Installing Vivado Design Suite

My ARTY board came as an evaluation kit including a single-user node and board-locked version of the Xilinx Vivado Design Suite license. Vivado is relatively easy to install, but time consuming, depending on your Internet connection. If you haven’t done so already, you will be prompted to create an account at the Xilinx website. Your email will be verified before you can progress, and once you log in and choose to download a product, you will be asked to provide your name and address, job classification and so on. At this point you can also opt-in to fine-grained device, software, or marketing communications.

Navigating to the Xilinx download page, select a version that is appropriate for your operating system. I originally planned to use a Linux server, but at the last minute, I chose to use a Windows 7 laptop install because I was traveling, and the laptop has the longest battery life and most physical ports. This decision is not taken lightly as the license cannot be moved between boards or computers. I’m really hoping this old laptop doesn’t fall apart before I’m up and running with my ARTY project. The good news is that the license includes one year of support and updates.

First you are going to download the Web Install Client. You will be offered the option of downloading the entire product, or selecting a subset for your minimal needs. While downloading everything is time intensive, downloading too little, then having to return to hunt something else down probably takes even longer.  I was asked about installing a driver, and I said yes.  I figure the installer knows more than I do about what I need, and in my experience, customer service is easier when you accepted all the defaults. You can choose to provide menu links to all users on the system, or just yourself. I always choose “all users” because each user will then have their own environment, and when I mangle mine, I can start fresh as another user. (I probably shouldn’t be admitting that I mangle environments, or need to develop a split-personality to solve my problems.)

If you download the entire product, you will run a local executable to install and configure a customized Vivado installation.  If you let the web client make your selections, you’ll be finished. To add a license, you’ll go through the login paherege and eventually select a host and mac address to bind the license to. Use the ipconfig /all command on Windows or ifconfig -a command on Linux to verify that you are not choosing a random VirtualBox, VMware (or whatever) mac address. The license software offered me my disconnected as well as cached mac addresses from usb wifi keys that I sometimes use. I was smart enough to avoid that pitfall. This time.

The license will now need to be downloaded and installed. After that, your Vivado Design Suite should fire up. This is when you take the time to make sure you have installed the correct driver for the board. Your ARTY board files are here. Your install instructions for them are here. Have a cuppa Joe while you read through the Arty forum at the Avnet Technical Community.

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