Getting | Installing

Package managers

Package managers of many popular distributions provide pre-built packages of GHDL. This is the case for apt (Debian/Ubuntu), dnf (Fedora), pacman (Arch Linux, MSYS2) or brew (macOS). Since GHDL supports three different backends and two library sets (regular or GPL-compatible), at least six packages with different features might be available in each package manager.

As a rule of thumb, mcode backend is the fastest for analysis and synthesis. It also allows setting the base simulation time for speeding up execution. Therefore, it is the recommended pick if available on your platform (x86/amd64, on Windows x86 only). On other platforms, or for using specific features for co-simulation or code coverage, LLVM or GCC need to be used. See further differences between backends in Building GHDL from Sources.

Nightly packages

Assets from nightly GHDL builds are available at github.com/ghdl/ghdl/releases/nightly. These are mostly meant to be used in Continuous Integration (CI) workflows. Precisely, setup-ghdl-ci allows to easily setup nightly assets in GitHub Actions workflows.

However, users on Windows (MSYS2) or Ubuntu might want to download the tarballs/zipfiles and extract/install them locally.

Precompile Vendor Primitives

Vendors like Lattice, Intel (Altera) and Xilinx have their own simulation libraries, especially for FPGA primitives, soft and hard macros. These libraries cannot be shipped with GHDL, but GHDL offers prepared compile scripts to pre-compile these vendor libraries, if the vendor tool is present in the environment. There are also popular simulation and verification libraries like OSVVM 1 or UVVM 2, which can be pre-compiled, too.

The compilation scripts are writen in the shell languages: PowerShell for Windows™ and Bash for GNU/Linux, MacOS and MSYS2/MinGW. The compile scripts can colorize the GHDL warning and error lines with the help of grc/grcat 3.

Hint

Vendor precompile scripts for OSVVM and UVVM are tested periodically in ghdl/extended-tests.

Supported Vendors Libraries

  • Lattice (3.6 or later):

    • ec

    • ecp, ecp2, ecp3, ecp5u

    • lptm, lptm2

    • machxo, machxo2, machxo3l, machxo3d

    • sc, scm

    • xp, xp2

  • Intel (Altera) Quartus (13.0 or later):

    • lpm, sgate

    • altera, altera_mf, altera_lnsim

    • arriaii, arriaii_pcie_hip, arriaiigz

    • arriav, arriavgz, arriavgz_pcie_hip

    • cycloneiv, cycloneiv_pcie_hip, cycloneive

    • cyclonev

    • max, maxii, maxv

    • stratixiv, stratixiv_pcie_hip

    • stratixv, stratixv_pcie_hip

    • fiftyfivenm, twentynm

  • Xilinx ISE (14.0 or later):

    • unisim (incl. secureip)

    • unimacro

    • simprim (incl. secureip)

    • xilinxcorelib

  • Xilinx Vivado (2014.1 or later):

    • unisim (incl. secureip)

    • unimacro

Supported Simulation and Verification Libraries

  • OSVVM 1 (for VHDL-2008)

  • UVVM 2 (for VHDL-2008)


Script Configuration

The vendor library compile scripts need to know where the used / latest vendor tool chain is installed. Therefore, the scripts implement a default installation directory search as well as environment variable checks. If a vendor tool cannot be detected or the script chooses the wrong vendor library source directory, then it’s possible to provide the path via --source (Bash) or -Source (PoSh).

The generated output is stored relative to the current working directory. The scripts create a sub-directory for each vendor. The default output directory can be overwritten by the parameter --output (Bash) or -Output (PoSh).

To compile all source files with GHDL, the simulator executable is searched in PATH. The found default GHDL executable can be overwritten by setting the environment variable GHDL or by passing the parameter --ghdl (Bash) or -GHDL (PoSh) to the scripts.

If the vendor library compilation is used very often, it’s recommend to configure these parameters in config.sh (Bash) or config.psm1 (PoSh), so the command line can be shortened to the essential parts.


Compiling in Bash

The provided Bash scripts support these environments:

  • Linux

  • MacOS

  • MSYS2 / MinGW

  • WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux)

Follow these steps:

  • Step 0 - Configure the scripts (optional)

    See the next section for how to configure config.sh.

  • Step 1 - Browse to your simulation working directory

    $ cd <MySimulationFolder>
    
  • Step 2 - Start the compilation script(s)

    Choose one or multiple of the following scripts to run the pre-compilation process.

    $ /usr/local/lib/ghdl/vendors/compile-altera.sh --all
    $ /usr/local/lib/ghdl/vendors/compile-intel.sh --all
    $ /usr/local/lib/ghdl/vendors/compile-lattice.sh --all
    $ /usr/local/lib/ghdl/vendors/compile-osvvm.sh --all
    $ /usr/local/lib/ghdl/vendors/compile-uvvm.sh --all
    $ /usr/local/lib/ghdl/vendors/compile-xilinx-ise.sh --all
    $ /usr/local/lib/ghdl/vendors/compile-xilinx-vivado.sh --all
    

    In most cases GHDL is installed into /usr/local/. The scripts are installed into the lib\ghdl\vendors directory.

  • Step 3 - Viewing the result

    This creates vendor directories in your current working directory and compiles the vendor files into them.

    $ ls -ahl
    ...
    drwxr-xr-x  2 <user> <group>  56K Mar 09 17:41 altera
    drwxr-xr-x  2 <user> <group>  56K Mar 09 17:42 intel
    drwxr-xr-x  2 <user> <group>  56K Mar 09 17:42 lattice
    drwxr-xr-x  2 <user> <group>  56K Mar 09 17:48 osvvm
    drwxr-xr-x  2 <user> <group>  56K Mar 09 17:58 uvvm
    drwxr-xr-x  2 <user> <group>  56K Mar 09 17:58 xilinx-ise
    drwxr-xr-x  2 <user> <group>  56K Mar 09 17:48 xilinx-vivado
    

Compiling in PowerShell

The provided PowerShell scripts support these environments:

  • Windows™ 10 (PowerShell 5 and PowerShell 6)

Follow these steps:

  • Step 0 - Configure the scripts (optional)

    See the next section for how to configure config.psm1.

  • Step 1 - Browse to your simulation working directory

    PS> cd <MySimulationFolder>
    
  • Step 2 - Start the compilation script(s)

    Choose one or multiple of the following scripts to run the pre-compilation process.

    PS> <GHDL>\lib\ghdl\vendors\compile-altera.ps1 -All
    PS> <GHDL>\lib\ghdl\vendors\compile-intel.ps1 -All
    PS> <GHDL>\lib\ghdl\vendors\compile-lattice.ps1 -All
    PS> <GHDL>\lib\ghdl\vendors\compile-osvvm.ps1 -All
    PS> <GHDL>\lib\ghdl\vendors\compile-uvvm.ps1 -All
    PS> <GHDL>\lib\ghdl\vendors\compile-xilinx-ise.ps1 -All
    PS> <GHDL>\lib\ghdl\vendors\compile-xilinx-vivado.ps1 -All
    

    The scripts are installed into the lib\ghdl\vendors directory.

  • Step 3 - Viewing the result

    This creates vendor directories in your current working directory and compiles the vendor files into them.

    PS> dir
        Directory: D:\temp\ghdl
    
    Mode           LastWriteTime       Length Name
    ----           -------------       ------ ----
    d----    09.03.2018    19:33        <DIR> altera
    d----    09.03.2018    19:38        <DIR> intel
    d----    09.03.2018    19:38        <DIR> lattice
    d----    09.03.2018    19:38        <DIR> osvvm
    d----    09.03.2018    19:45        <DIR> uvvm
    d----    09.03.2018    19:06        <DIR> xilinx-ise
    d----    09.03.2018    19:40        <DIR> xilinx-vivado
    

Configuration Files

For Bash: config.sh

Please open the config.sh file and set the dictionary entries for the installed vendor tools to your tool’s installation directories. Use an empty string "" for not installed tools.

config.sh:

declare -A InstallationDirectory
InstallationDirectory[AlteraQuartus]="/opt/Altera/16.0"
InstallationDirectory[IntelQuartus]="/opt/intelFPGA/20.1"
InstallationDirectory[LatticeDiamond]="/opt/Diamond/3.10_x64"
InstallationDirectory[OSVVM]="/home/<user>/git/GitHub/OSVVM"
InstallationDirectory[UVVM]="/home/<user>/git/GitHub/UVVM"
InstallationDirectory[XilinxISE]="/opt/Xilinx/14.7"
InstallationDirectory[XilinxVivado]="/opt/Xilinx/Vivado/2020.2"

For PowerShell: config.psm1

Please open the config.psm1 file and set the dictionary entries for the installed vendor tools to your tool’s installation folder. Use an empty string "" for not installed tools.

config.psm1:

$InstallationDirectory = @{
  "AlteraQuartus" =   "C:\Altera\16.0";
  "IntelQuartus" =    "C:\Altera\20.1";
  "LatticeDiamond" =  "C:\Lattice\Diamond\3.10_x64";
  "XilinxISE" =       "C:\Xilinx\14.7\ISE_DS";
  "XilinxVivado" =    "C:\Xilinx\Vivado\2020.2";
  "OSVVM" =           "C:\git\GitHub\OSVVM";
  "UVVM" =            "C:\git\GitHub\UVVM"
}

Additional Script Parameters

Each script supports partial compilations e.g. of shared packages and individual parts. In addition, the amount of printout to the console can be controlled. Some scripts may offer vendor specific options.

For Bash Scripts:

  • Common parameters to most scripts:

    --help, -h            Print the embedded help page(s).
    --clean, -c           Cleanup directory before analyzing.
    --no-warnings, -n     Don't show warnings. Report errors only.
    --skip-existing, -s   Skip already compiled files (an *.o file exists).
    --skip-largefiles, -S Don't compile large entities like DSP and PCIe primitives.
    --halt-on-error, -H   Stop compiling if an error occurred.
    
  • compile-altera.sh

    Selectable libraries:

    --all, -a             Compile all libraries, including common libraries, packages and device libraries.
    --altera              Compile base libraries like 'altera' and 'altera_mf'
    --max                 Compile device libraries for Max CPLDs
    --arria               Compile device libraries for Arria FPGAs
    --cyclone             Compile device libraries for Cyclone FPGAs
    --stratix             Compile device libraries for Stratix FPGAs
    

    Compile options:

    --vhdl93              Compile selected libraries with VHDL-93 (default).
    --vhdl2008            Compile selected libraries with VHDL-2008.
    
  • compile-xilinx-ise.sh

    Selectable libraries:

    --all, -a             Compile all libraries, including common libraries, packages and device libraries.
    --unisim              Compile the unisim primitives
    --unimacro            Compile the unimacro macros
    --simprim             Compile the simprim primitives
    --corelib             Compile the xilinxcorelib macros
    --secureip            Compile the secureip primitives
    

    Compile options:

    --vhdl93              Compile selected libraries with VHDL-93 (default).
    --vhdl2008            Compile selected libraries with VHDL-2008.
    
  • compile-xilinx-vivado.sh

    Selectable libraries:

    --all, -a             Compile all libraries, including common libraries, packages and device libraries.
    --unisim              Compile the unisim primitives
    --unimacro            Compile the unimacro macros
    --secureip            Compile the secureip primitives
    

    Compile options:

    --vhdl93              Compile selected libraries with VHDL-93 (default).
    --vhdl2008            Compile selected libraries with VHDL-2008.
    
  • compile-osvvm.sh

    Selectable libraries:

    --all, -a             Compile all.
    --osvvm               Compile the OSVVM library.
    
  • compile-uvvm.sh

    Selectable libraries:

    --all, -a             Compile all.
    --uvvm                Compile the UVVM libraries.
    

For PowerShell Scripts:

  • Common parameters to all scripts:

    -Help                 Print the embedded help page(s).
    -Clean                Cleanup directory before analyzing.
    -SuppressWarnings     Don't show warnings. Report errors only.
    
  • compile-altera.ps1

    Selectable libraries:

    -All                  Compile all libraries, including common libraries, packages and device libraries.
    -Altera               Compile base libraries like 'altera' and 'altera_mf'
    -Max                  Compile device libraries for Max CPLDs
    -Arria                Compile device libraries for Arria FPGAs
    -Cyclone              Compile device libraries for Cyclone FPGAs
    -Stratix              Compile device libraries for Stratix FPGAs
    

    Compile options:

    -VHDL93               Compile selected libraries with VHDL-93 (default).
    -VHDL2008             Compile selected libraries with VHDL-2008.
    
  • compile-xilinx-ise.ps1

    Selectable libraries:

    -All                  Compile all libraries, including common libraries, packages and device libraries.
    -Unisim               Compile the unisim primitives
    -Unimacro             Compile the unimacro macros
    -Simprim              Compile the simprim primitives
    -CoreLib              Compile the xilinxcorelib macros
    -Secureip             Compile the secureip primitives
    

    Compile options:

    -VHDL93               Compile selected libraries with VHDL-93 (default).
    -VHDL2008             Compile selected libraries with VHDL-2008.
    
  • compile-xilinx-vivado.ps1

    Selectable libraries:

    -All                  Compile all libraries, including common libraries, packages and device libraries.
    -Unisim               Compile the unisim primitives
    -Unimacro             Compile the unimacro macros
    -Secureip             Compile the secureip primitives
    

    Compile options:

    -VHDL93               Compile selected libraries with VHDL-93 (default).
    -VHDL2008             Compile selected libraries with VHDL-2008.
    
  • compile-osvvm.ps1

    Selectable libraries:

    -All                  Compile all.
    -OSVVM                Compile the OSVVM library.
    
  • compile-uvvm.ps1

    Selectable libraries:

    -All                  Compile all.
    -UVVM                 Compile the UVVM libraries.