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Registered: ‎02-28-2011

Where to start with Zynq, Vivado, Linux

I'm very new to Zynq family, spend only one week reading different user guides and datasheets for Zynq and petalinux.
But I can't understand where to start. I couldn't find any clear example, for example:
Very simple design of CPU and memory mapped FPGA BRAM that would work under linux. (Like they have got for PCIe for example).
Example in "ug898 vivado embedded design" is from I can make it just for baremetal design example(I might be wrong).
concept tools guide is for ISE and XPS.

I'm not going to complain about anything just ask some quations tha I can't answer after week of reading.
Mostly questions about software.

1. Does Vivado replaces XPS?

2. Can Vivado be used for the hole design FPGA and software for petalinux(I can't find for example petalinux sdk kit for vivado only for ISE 14.5).

3. Petalinux, from what I can make rootfs is in memory, which is limited to say 1Gb. Can it be moved to SDCard somehow? Petalinux seems to be very limited is comes with just Busybox and not much else.

4. There are few different distributions for Zedboard Ubuntu ArchLinux.
    Am I right thinking that using this distros I can design custom PL in Zynq compile and point FSBL to it, then load Ubuntu, use apt-get for example to install different packages that would come with Ubuntu.

5. In this case why not to do all the debuging of the software on the Zynq using gdb for example why we need to connect to GDB server from host.

6. Ok. My object is to use existant software that was designed for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (pc not embedded so it is fully blown distro).
   Design Zynq based Linux box with FPGA logic inside it and use the same software stack that already exists. Is it posible? What linux distro to use? Petalinux? Ubuntu? Arch Linux?

7. How do we do simulation of FPGA hardware design with CPU bits on top of it? Is Zynq HIL Cosimulation the only way to do it as there are not

8. Where can I find the most simplest example, that  would come close to what I described for FPGA custom design + CPU + Linux.

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5 Replies
Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
Registered: ‎08-02-2007



Let me try to answer the questions


1. Does Vivado replace XPS? The answer is yes. You can either use XPS or Vivado IPI to create an embedded subsystem

2. Vivado can handle complete FPGA Design. For firmware(Software), you need to use SDK. If you have finalized to use petalinux, then you need to have petalinux installed.

3. If you would want to boot from SD card, that is possible. Refer to

4. Since your target is to run Ubuntu OS on Zynq, refer to this Tech-Tip

5. There is no RTL simulation model for zynq. Hence HIL is the only way out.

8. The link i mentioned above can be used for your example.





Kindly note- Please mark the Answer as "Accept as solution" if information provided is helpful.

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Not applicable

Xps in vivado is only supported for 7 series.
Their is an axi BFM for the zynq processing subsystem. This requires an axi BFM license though
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Registered: ‎09-02-2013

I've been trying to get something to work for quite some time now and when not fighting with licenses I try different xapps but so far I haven't found one that uses Vivado and zc702 and testing the system using linux running on SD card.


When finding a relevant xapp, there's always something wrong. Outdated instructions, missing files in the, different programs that doesn't work the same way or the SDK program is made for standalone, etc etc.


I just get stuck whichever path I try.


latest thing I tried was xapp1170 because it used Vivado HLS to make a custom core, which I also plan to do, but then they use PlanAhead and standalone BSP for the actual program, and there were files missing from

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Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
Registered: ‎07-31-2008

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Registered: ‎10-23-2013

Hi dahenk,

I also faced the same problem with xapp 1170. Hope that there would be some updates to this design.

If you want to use Vivado and ZC702 and testing the system using linux running on SD card, I suggest you download the xapp 794. Maybe you should have the Video & Imaging Kit at first.

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