Getting Started

This guide will show you how to setup your computer and PYNQ-Z1 board to get started using PYNQ. Any issues can be posted to the PYNQ support forum.

PYNQ-Z1 Setup Guide


  • PYNQ-Z1 board
  • Computer with compatible browser (Supported Browsers)
  • Ethernet cable
  • Micro USB cable
  • Micro-SD card with preloaded image, or blank card (Minimum 8GB recommended)

Getting Started Video

You can watch the getting started video guide, or follow the instructions in Board Setup.

MicroSD Card Setup

Preloaded Micro SD cards are available from Digilent. If you already have a Micro SD card preloaded with the PYNQ-Z1 image, you can skip this step.

To make your own PYNQ Micro-SD card:

  1. Download the PYNQ-Z1 image
  2. Unzip the image
  3. Write the image to a blank Micro SD card (minimum 8GB recommended)

For detailed instructions on writing the SD card using different operating systems, see Writing the SD Card Image.

Board Setup

  1. Set the JP4 / Boot jumper to the SD position by placing the jumper over the top two pins of JP4 as shown in the image. (This sets the board to boot from the Micro-SD card)
  2. To power the PYNQ-Z1 from the micro USB cable, set the JP5 / Power jumper to the USB position by placing the jumper over the top two pins as shown in the image. (You can also power the board from an external 12V power regulator by setting the jumper to REG.)
  3. Insert the Micro SD card loaded with the PYNQ-Z1 image into the Micro SD card slot underneath the board.
  4. Connect the USB cable to your PC/Laptop, and to the PROG - UART / J14 MicroUSB port on the board
  5. Connect the board to Ethernet by following the instructions in Ethernet Setup
  6. Turn on the PYNQ-Z1 by following the instructions in Turning On the PYNQ-Z1

Ethernet Setup

You can connect the Ethernet port of the PYNQ-Z1 Ethernet in the following ways:

If available, you should connect your board to a network or router with Ethernet access. This will allow you to update your board and install new packages.

Connect to a Network Router

If you connect to a router, or a network with a DHCP server, your board will automatically get an IP address. You must make sure you have permission to connect a device to your network, otherwise the board may not connect properly.

Connect to a Router/Network (DHCP):

  1. Connect PYNQ-Z1 to Ethernet port on router/switch
  2. Connect your computer to Ethernet or WiFi on router/switch
  3. Browse to http://pynq:9090
  4. Optional: Change the Hostname
  5. Optional: Configure Proxy Settings

Connect to a Computer

You will need to have an Ethernet port available on your computer, and you will need to have permissions to configure your network interface. With a direct connection, you will be able to use PYNQ, but unless you can bridge the Ethernet connection to the board to an Internet connection on your computer, your board will not have Internet access. You will be unable to update or load new packages without Internet access.

Connect directly to a computer (Static IP):

  1. Assign your computer a static IP address
  2. Connect the PYNQ-Z1 to your computer’s ethernet port
  3. Browse to

Turning On the PYNQ-Z1

As indicated in step 6 of Board Setup, slide the power switch to the ON position to turn on the board. The Red LD13 LED will come on immediately to confirm that the board has power. After a few seconds, the Yellow/Green LD12 / Done LED will light up to show that the Zynq® device is operational.

After a minute you should see two Blue LD4 & LD5 LEDs and four Yellow/Green LD0-LD3 LEDs flash simultaneously. The Blue LD4-LD5 LEDs will then turn on and off while the Yellow/Green LD0-LD3 LEDs remain on. The system is now booted and ready for use.

Connecting to Jupyter Notebooks

To connect to Jupyter Notebooks open a web browser and navigate to:

If your board is configured correctly you will be presented with a login screen. The username is xilinx and the password is also xilinx.

After logging in, you will recieve the following screen:


The default hostname is pynq and the default static IP address is If you changed the hostname or static IP of the board, you will need to change the address you browse to.

The first time you connect, it may take a few seconds for your computer to resolve the hostname/IP address.

Example Notebooks

PYNQ uses the Jupyter Notebook environment to provide examples and documentation. Using your broswer you can view and run the notebook documentation interactively.

We have provided a few introductory notebooks in the Getting_Started folder of the Jupyter home area.


There are also a number of example notebooks available showing how to use various peripherals with the board.


The example notebooks have been divided into categories

  • common: examples that are not overlay specific
  • base: related to the PYNQ-Z1 base overlay
  • logictools: related to the PYNQ-Z1 logictools overlay

When you open a notebook and make any changes, or execute cells, the notebook document will be modified. It is recommended that you “Save a copy” when you open a new notebook. If you want to restore the original versions, you can download all the example notebooks from GitHub.

Accessing Files on The Board

Samba, a file sharing service, is running on the board. This allws you to access the Pynq home area as a network drive, to transfer files to and from the board.


In the examples below change the hostname or IP address to match your board settings.

To access the Pynq home area in Windows Explorer type one of the following in the navigation bar.

\\pynq\xilinx                # If connected to a Network/Router with DHCP

\\\xilinx        # If connected to a Computer with a Static IP

When prompted, the username is xilinx and the password is xilinx. The following screen should appear:


To access the home area in Ubuntu, open a file broswer, click Go -> Enter Location and type one of the following in the box:

smb://pynq/xilinx             # If connected to a Network/Router with DHCP

smb://     # If connected to a Computer with a Static IP

When prompted, the username is xilinx and the password is xilinx

Configuring PYNQ

Change the Hostname

If you are on a network where other pynq boards may be connected, you should change your hostname immediately. This is a common requirement in a work or university environment. You can change the hostname from a terminal. You can use the USB cable to connect a terminal. A terminal is also available in the Jupyter environment and can be used from an internet browser.

To access the Jupyter terminal, in the Jupyter portal home area, select New >> Terminal.


This will open a terminal inside the browser as root.

Use the preloaded script to change your board’s hostname. <NEW HOSTNAME>

The board must be restarted for the changes to be applied.

shutdown -r now

Note that as you are logged in as root, sudo is not required. If you connect a terminal from the USB connection, you will be logged in as the xilinx user and sudo must be added to these commands.

When the board reboots, reconnect using the new hostname.

If you can’t connect to your board, see the step below to open a terminal using the micro USB cable.

Opening a USB Serial Terminal

If you can’t access the terminal from Jupyter, you can connect the micro-USB cable from your computer to the board and open a terminal. You can use the terminal to check the network connection of the board. You will need to have terminal emulator software installed on your computer. PuTTY is one application that can be used, and is available for free on Windows. To open a terminal, you will need to know the COM port for the board.

On Windows, you can find this in the Windows Device Manager in the control panel.

  1. Open the Device Manager, expand the Ports menu
  2. Find the COM port for the USB Serial Port. e.g. COM5
  3. Open PuTTY

Once PuTTY is open, enter the following settings:

  1. Select serial
  2. Enter the COM port number
  3. Enter the serial terminal settings (below)
  4. Click Open

Full terminal Settings:

  • 115200 baud
  • 8 data bits
  • 1 stop bit
  • No Parity
  • No Flow Control

Hit Enter in the terminal window to make sure you can see the command prompt:


You can then run the same commands listed above to change the hostname, or configure a proxy.

You can also check the hostname of the board by running the hostname command:


You can also check the IP address of the board using ifconfig:


Configure Proxy Settings

If your board is connected to a network that uses a proxy, you need to set the proxy variables on the board. Open a terminal as above and enter the following where you should replace “my_http_proxy:8080” and “my_https_proxy:8080” with your settings.

set http_proxy=my_http_proxy:8080
set https_proxy=my_https_proxy:8080


If you are having problems, please see the Troubleshooting section in Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or go the PYNQ support forum