The PYNQ image for supported boards are provided precompiled as downloadable SD card images, so you do not need to rerun this flow for these boards unless you want to make changes to the image flow.

This flow can also be used as a starting point to build a PYNQ image for another Zynq / Zynq Ultrascale board.

The image flow will create the BOOT.bin, the u-boot bootloader, the Linux Device tree blob, and the Linux kernel.

The source files for the PYNQ image flow build can be found here:

<PYNQ repository>/sdbuild

More details on configuring the root filesystem can be found in the README file in the folder above.

Prepare the Building Environment

It is recommended to use a Ubuntu OS to build the image. If you do not have a Ubuntu OS, you may need to prepare a Ubuntu virtual machine (VM) on your host OS. We provide in our repository a vagrant file that can help you install the Ubuntu VM on your host OS.

If you do not have a Ubuntu OS, and you need a Ubuntu VM, do the following:

  1. Download the vagrant software and the Virtual Box. Install them on your host OS.

  2. In your host OS, open a terminal program. Locate your PYNQ repository, where the vagrant file is stored.

    cd <PYNQ repository>
  3. You can then prepare the VM using the following command. This step will prepare a Ubuntu VM called pynq_vm on your Virtual Box. The Ubuntu packages on the VM will be updated during this process; the Ubuntu desktop will also be installed so you can install Xilinx software later.

    vagrant up

    After the VM has been successfully loaded, you will see a folder /pynq on your VM; this folder is shared with your PYNQ repository on your host OS.

  4. (optionally) To restart the VM without losing the shared folder, in your terminal, run:

    vagrant reload
  5. Now you are ready to install Xilinx tools. You will need PetaLinux, Vivado, and SDx for building PYNQ image. The version of Xilinx tools for each PYNQ release is shown below:

    Release version Xilinx Tool Version
    v1.4 2015.4
    v2.0 2016.1
    v2.1 2017.4
    v2.2 2017.4
    v2.3 2018.2
    v2.4 2018.3

If you already have a Ubuntu OS, you can do the following:

  1. Install dependencies using the following script. This is necessary if you are not using our vagrant file to prepare the environment.

    <PYNQ repository>/sdbuild/scripts/
  2. Install correct version of the Xilinx tools, including PetaLinux, Vivado, and SDx. See the above table for the correct version of each release.

Building the Image

Once you have the building environment ready, you can start to build the image following the steps below:

  1. Source the appropriate settings files from PetaLinux, Vivado, and SDx.

  2. Navigate to the following directory and run make

    cd <PYNQ repository>/sdbuild/

The build flow can take several hours. By default images for all of the supported boards will be built.

Retargeting to a Different Board

Additional boards are supported through external board repositories. A board repository consists of a directory for each board consisting of a spec file and any other files. The board repository is treated the same way as the <PYNQ repository>/boards directory.

Elements of the specification file

The specification file should be name <BOARD>.spec where BOARD is the name of the board directory. A minimal spec file contains the following information

ARCH_${BOARD} := arm
BSP_${BOARD} := mybsp.bsp
BITSTREAM_${BOARD} := mybitstream.bsp

where ${BOARD} is also the name of the board. The ARCH should be arm for Zynq-7000 or aarch64 for Zynq UltraScale+. If no bitstream is provided then the one included in the BSP will be used by default. All paths in this file should be relative to the board directory.

To customise the BSP a petalinux_bsp folder can be included in the board directory the contents of which will be added to the provided BSP before the project is created. See the ZCU104 for an example of this in action. This is designed to allow for additional drivers, kernel or boot-file patches and device tree configuration that are helpful to support elements of PYNQ to be added to a pre-existing BSP.

If a suitable PetaLinux BSP is unavailable for the board then this can be left blank; in this case, an HDF file needs to be provided in the board directory. The system.hdf file should be placed in the petalinux_bsp/hardware_project folder and a new generic BSP will be created as part of the build flow.

Board-specific packages

A packages directory can be included in board directory with the same layout as the <PYNQ repository>/sdbuild/packages directory. Each subdirectory is a package that can optionally be installed as part of image creation. See <PYNQ repository>/sdbuild/packages/ for a description of the format of a PYNQ sdbuild package.

To add a package to the image you must also define a STAGE4_PACKAGE_${BOARD} variable in your spec file. These can either packages in the standard sdbuild library or ones contained within the board package. It is often useful to add the pynq package to this list which will ensure that a customised PYNQ installation is included in your final image.

Using the PYNQ package

The pynq package will treat your board directory the same as any of the officially supported boards. This means, in particular, that:

  1. A notebooks folder, if it exists, will be copied into the jupyter_notebooks folder in the image. Notebooks here will overwrite any of the default ones.
  2. Any directory containing a bitstream will be treated as an overlay and copied into the overlays folder of the PYNQ installation. Any notebooks will likewise by installed in an overlay-specific subdirectory.

Building from a board repository

To build from a third-party board repository pass the ${BOARDDIR} variable to the sdbuild makefile.

cd <PYNQ repository>/sdbuild/

The board repo should be provided as an absolute path. The ${BOARDDIR} variable can be combined with the ${BOARD} variable if the repository contains multiple boards and only a subset should be built.