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Getting started with Linux

Honored Contributor II

Hello folks, 

i currently try to get Linux run on a niosII processor within a cyclone III fpga. Unfortunately i have wheater a 3c120 or a nekk board available. So i had to start from the scratch with an custom board. 

I followed the instructions on, but i'am not able to make the kernel boot on my system. 

Here is what i have done so far: 

1. Running OpenSuse 11.4 on a virtual machine 

2. Installed Quartus 11.0 IDE 

3. Installed nios2gcc 

4. Downloaded, checkedout and updated nios2-linux-20100621.tar 

5. Installed java-tool "sopc2dts" 


My toolchain runs perfectly --> I am able to configure and compile the kernel. 

So I created a simple SOPC-Builder Design witch contains only Flash Memory, SDRAM, Jtag_Uart, a timer-device and of course a niosII processor with mmu. 

So here some basic questions: 

1. Is "unstable-nios2mmu" still the recomended branch to use for an mmu based design? 

2. I'm a little confused about using device-tree! Is the dts-file the only location where the kernel will be configured for the corresponding board. Still need to edit some header-files?!? 

3. Wich image should be downloaded to the ram after compiling the kernel? 


Thank's a lot...
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3 Replies
Honored Contributor II

Hello there. 


I am also trying to boot Linux on a Cyclone II 2C20 board (DE1) and I am also going to start at the same place, i.e. 'Linux for the nios II processor' on the altera wiki. 


I am planning to first understand the design (a reference design for the EP3C120 device can be downloaded from the page titled 'Creating_a_Nios_II_Design_with_an_MMU' at the wiki. 


Once upon a time, I was involved with hardware design, but its been a long time since Ive moved to (due to what they say circumstance) system software development (which means I'm as new as the next person out there :D). So if we could collaborate and perhaps if some seniors here could lend us a helping hand, we can make it. I plan to write a blog so that more and more system software developers find it interesting to take a shot at this. 


Thanks and Regards, 

Aijaz Baig.
Honored Contributor II

Where should I start with? I am looking for a reference design for my DE1 board. Does anyone has that or knows a place where to get that?? 


I am all lost with it. Should I start with uCLinux first? or perhaps get u-boot up and running o it?? guidelines and/or pointers in the right direction are welcome
Honored Contributor II

alterawiki has pretty much everything you need...