New Horizons

Welcome to my blog

My name is Sven Andersson and I
work as a consultant in embedded
system design, implemented in ASIC
and FPGA.
In my spare time I write this blog
and I hope it will inspire others to
learn more about this fantastic field.
I live in Stockholm Sweden and have
my own company


You are welcome to contact me
and ask questions or make comments
about my blog.


New Horizons
What's new
Starting a blog
Writing a blog
Using an RSS reader

Zynq Design From Scratch
Started February 2014
1 Introduction
Changes and updates
2 Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC
3 ZedBoard and other boards
4 Computer platform and VirtualBox
5 Installing Ubuntu
6 Fixing Ubuntu
7 Installing Vivado
8 Starting Vivado
9 Using Vivado
10 Lab 1. Create a Zynq project
11 Lab 1. Build a hardware platform
12 Lab 1. Create a software application
13 Lab 1. Connect to ZedBoard
14 Lab 1. Run a software application
15 Lab 1. Benchmarking ARM Cortex-A9
16 Lab 2. Adding a GPIO peripheral
17 Lab 2. Create a custom HDL module
18 Lab 2. Connect package pins and implement
19 Lab 2. Create a software application and configure the PL
20 Lab 2. Debugging a software application
21 Running Linux from SD card
22 Installing PetaLinux
23 Booting PetaLinux
24 Connect to ZedBoad via ethernet
25 Rebuilding the PetaLinux kernel image
26 Running a DHCP server on the host
27 Running a TFTP server on the host
28 PetaLinux boot via U-boot
29 PetaLinux application development
30 Fixing the host computer
31 Running NFS servers
32 VirtualBox seamless mode
33 Mounting guest file system using sshfs
34 PetaLinux. Setting up a web server
35 PetaLinux. Using cgi scripts
36 PetaLinux. Web enabled application
37 Convert from VirtualBox to VMware
38 Running Linaro Ubuntu on ZedBoard
39 Running Android on ZedBoard
40 Lab2. Booting from SD card and SPI flash
41 Lab2. PetaLinux board bringup
42 Lab2. Writing userspace IO device driver
43 Lab2. Hardware debugging
44 MicroZed quick start
45 Installing Vivado 2014.1
46 Lab3. Adding push buttons to our Zynq system
47 Lab3. Adding an interrupt service routine
48 Installing Ubuntu 14.04
49 Installing Vivado and Petalinux 2014.2
50 Using Vivado 2014.2
51 Upgrading to Ubuntu 14.04
52 Using Petalinux 2014.2
53 Booting from SD card and SPI flash
54 Booting Petalinux 2014.2 from SD card
55 Booting Petalinux 2014.2 from SPI flash
56 Installing Vivado 2014.3

Chipotle Verification System

EE Times Retrospective Series
It all started more than 40 years ago
My first job as an electrical engineer
The Memory (R)evolution
The Microprocessor (R)evolution

Four soft-core processors
Started January 2012
Table of contents
OpenRISC 1200
Nios II

Using the Spartan-6 LX9 MicroBoard
Started August 2011
Table of contents
Problems, fixes and solutions

FPGA Design From Scratch
Started December 2006
Table of contents
Acronyms and abbreviations

Actel FPGA design
Designing with an Actel FPGA. Part 1
Designing with an Actel FPGA. Part 2
Designing with an Actel FPGA. Part 3
Designing with an Actel FPGA. Part 4
Designing with an Actel FPGA. Part 5

A hardware designer's best friend
Zoo Design Platform

Installing Cobra Command Tool
A processor benchmark

Porting a Unix program to Mac OS X
Fixing a HyperTerminal in Mac OS X
A dream come true

Stockholm by bike

The New York City Marathon

Kittelfjall Lappland

Tour skating in Sweden and around the world
Wild skating
Tour day
Safety equipment
A look at the equipment you need
Skate maintenance
Books, photos, films and videos
Weather forecasts

38000 feet above see level
A trip to Spain
Florida the sunshine state

Photo Albums
Seaside Florida
Ronda Spain
Sevilla Spain
Cordoba Spain
Alhambra Spain
KittelfjÀll Lapland
Landsort Art Walk
Skating on thin ice

100 Power Tips for FPGA Designers

Adventures in ASIC
Computer History Museum
Design & Reuse
d9 Tech Blog
EDA Cafe
EDA DesignLine
Eli's tech Blog
FPGA Arcade
FPGA Central
FPGA developer
FPGA Journal
FPGA World
Lesley Shannon Courses
Mac 2 Ubuntu
Programmable Logic DesignLine
World of ASIC

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011
FPGA design from scratch. Part 76

Create a new PetaLinux software platform

The next step is to create a new PetaLinux SDK software platform ready for building a Linux system customized to our hardware platform. Here is a link to the PetaLogix webpage describing the different tools available to support the building of a new software platform.

The <petalinux-new-platform> command is used to achieve this:


--> petalinux-new-platform -c microblaze -v RTE -p lx9_mb

The parameters are as follows:

  • -c <CPU TYPE>     CPU type. Supported types are microblaze and ppc440
  • -v <VENDOR>        This the vendor name - we will use our company name
  • -p <PLATFORM>    The name of the platform or product we are buildning

This is the file structure generated.

Here is a list and description of the configuration files.

Configure the software platform

The final step is to customise the software platform template to precisely match our unique hardware system. This is done by copying and merging the platform configuration files generated during the hardware build phase, into the newly created software platform, as described below:

Navigate to the fs-boot_bsp0 directory:

Execute the command: petalinux-copy-autoconfig

--> cd ...../hardware/user-platforms/LX9_MB/workspace/fs-boot_bsp_0

--> petalinux-copy-autoconfig

This could take a while. This is because it merges the existing platform configuration to Kernel configuration and enables the appropriated drivers in the Kernel configuration. This tool generate the hardware configuration files if they not generated yet and copy the files to the right place in PetaLinux. The DTS (Device Tree Source) file will be placed here:

The xparameters.h and files are placed here:

Configure the Linux kernel

We will launch the Linux kernel configuration menu and configure it to meet our requirements.


--> petalinux-config-kernel

For the time being we will leave all settings untouched.

Configure user applications and system settings

Launch the user applications and system settings configuration menu and configure it to meet our requirements:

--> petalinux-config-apps

Here we will add the peekpoke application. Select PetaLogix Demo Applications and enable peekpoke.

Update the default configuration

Once we are satisfy with the configurations and it is properly tested, it is recommended to update our default configurations so we do not loose our configuration when switching from one software platform to another.

--> petalinux-platform-config --update

Build PetaLinux

It is time to build our new platform. Run the <make> command in the petalinux-dist directory to build the PetaLinux system image.

--> cd $PETALINUX/software/petalinux-dist

--> make

This is what the output from the make command looks like.

The output from the system image build is stored in the images directory.

A copy of the images files has been put in the /tftpboot directory. The tftp server can grab files from here and transfer them to the development board.

Here is a table describing the usage of the files in the /tftpboot directory.

Test Petalinux on the board

After the hardware bitstream and the PetaLinux have been built, we can now test our new PetaLinux platform.

Direct kernel boot via JTAG

  1. Program the FPGA using the Xilinx JTAG programming tools in XPS or SDK
  2. Make sure we have a console connected to the board (GTKTerm)
  3. Use the command petalinux-jtag-boot to download the software image to the board and boot it.

--> cd $PETALINUX/software/petalinux-dist

--> petalinux-jtag-boot -i images/image.elf

After a few minutes this text is displayed. The first stage bootloader has started.

After more than five minutes the system boots and the following displays on the console.

We are up and running!!!!!

Indirect kernel boot via u-boot

Because we have configured ethernet in our hardware and connected the board to the netwoork, we can use u-boot to boot PetaLinux. This is much faster than loading everything using JTAG.

1. First bootstrap the system by downloading u-boot via JTAG.

--> cd $PETALINUX/software/petalinux-dist

--> petalinux-jtag-boot -i images/u-boot.elf

2. After u-boot boots, in the console check whether the TFTP server IP address is set to the IP Address of the host where the image resides.

3. Use the command /sbin/ifconfig to find the IP address.

4. In the PetaLinux console type 

u-boot> print serverip

5. If not set, set the server IP addreess to the host IP address.

u-boot> set serverip <HOST IP ADDRESS>

6. Confirm the IP address of the board.

u-boot> print ipaddr

7. Run netboot to download the PetaLinux image with the TFTP and boot it.

u-boot> run netboot

8. PetaLinux will boot in a much shorter time.

Running the GPIO-demo test

The GPIO-demo test lets us control the LEDs on the board executing a command at the terminal prompt.  Goto the directory /sys/class/gpio to see the GPIOs available in the system.

The GPIOchip<ID> is 252 for the LED display, the only GPIO in the system. Run the following command to turn on all four LEDs:

--> gpio-demo -g 252 -o 0xf

Running PetaLinux in the QEMU emulator

QEMU is a generic and open source machine emulator and virtualizer.  When used as a machine emulator, QEMU can run OSes and programs made for one machine (e.g. an MicroBlaze board) on a different machine (e.g. your own PC). By using dynamic translation, it achieves very good performance.

PetaLinux has added support for emulation in QEMU (see this document).  The only thing we have to do is execute this command:


--> petalinux-qemu-boot

Here is what it looks like.

To stop the emulator hit ctrl-A and then x

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