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15469 Discussions

Trouble with programming device under Linux

Honored Contributor II



this is my first post here. 

I'm a student from germany, and had a basic course in FPGA programming with Altera Quartus at university for the last half year. We used some university computers with Windows for that. Now I want to do some FPGA programming on my own with a BeMicro CV Cyclone V E Development Kit. As I own a MacBook and prefer unix systems over Windows, I installed Quartus on my native Linux partition. I use the latest Ubuntu Gnome release. The software itself starts without problems (I'm using the 64bit version), but when I try to program my Board I get an error. 


I chose Hardware Setup - USB Blaster variant [1-1.3] and click Auto Detect. Then an error window pops up with the message "Unable to scan device chain. Please check the hardware setup." 

I did everything this ( altera guide says. If I type lsusb in the terminal I get: 


Bus 002 Device 004: ID 1235:8006 Novation EMS Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Bus 002 Device 003: ID 05ac:8242 Apple, Inc. Built-in IR Receiver Bus 002 Device 002: ID 0424:2513 Standard Microsystems Corp. 2.0 Hub Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub Bus 001 Device 003: ID 05ac:8509 Apple, Inc. FaceTime HD Camera Bus 001 Device 009: ID 09fb:6001 Altera Blaster Bus 001 Device 005: ID 05ac:0253 Apple, Inc. Internal Keyboard/Trackpad (ISO) Bus 001 Device 008: ID 05ac:821a Apple, Inc. Bluetooth Host Controller Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0a5c:4500 Broadcom Corp. BCM2046B1 USB 2.0 Hub (part of BCM2046 Bluetooth) Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0424:2513 Standard Microsystems Corp. 2.0 Hub Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub 


So the device seems to be detected. What could be the problem here?
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6 Replies
Honored Contributor II

Additional information: 

By clicking Add File and choosing the FPGA Model manually, nothing happens after clicking Start, except for "Failed" showing up in the progress bar field.
Honored Contributor II

This is probably documented somewhere, and there's probably a permanent fix / better way to do this, but what I do is: 


launch a separate terminal window and use 'su' or 'sudo' to get a root shell. Whenever Quartus thinks it sees a "USB Blaster variant" instead of "USB Blaster", do this: 


root# killall jtagd root# jtagconfig -n  


This restarts the JTAG server processes using root permissions and you should be good to go again. Continue to use Quartus using your normal user account as you are already doing. I believe "USB Blaster variant" is the clue that Quartus knows the USB Blaster is there, but is unable to communicate directly with it due to permissions issues. When it just says "USB Blaster" everything is working well. If you are operating as root and "jtagconfig -n" isn't showing your actual FPGA device in the chain, you've got another level of problems (broken cable, broken board). 


This is a hack/workaround for sitting down and taking the time to understand the Linux USB subsystem and user privileges needed to directly access USB devices.
Honored Contributor II

The following solution works on Ubuntu, and may also work on other Linux distros. 


Log in as root (sudo -s), and create a new file named /etc/udev/rules.d/90-usb-blaster.rules, with the following content: 

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="09fb", ATTR{idProduct}=="6001", MODE="0666" 


Once the file is saved, plug the USB Blaster back into a USB port and select it within Quartus Programmer. 


Explanation: The MODE="0666" setting gives all users read and write permissions to USB Blasters plugged into the computer, and allows the Quartus Programmer to function properly. By default, all users are typically given only read permissions. 




I faced with the same problem on windows 7, stratix 10 Gx devkit and Quartus Pro v20.2. Do you have any idea about this?



Yes same issue on WIN 10,

kill the JTAG process (jtagserver.exe) under the task manager and restart the process (as mentioned above for Linux).

This issue was not seen under Win 7.