Remote access

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This article is specially made for remote access during the COVID-19 pandemic for in3160 and in5200.

Innhold

Using VMware to use Xilinx' software

  1. For the best user experience, we recommend download VMware on your own laptop. Follow the instructions on this guide.
  2. When you're logged in, you should be able to find the instance called "Ifi Digital Electronics". Start the instance by double clicking it. See icon in Figure 1.
  3. Now you can find Vivado, Vitis and Questa in "Applications" or launch them from the terminal.

See example in Figure 2.

Warning! Store your data on M-drive or github.uio.no. Once you log out of the instance, the instance will get wiped.
Figure 1: Ifi Digital Electronics icon


Figure 2: Running Xilinx software on VMware

Programing Zedboards remotly

We have a cluster of four clients equipped with a mirrored setup in LISP. To access it, follow these instructions:

  1. Follow the steps in the first section.
  2. To access the the Xilinx tools, ssh to the zedboard cluster: ssh -Y <username>@zedboard.ifi.uio.no
  3. In the terminal use the premade alias zedboard-webcam to be able to monitor the ZedBoard. Note: Only one user can use zedboard-webcam at a time, so please remember to exit when you are finished.
  4. You should now be able to program the ZedBoard. See example in Figure 3.
Figure 3: zedboard-webcam and zedboard-test on zedboard.ifi.uio.no cluster


Zedboard workstation custom aliases

We have some premade aliases available wherever there is ZedBoard setups.

zedboard-webcam  #Displays the webcamera showing the zedboard connected to the computer.
zedboard-wipe    #Wipes the board (use this before leaving the machine)
zedboard-test    #Displays a testpattern on the seven segment display. Should be readable.

Xilinx software via ssh

The full version of Xilinx software used in in3160 and in5200 is accessible at UiO's hosts. To access the tools, follow these steps.

  1. Follow the steps in the first section.
  2. Open Vivado 2020.2, Vitis 2020.2, Vitis HLS 2020.2 or Questa 2020.4.

If the assigned computer is overloaded you can use:

ssh -Y <username>@login.ifi.uio.no

Remember to set up the .bashrc file as described here to make it work.

Alternativly, you can ssh directly from your own computer. To be able to get GUI aplications running, remember the -Y flag. On Windows you're required to use PuTTy and on MacOS we recommend XQuartz. Not that we don't recommend this method as it depends on the setup of your local machine. Hence, we won't necessarily give support if you don't manage to set it up.

Note that programming the zedboard (wipe/test or other) takes at least 15 seconds

Optional: TCL script for programming a board

If you are able to generate your .bit file on your own PC, you can choose to program the zedboards on LISP without starting the graphical user interface for vivado.

# Connect to the Digilent Cable on localhost:3121
open_hw_manager
connect_hw_server -url localhost:3121
#current_hw_target [get_hw_targets */xilinx_tcf/Digilent/12345] Alternative but not as flexible
current_hw_target [lindex [get_hw_targets] 0]
open_hw_target

# Program the Device
current_hw_device [lindex [get_hw_devices] 1]
set_property PROGRAM.FILE {./my_file.bit} [lindex [get_hw_devices] 1] 

program_hw_devices [lindex [get_hw_devices] 1]
refresh_hw_device [lindex [get_hw_devices] 1]

Store these lines in "my_scipt.tcl", and change "my_file.bit" to the bitfile name in use. Then program the board by running the command:

vivado -mode batch -source my_script.tcl
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