Installing the Toolflow¶
This page explains how to install the CASPER tools and what supporting software is required to run them.
Getting the right versions¶
The toolflow is very sensitive to mis-matching software versions. The current compatibility matrix of software versions is below:
|Hardware||Operating System||Matlab Version||Xilinx Version||mlib_devel branch / commit||Python Version|
|ROACH1/2||Ubuntu 14.04||2013b||ISE 14.7||branch:
|SKARAB||Ubuntu 16.04||2018a||Vivado 2019.1.1||branch:
|SNAP||Ubuntu 16.04||2018a||Vivado 2019.1.1||branch:
|Red Pitaya||Ubuntu 16.04||2018a||Vivado 2019.1.1||branch:
|VCU118||Ubuntu 16.04||2018a||Vivado 2019.1.1||branch:
|VCU128||Ubuntu 16.04||2018a||Vivado 2019.1.1||branch:
|ZCU111||Ubuntu 16.04||2018a||Vivado 2019.1.1||branch:
|SNAP2||Ubuntu 16.04||2016b||Vivado 2016.4||branch:
Other software combinations may work, but these are the tested configurations. Please see the Note on Operating Systems for information on which alternative OS versions may work with the tools.
The master branch is usually updated once a year. Between updates, code with newer features can be found in the
casper-astro-soak-test branch. This branch can usually be used in place of the
master branch for platforms which support
master. However, be aware that
casper-astro-soak-test is likely to be less stable. Please report any bugs you encounter via github’s issue tracker.
MATLAB installation instructions are available here, or, contact whoever manages your software installations. You will need to install both MATLAB and Simulink.
This is available from xilinx.com and will require a license. If you are part of an academic institution you may be eligible for free licenses via the Xilinx University Program. Vivado install instructions are available here.
Compiling for supported platforms requires Python 3 and
pip3. If you don’t have these already you can probably install them in Ubuntu environments by opening a terminal and running the command
apt-get install python3 python3-pip.
We thoroughly recommend using a virtual environment to separate the version of Python and its libraries the toolflow uses from the rest of your system.
To create a Python 3 virtual environment:
# install the python3-venv package sudo apt install python3-venv # change directory to where you want the virtual environment to live cd /home/user/work # create a Python 3 virtual environment python3 -m venv casper_venv # to activate the virtual environment: source casper_venv/bin/activate # to deactivate the virtual environment: deactivate
casperfpgais a python library used to interact and interface with CASPER Hardware. Functionality includes being able to reconfigure firmware, as well as read and write registers across the various communication interfaces.
You will need to install this library to interface with CASPER hardware. Installation instructions can be found here.
Obtaining the Toolflow¶
Clone the toolflow from the mlib_devel git repository.
# Clone the mlib_devel repository. Replace <branch_name> with the branch # supported by your chosen platform. # Eg. for master you should run: # git clone -b master https://github.com/casper-astro.mlib_devel git clone -b <branch_name> https://github.com/casper-astro/mlib_devel
This could take a while – the repository is several hundred megabytes. If you want, you can save some time by adding the
--depth=1 flag to the above command. This will only download the current version of the repository, rather than its full git history.
Next, move into the
mlib_devel repository you have just created, activate your virtual environment (if using one) and download any Python dependencies you need by installing the requirements.txt file. The downloaded dependencies will be installed within the virtual environment separate to the rest of your system.
cd mlib_devel source /home/user/work/casper_venv/bin/activate pip3 install -r requirements.txt
You may need to run the
pip3 install command as an administrator if you are using the system-maintained python installation instead of a virtual environment.
Note: there appears to be an incompability between pip3 v21.3.1 and xml2vhdl (one of the dependencies listing in the requirements file) that results in errors when installing requirements.txt. If you encounter an issue in fetching xml2vhdl when running
pip3 install -r requirements.txt, try install pip3 v18.1 or earlier and use that instead (this is one of those things best done in a virtual environment, so as to not mess around with the system verson of python)