The Xillinux distribution is a software + FPGA code kit for running a full-blown graphical desktop on the Zedboard, attaching a monitor, keyboard and mouse to the board itself.
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.
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 the Xilinx 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 Zedboard 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 Zedboard like any computer running Linux. Optionally 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 Linux bootup messages and the X-Windows desktop (Gnome).
- 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.
- The Zedboard
- 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 3.3.0, if the keyboard and mouse are not combined in a single USB plug
- One of the USB cables to the Zedboard card, which came with the board
- A reliable SD card with 2GB or more, preferably Sandisk (the one that came with the board may work well, but errors have been reported on those).
- Recommended: A USB adapter between an SD card and PC, for writing the image and boot file to the card.
You need to download the two following items. Then please refer to the "getting started" guides in the documentation page.
(There used to be a link to a "rich kernel" add-on, but it's now included in the distribution)
The instructions for what to do with these files are in the Getting Started guide for Xillinux.
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.