Computer Laboratory

Course pages 2013–14

Lab Machine Setup

We STRONGLY encourage you to use revision control. This setup procedure will create a git repository on your nf-test machine; you may wish to orgainize your revision-control a different way at some future date.

Step-by-step instructions to set up your lab account

Note: Using vncserver, generating cores or viewing simulations require an X connection

  1. Log in to one of the (SW02) lab machines (if the machine is running Windows - reboot into Linux).
  2. Collect your groups machine number, ssh key and login password from the TAs. You will wish to add this ssh key to your key-chain

     ssh-add id_rsa-nf-testXXX
  3. Add the following lines to your $HOME/.ssh/config (creating it if necessary)

     $ mkdir .ssh && chmod 0700 .ssh
     $ cat >> .ssh/config
     ForwardAgent yes
     ForwardX11 yes
     ForwardX11trusted yes
     $ chmod 0600 .ssh/config
  4. Login to your machine using ssh
     ssh -X
  5. Clone the starter code:
     git clone
  6. Refer to instructions in the README of that repository
  7. Verify that you have a direcory /root/P33 and then logout and then log back in again. (This ensures the environment variables are all set correctly.)
  8. Source Xilinx settings:

     source /opt/Xilinx/13.4/ISE_DS/

    Note: everytime you open a new terminal you have to source the settings.

  9. Create the necessary common IP cores as follows:

     cd ~/netfpga/
     make cores

    Note: this process may be slow and can take 10-15 minutes.

  10. Now synthesis the starter pack code in the same directory (netfpga/projects/bir_starter/synth):


    Note: this process may be slow and can take 20-30 minutes.

    Note also: this process will emit a considerable number of warnings, at this stage these are not of concern.

  11. Verify that you can run the Xilinx synthesis tools:

    If you are presented with a prompt similar the following then the synthesis tool works. (Type quit to exit):

     Release 13.4 - xst O.87xd (lin64)
     Copyright (c) 1995-2011 Xilinx, Inc.  All rights reserved.
  12. Verify that you can run iSim:


    If iSim loads then your environment is set up correctly. Quit iSim and proceed with the lab

  13. Synthetize the starting project:

     cd ~/netfpga/projects/bir_starter

    Note: this process may be slow and can take 40-60 minutes.

Warning: Files stored on nf-testXXX machines are not backed up - and may be lost at any time. You must make sure that you regularly copy your files into your REAL home directory as a backed up.