Vivado Tools Installation

Installing the proper tools for your course


Software Requirements for the Courses

Real Digital designs are implemented on a Xilinx ZYNQ 7000 Series device that includes both an ARM processor and an FPGA. Xilinx offers two sets of tools for working with the ZYNQ 7000 series – One is the FPGA-focused Vivado WebPack hardware design tool which supports Verilog, VHDL, and other hardware definition languages. Xilinx also provides SDK, a software design tool that supports Assembly, C, and other programming languages. Both tools are free, full-featured integrated design environments (IDEs) that offer design entry, synthesis and compilation, simulation, and hardware verification.

The Digital Logic course uses Vivado and the Microprocessor Systems course uses SDK. The Embedded Systems course uses both design packages. The Vivado WebPack download includes both Vivado and SDK – everything needed for all courses. If you are only interested in the Microprocessor Systems course, you can just download the smaller SDK tool without the Vivado software.

NOTE: Use a computer with atleast 30 GB of storage space. Also reference System Requirements for info on what computer you will need.

Download and Install Vivado and/or SDK

Visit Xilinx’s Vivado Download Page for the latest Vivado Design Suite WebPACK installation files. You can use the smaller, faster web installer (about 4GB), or you can download the all-OS single file download (about 11GB). If you are using the web installer, be sure to select the WebPack version.

When you run the actual Vivado installer, make sure you the select the WebPack version. If you want Vivado to also install SDK, make sure to select the Software Development Kit (SDK) install option as well.

Figure 1. Vivado Design Suite WebPACK Installation
Figure 1. Vivado Design Suite WebPACK Installation

If you only want to install SDK, for the Microprocessor Systems course, you can get it at the SDK Download Page. Select the install options as shown below.

Figure 2. Software Development Kit Standalone Installation
Figure 2. Software Development Kit Standalone Installation

Check Vivado Installation


In windows, you should see Vivado Icon on your desktop after installation. Click the icon to start your latest Vivado version.

Similarly, if you installed Xilinx SDK you should be able to start it from it’s respective shortcut.


You may need to install cable drivers in linux. If you do, read the details in: TUTORIAL: Installing Linux Cable Drivers

If you have a desktop environment that supports desktop shortcuts the installer will try to add shortcuts for you. These should launch the tools. Otherwise you can start vivado via shell commands.

The default install directory for Xilinx tools in linux is /opt/Xilinx/ Under this you will find directories for Vivado and/or SDK based on what you chose to install.
The Vivado and SDK directories will contain folders for each release, and in them you’ll find the actual release files. Thus, the default path for a specific version of a tool should be /opt/Xilinx/toolname/realeaseversion

To run Vivado or SDK, first source the settings file from the path for the correct tool, then run the tool’s command. For example, Vivado 2017.4 can be started from a shell with the following commands. The syntax will be the same for any other version of Vivado, but the path will differ based on the release.

$ source /opt/Xilinx/Vivado/2017.4/
$ vivado &

Similarly to start SDK 2017.4 from a shell, run the following commands

$ source /opt/Xilinx/SDK/2017.4/
$ xsdk &