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aeon20

RISC-V on Nexys A7?

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I'd like to run RISC-V with very basic (command line only, obviously) Linux on a Nexys A7 just to play around with it. Since I'm a beginner I find it hard to adapt steps for other boards.

If anyone could suggest a tutorial that either matches Nexys A7 exactly, or would be as easy as possible for me to adapt, that would be great.

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2 hours ago, aeon20 said:

Since I'm a beginner I find it hard to adapt steps for other boards.

The following observation is merely a philosophical viewpoint. If you've never built anything or flown an aircraft would you try to assemble a DYI prop plane kit with the intention of learning how to be a self-taught pilot? I realize that most beginners are motivated by grand dreams and I'm not knocking that at all. Perhaps it's better to take the slow difficult road of developing skills and conceptual understanding before tackling difficult projects. You need a solid foundation to learn from other's code. You might well succeed in replicating kwiber's experience but it will be of limited usefulness.

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@zygot

34 minutes ago, zygot said:

The following observation is merely a philosophical viewpoint. If you've never built anything or flown an aircraft would you try to assemble a DYI prop plane kit with the intention of learning how to be a self-taught pilot? I realize that most beginners are motivated by grand dreams and I'm not knocking that at all. Perhaps it's better to take the slow difficult road of developing skills and conceptual understanding before tackling difficult projects. You need a solid foundation to learn from other's code. You might well succeed in replicating kwiber's experience but it will be of limited usefulness.

I might argue that the Wright brothers nearly did exactly this, only they didn't start from a kit but rather had to build their own.  Personally, I'd be scared stiff of riding an aircraft that hasn't already gone through some serious flight qualifications, or that doesn't (yet) have a full and complete flight manual.

In this case, if the RISC-V system fails, you aren't likely to lose life or limb, but rather receive a challenge handed to you in your lap of fixing it.  That could be a good thing, but it could also end the interest a newcomer has in the project.

Dan

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Posted (edited)

@Dan

The viewpoint that I presented wasn't meant to be the only reasonable one. True, being able to say that you implemented a RISC-V processor on your Nexys-A7 doesn't involve life-threatening feats of daring-do. Though it might sound like I'm trying to discourage FPGA beginners from following recipes to accomplish what they aren't capable of accomplishing on their own that's not my intent. I'm merely suggesting that aeon20 listen to what he's said and re-evaluate his goals.

I'd point out that the Wright brothers, who had no recipe and little in the way of tutorials ( they were not the first ones to fly or even attempt to fly ) they did have considerable practical experience in the mechanics of the parts of their experimental planes. My point is that they were leveraging their expertise in one area to try and accomplish a goal in another area. So I view your example as supporting my point. By the way building airplanes from a kit is a real thing.

I've used recipes from others in building software applications for a particular brand of Linux that I want to use. I really don't want to figure out how all of the libraries, frameworks, scripts and tools used to build the application work; I just want to use the application on a particular version of a particular distribution of Linux. Sometimes this doesn't work out as in order to get my application I need to build the framework or tool from scratch and it end up being more work that I want to put into it. When it does succeed I still don't know how all of the dependencies ( and there can be a LOT of dependencies )  work and I don't care. If someone wants to play around with RISC-V there are development boards with silicon implementations of the processor that will be much higher performance than anything implemented in a low end FPGA. So the motivation must be different. Some will see using a recipe to build an application as the same thing as using a recipe to build an soft-processor. I would disagree.

I'm not questioning the validity of anyone's motivation. I'm suggesting that there might be a more rewarding path.

Edited by zygot

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