2 min read

How to install Vivado on Ubuntu Linux

Vivado is not known for its easy install process, so I figured I would make this quick guide to help others out going through it for the first time.
How to install Vivado on Ubuntu Linux
Photo by Sourabh Belekar / Unsplash

Vivado is not known for its easy install process, so I figured I would make this quick guide to help others out going through it for the first time.

Download Installer

  1. Visit the official download page
  2. Click on the link to the Linux Self-Extracting Web Installer in the latest "Full Product Installation". (older versions do not work with Ubuntu 20.04 and later)
  3. You'll be prompted to create an account, verify your email address and to give your postal address for US export compliance (so maybe don't use a throwaway email). remember your credentials, you'll need them again later
  4. Afterwards you might need to reselect the correct installer file to download

Prepare For Installation

You need to complete these steps before installation, otherwise you will have downloaded 20GB and the installation will fail.

Vivado needs a few dependencies that are usually not already installed and will not warn you if they are not installed. Install them via apt:

sudo apt install libncurses5-dev libtinfo5 libncurses5 libncursesw5-dev libtinfo-dev 


Vivado will need to download ~20 GB of files and will extract them to take up ~80 GB of disk space. Make sure you have enough free space.

Unfortunately Vivado only seems to download at max 4 MB/s, so make sure you have an hour to leave your computer unlocked and installing. During installation your computer will slow down significantly, making it painful to do productive work or even browse the web (Streaming videos is fine, once the download has started).

With that out of the way, you'll need to run the installer from the command line and make it executable

cd your-download-directory
chmod +x vivado-installer-name-here

It will self extract and open a GUI window after a few seconds. Follow all the steps, choose "Download and Install" when given the choice, select "Vivado" as a product to install, and the Standard edition if given a choice between Standard and Enterprise.

When you arrive at the "Installation location" step it will probably complain that it doesn't have permission to read/write at /tools/Xilinx . The simplest way to resolve this is to give it an alternative directory. I chose /home/myusername/tools/Xilinx . Usually, all directories in your home directory should be read-/writeable. The directory you choose does not need to exist yet, the installer will offer to create it for you.

After Installation

Thought you were done? No. You are installing Vivado, did you forget? (:

Jokes aside, you only need to complete one final step, otherwise Vivado will run perfectly fine, but your FPGA/device will not connect. You still need to install the cable drivers.

For Vivado 2023.2 these were located in: ~/tools/Xilinx/Vivado/2023.2/data/xicom/cable_drivers/lin64/install_script/install_drivers

If you chose the same install location, they should be located in a similar location. If the location above doesn't exist, try cd'ing through your installation until you find them. Inside the install_drivers folder, you'll need to run a script named the same:

sudo ./install_drivers

If this completes successfully, you'll need to plug your cable back out and in again (from your laptop that is). Afterwards everything should work without a problem.


Good luck! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯