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Development Environment

There is a gigantic development environment you have to download and set up to get started. The Papilio folks also have some instructions. Be not afraid, here's what to do:


  • Download the Windows installers here and follow the instructions

Linux (Ubuntu)

  • Download the Linux installers here
    • Yea you're going to have to get an account with Xilinx, sorry. It's free at least.
    • Full Installer for Linux, be prepared it's about a 5.6GB download.
  • Extract the downloaded archive into it's own directory then from the command line type:

        sudo ./xsetup

    • TODO: any options that you should do that are different from default (I don't think there are any)
    • TODO: any 64-bit gotchas, keep track when Abe does his install
    • May need to apt-get some dependencies in the process, list an appropriate apt-get install one-liner here.
  • Setting up the license is a huge PitA. First you'll click a button that generates an HTML file on your hard drive. Open it in a browser and it will send you on an odyssey through forms and eventually an email you will receive with a license file that you can load to get through installation.


  • ISE is a lot to take in... you will almost certainly benefit from reading the Xilinx tutorial.
  • The Papilio guys also have a good basic project setup and synthesis tutorial available here.