard) .

Note: The boot partition kits support a range of ISE revisions, but Vivado 2014.1 only.

To view Xillinux' file system without writing it to a hardware device, loop-mount the SD card image on any Linux machine as follows:

# mount -o loop xillinux-1.1.img \
   -o offset=$((512*32130)) /mnt/tmp/

assuming that /mnt/tmp already exists as a directory. Note that the downloaded file must be gunzip'ed first, and that mounting requires root privileges.

Note to Zedboard Rev. D owners

As a result of a bug in Xilinx' FSBL with regards to Silicon version 3.0 (PS_VERSION=2), problems have been reported with some Rev. D boards: Most of them have no issues at all, a few experience sporadic errors and some fail to boot.

The boot partition kits currently available (with suffix 1.3a) contain an updated boot.bin with a workaround for this issue. Those who already have a working system may replace only the boot.bin file in their boot partition. This is a safe preemptive measure, regardless of which board and revision is used.

 

You need to download the two following items. Then please refer to the "getting started" guides in the documentation page.

  • Click here to download the FPGA bundle for Altera's tools.
  • Click here to download the MicroSD card image.

The instructions for what to do with these files are in the Getting Started guide for Altera Cyclone V (SoCKit).

Important: At this time, only Quartus II 13.0sp1 can be used for building the FPGA bundle. The no-fee Web Edition is OK.

To view Xillinux' file system without writing it to a hardware device, loop-mount the SD card image on any Linux machine as follows:

# mount -o loop xillinux-1.1-sockit.img \
   -o offset=$((512*112455)) /mnt/tmp/

assuming that /mnt/tmp already exists as a directory. Note that the downloaded file must be gunzip'ed first, and that mounting requires root privileges.