3.2.3. Ecosystem Guide

Go to redpitaya (git) directory.


It is recommended that you set $LC_ALL variable.
To check whether it is set, type the following command into a terminal:
echo $LC_ALL

If it returns an empty line, set it up by typing the following command into the terminal:

export LC_ALL=C

This line can also be added to the end of .bashrc and will automatically set the $LC_ALL variable each time the terminal is started.


It is not possible to build an ecosystem on an encrypted home directory, since schroot can not access that directory. We recommend that you make a separate directory in home directory that is not encrypted e.g. /home/ecosystem_build Red Pitaya ecosystem and applications

Here you will find the sources of various software components of the Red Pitaya system. The components are mainly contained in dedicated directories, however, due to the nature of the Xilinx SoC “All Programmable” paradigm and the way several components are interrelated, some components might be spread across many directories or found at different places one would expect.

directories contents
api librp.so API source code
api2 librp2.so API source code
Applications WEB applications (controller modules & GUI clients)
apps-free WEB application for the old environment (also with controller modules & GUI clients)
apps-tools WEB interface home page and some system management applications
Bazaar Nginx server with dependencies, Bazaar module & application controller module loader
fpga FPGA design (RTL, bench, simulation and synthesis scripts) SystemVerilog based for newer applications
OS/buildroot GNU/Linux operating system components
patches Directory containing patches
scpi-server SCPI server
Test Command line utilities (acquire, generate, ...), tests Supported platforms

Red Pitaya is developed on Linux (64bit Ubuntu 16.04), so Linux is also the only platform we support. Software requirements

You will need the following to build the Red Pitaya components:

  1. Various development packages.

    # generic dependencies
    sudo apt-get install make curl xz-utils
    # U-Boot build dependencies
    sudo apt-get install libssl-dev device-tree-compiler u-boot-tools
    # secure chroot
    sudo apt-get install schroot
    # QEMU
    sudo apt-get install qemu qemu-user qemu-user-static
    # 32 bit libraries
    sudo apt-get install lib32z1 lib32ncurses5 libbz2-1.0:i386 lib32stdc++6
  2. Meson Build system (depends on Python 3) is used for some new code. It is not required but can be used during development on x86 PC.

    sudo apt-get install python3 python3-pip
    sudo pip3 install --upgrade pip
    sudo pip3 install meson
    sudo apt-get install ninja-build
  3. Xilinx Vivado 2017.2 FPGA development tools. The SDK (bare metal toolchain) must also be installed, be careful during the install process to select it. Preferably use the default install location.

    1. If you want to run Vivado from virtual machine and Vivado is installed on host shared folder, than we suggest you to use VirtualBox, since VMware has a bug in vmware-tools for Ubuntu guest and can not mount vmhgfs shared file system type.

      Then install Ubuntu 16.04 in VirtualBox (NOTE: don’t use encrypt installation, since it blocks some RedPitaya build procedures).

      After successfully installation, change settings for Ubuntu virtual machine. Go to Shared Folders menu and choose Xilinx installation directory on the host machine (by default is under /opt/ directory). And choose Auto-mount option (checkbox).

      Then you must install (on Ubuntu guest) a package dkms.

      $ sudo apt-get install virtualbox.guest-dkms

      After reboot Ubuntu guest, you can access (with superuser/root privileges) Xilinx shared folder under /media/sf_Xilinx subdirectory.

      Now you can manage this system to meet your requirements.

  4. Missing gmake path

    Vivado requires a gmake executable which does not exist on Ubuntu. It is necessary to create a symbolic link to the regular make executable.

    $ sudo ln -s /usr/bin/make /usr/bin/gmake Build process


To implement the build process, at least 8GB available space on local machine is required.

Go to your preferred development directory and clone the Red Pitaya repository from GitHub. The choice of specific branches or tags is up to the user.

git clone https://github.com/RedPitaya/RedPitaya.git
cd RedPitaya

An example script settings.sh is provided for setting all necessary environment variables. The script assumes some default tool install paths, so it might need editing if install paths other than the ones described above were used.

$ . settings.sh

Prepare a download cache for various source tarballs. This is an optional step which will speedup the build process by avoiding downloads for all but the first build. There is a default cache path defined in the settings.sh script, you can edit it and avoid a rebuild the next time.

mkdir -p dl
export DL=$PWD/dl

Download the ARM Ubuntu root environment (usually the latest) from Red Pitaya download servers. You can also create your own root environment following instructions in OS image build instructions. Correct file permissions are required for schroot to work properly.

wget http://downloads.redpitaya.com/downloads/redpitaya_ubuntu_13-14-23_25-sep-2017.tar.gz
sudo chown root:root redpitaya_ubuntu_13-14-23_25-sep-2017.tar.gz
sudo chmod 664 redpitaya_ubuntu_13-14-23_25-sep-2017.tar.gz

Create schroot configuration file /etc/schroot/chroot.d/red-pitaya-ubuntu.conf. Replace the tarball path stub with the absolute path of the previously downloaded image. Replace user names with a comma separeted list of users whom should be able to compile Red Pitaya.

description=Red Pitaya Debian/Ubuntu OS image

To build everything a few make steps are required.

make -f Makefile.x86
schroot -c red-pitaya-ubuntu <<- EOL_CHROOT
make -f Makefile.x86 zip

To get an itteractive ARM shell do.

schroot -c red-pitaya-ubuntu Partial rebuild process

The next components can be built separately.

  • FPGA + device tree
  • u-Boot
  • Linux kernel
  • Debian/Ubuntu OS
  • API
  • SCPI server
  • free applications Base system

Here base system represents everything before Linux user space.

To be able to compile FPGA and cross compile base system software, it is necessary to setup the Vivado FPGA tools and ARM SDK.

$ . settings.sh

On some systems (including Ubuntu 16.04) the library setup provided by Vivado conflicts with default system libraries. To avoid this, disable library overrides specified by Vivado.

$ export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=""

After building the base system it can be installed into the directory later used to create the FAT filesystem compressed image.

$ make -f Makefile.x86 install FPGA and device tree sources

$ make -f Makefile.x86 fpga

Detailed instructions are provided for building the FPGA including some device tree details. Device Tree compiler + overlay patches

Download the Device Tree compiler with overlay patches from Pantelis Antoniou. Compile and install it. Otherwise a binary is available in tools/dtc.

$ sudo apt-get install flex bison
$ git clone git@github.com:pantoniou/dtc.git
$ cd dtc
$ git checkout overlays
$ make
$ sudo make install PREFIX=/usr U-boot

To build the U-Boot binary and boot scripts (used to select between booting into Buildroot or Debian/Ubuntu):

make -f Makefile.x86 u-boot

The build process downloads the Xilinx version of U-Boot sources from Github, applies patches and starts the build process. Patches are available in the patches/ directory. Linux kernel and device tree binaries

To build a Linux image:

make -f Makefile.x86 linux
make -f Makefile.x86 linux-install
make -f Makefile.x86 devicetree
make -f Makefile.x86 devicetree-install

The build process downloads the Xilinx version of Linux sources from Github, applies patches and starts the build process. Patches are available in the patches/ directory. Boot file

The created boot file contains FSBL, FPGA bitstream and U-Boot binary.

make -f Makefile.x86 boot Linux user space Debian/Ubuntu OS

Debian/Ubuntu OS instructions are detailed elsewhere. API

To compile the API run:

make api

The output of this process is the Red Pitaya librp.so library in api/lib directory. The header file for the API is redpitaya/rp.h and can be found in api/includes. You can install it on Red Pitaya by copying it there:

scp api/lib/librp.so root@ SCPI server

Scpi server README can be found here.

To compile the server run:

make api

The compiled executable is scpi-server/scpi-server. You can install it on Red Pitaya by copying it there:

scp scpi-server/scpi-server root@ Free applications

To build free applications, follow the instructions given here.