Using the terasic DE0-Nano on ubuntu

Nikolaus Gradwohl2011-09-25T08:19:01+00:00

A few days ago I got my DE0-Nano developmentboard (thank you adafruit-industries). Its cute litte development board for fpga n00bs like me :-)


I ordered it mainly because it supports linux but when I tried to install the software on my ubuntu-box it didn't work at all. The installer only supports RedHat and Suse distros and throws all sorts of missing symbol errors. So I got straight to the altera-download-site and downloaded the current version of the Quartus || Web Edition.

This took a while since the download package is about 3GB. After installing it took roughly 6GB on my harddisk.

The pdf handbook of the DE0-Nano has a tutorial-section where you will be guided through a first simple verilog hdl project step by step. I followed the tutorial but when I wanted to programm my board all it said was a jtag error (89).

After some googling and reading the altera-forum I added a udev rule for the usb device by adding a file named "40-altera-usbblaster.rules" to "/etc/udev/rules.d/" whith the following content

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="09fb", ATTRS{idProduct}=="6001|6002|6003", OWNER="root", GROUP="root", MODE="0666", SYMLINK+="usbblaster" 

I also had to kill "jtagd" and start the "jtagd"-daemon as root by running

sudo ./jtagd

from the quartus-bin directory

and then after hitting the start-button in the programmer app (*drum roll*) my first fpga programm ever started blinking on my DE0-Nano board.

Short Summary:

  • Don't try to install the quartus software from the cd - it's outdated and the installer doesn't like ubuntu - download it straigt from the altera site
  • add the udev rule
  • start the jtagd using sudo

This is at least what took me too get it work.