Saturday, March 29, 2014

It's cloudy out

After I decided to try Lattice's Diamond toolset, I had to find a place to install it. Recently I've been using Linux boxes to run the Xilinx and Altera toolsets and I've have very good success using the boxes remotely. This means either a graphical VNC connection or just SSH'ing into the box and running the FPGA tools from the command line.

Lattice presents an interesting opportunity. I've been running Ubuntu/Debian for quite a while and I'm comfortable with them. Unfortunately Lattice Diamond is built for RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and I don't have a box set aside to install RHEL on. I've gone down the path of installing toolsets on unsupported Linux distributions; It usually works but it can be very time consuming.  My solution: Amazon EC2 (Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud).

I set up a AWS Free Usage Tier account a few months ago and this was the perfect excuse to start using it.  They had a free machine image that runs 64bit RHEL 6.4.  The free system's specs are pretty meager, but should be fast enough to see if this is worth pursuing.  I can always switch to a faster instance if I like it.

It took me a few hours to set the image up, learn how to enable a VNC session, and install Lattice Diamond.  If anyone is interested I'll consider writing up a tutorial.

1 comment:

James Brown said...

I'd love to see a tutorial on this... I've been eyeing the aws free usage tier for a bit, but haven't found the right project to justify starting my free year yet.