Tuesday, October 2, 2018

How to dockerize Intel Quartus 18.01

I've been working with the Domesday Duplicator lately and one of the pieces of hardware that they use is the DE0-Nano board.  Domesday documentation focuses on linux tools so I booted into my Ubuntu and got the DE0-Nano IDE software (called 'Quartus') working.  While I was successful, I found it a bit of a pain to figure out which components of the software to download, and would've preferred a pre-built VM or a Docker image.  The Quartus license likely does not allow distribution of pre-built Docker images, so I have outlined the steps to create one from scratch here.

The benefits to running this program from a docker container are:
  • The docker image, once created, will likely work on many more platforms than what the native installation option offers.
  • Building and running the Docker image is relatively easy.
  • Installing and uninstalling is simple and clear.
So here are my instructions to Docker-ize Quartus v18.01:
  • Be using some linux flavor (I am on Ubuntu 18.04).
  • Install Docker and configure it so that normal users can access it (beyond scope of this blog post).
  • Create a file called /etc/udev/rules.d/51-usbblater.rules which has the following contents: (this file is necessary to allow non-root access to the USB device)

    SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="09fb", ATTRS{idProduct}=="6001", MODE="0666"
  • Run "sudo udevadm control --reload-rules" to make the change take effect
  • Download Quartus 18.1 Lite for linux, including the Cyclone 4 package.  The filenames I downloaded are called QuartusLiteSetup-18.1.0.625-linux.run and cyclone-18.1.0.625.qdz .
  • Create a new subdirectory and copy QuartusLiteSetup-18.1.0.625-linux.run and cyclone-18.1.0.625.qdz into it.
  • Inside this subdirectory, create a file called Dockerfile and paste this into it:

     # ubuntu 18.04 is officially supported by this version of quartus
    # libpng12 included in 16.04 but not in 18.04, so we use 16.04 for convenience
    FROM ubuntu:16.04

    ENV DEBIAN_FRONTEND noninteractive

    ARG QUARTUS=QuartusLiteSetup-18.1.0.625-linux.run
    ARG CYCLONE=cyclone-18.1.0.625.qdz

    COPY $QUARTUS /$QUARTUS
    COPY $CYCLONE /$CYCLONE

    RUN apt-get update && \
        apt-get -y -qq install apt-utils sudo && \
            apt-get -y -qq install locales && locale-gen en_US.UTF-8 && \
        apt-get -y -qq install software-properties-common \
                               libglib2.0-0:amd64 \
                               libfreetype6:amd64 \
                               libsm6:amd64 \
                               libxrender1:amd64 \
                               libfontconfig1:amd64 \
                               libxext6:amd64 \
                                    libpng12-0:amd64 \
                               xterm:amd64 && \
        chmod 755 /$QUARTUS

    # create a normal user so we're not running as root
    RUN export uid=1000 gid=1000 && \
        mkdir -p /home/developer && \
        echo "developer:x:${uid}:${gid}:Developer,,,:/home/developer:/bin/bash" >> /etc/passwd && \
        echo "developer:x:${uid}:" >> /etc/group && \
        echo "developer ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL" > /etc/sudoers.d/developer && \
        chmod 0440 /etc/sudoers.d/developer && \
        chown ${uid}:${gid} -R /home/developer

    # switch to user so it installs from the user's context
    USER developer
    ENV HOME /home/developer
    # install quartus as the user (not root)
    RUN    /$QUARTUS --mode unattended --unattendedmodeui none --installdir /home/developer/altera_lite --accept_eula 1 && \
        sudo rm -f /$QUARTUS && \
        sudo rm -f /$CYCLONE

    # run from xterm to capture any stdio logging (not sure there is any, but can't hurt)
    CMD xterm -e "/home/developer/altera_lite/quartus/bin/quartus --64bit"
  • From within this subdirectory (which contains the three files), run this command:
    "docker build -t quartus18 ."
  • It will take ~15 mins depending on the speed of your system.  When it finishes, your Docker image will be generated and will be called "quartus18".  You may now optionally delete the sub-directory that you created to generate the docker image.
  • Plug in your DE0-Nano to a USB port.  Be sure to unplug any other sources of power (for example, the FX3 board, if you have a DdD 'stack' ) or you will get unexplained errors.
  • From a desktop session, run the following command:

    docker run --rm -v /sys:/sys:ro -v $HOME:/shared -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix -e DISPLAY -e "QT_X11_NO_MITSHM=1" --privileged -v /dev/bus/usb:/dev/bus/usb quartus18
  • If all goes well, the Quartus app will launch inside of the container.  Your host's home folder will be accessible as /shared in the root.  Follow the instructions from DdD site.  You may also find this youtube video helpful.
  • When you exit the program, the container will automatically delete/uninstall itself.
The only thing left on your host system once you exit the container will be the file you put inside of /etc/udev/rules.d and the docker image that you created.  Uninstalling is as easy as removing this file and deleting the docker image.  Simply re-execute the "docker run" command above in the future to reprogram.

Monday, October 1, 2018

How to dockerize Cypress FX3 Linux USB programmer

I've been working with the Domesday Duplicator lately and one of the pieces of hardware that they use is the FX3 board from Cypress.  Domesday documentation focuses on linux tools so I booted into my Ubuntu and got the FX3 USB programmer working.  It wasn't that easy, though.  For example, I had to modify the source code to fix a build error.  Installation seems to be one-way, meaning there is no uninstall (which seems somewhat rude).  It would've been cool to run this in a VM so that when I was done, I could just shut the VM down.  That is kind of a huge pain, though.  A better option is Docker!  The problem is, the software's license likely prohibits it being distributed as a docker container, so one must create one from scratch.  Fortunately, after some experimenting, I got it all working.

The benefits to running this program from a docker container are:
  • The docker image, once created, will likely work on many more platforms than what the native installation option offers.
  • You don't have to install all of the qt4 dev packages on your native OS.
  • Uninstalling is simple and clear. (no weird files leftover in weird places)
So here are my instructions to Docker-ize Cypress's FX3 linux USB programmer:
  • Be using some linux flavor (I am on Ubuntu 18.04).
  • Install Docker and configure it so that normal users can access it (beyond scope of this blog post).
  • Create a file called /etc/udev/rules.d/88-cyusb.rules which has the following contents: (this file is necessary to get flash programming mode to work)

    # Cypress USB driver for FX2 and FX3 (C) Cypress Semiconductor Corporation / ATR-LABS
    # Rules written by V. Radhakrishnan ( rk@atr-labs.com )
    # Cypress USB vendor ID = 0x04b4
    KERNEL=="*", SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ENV{DEVTYPE}=="usb_device", ACTION=="add", ATTR{idVendor}=="04b4", MODE="666", TAG="cyusb_dev", RUN+="/usr/local/bin/cy_renumerate.sh A"
    KERNEL=="*", SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ENV{DEVTYPE}=="usb_device", ACTION=="remove", TAG=="cyusb_dev", RUN+="/usr/local/bin/cy_renumerate.sh R"
  • Run "sudo udevadm control --reload-rules" to make the change take effect
  • Create a script called /usr/local/bin/cy_renumerate.sh that contains this:

    #!/bin/bash
    pid=`pidof cyusb_linux`

    if [ "$pid" ]; then
        kill -s SIGUSR1 $pid
    fi
  • Type "chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/cy_renumerate.sh" so the script can be executed
  • Download the Cypress FX3 linux SDK (try here or search for "cypress fx3 linux sdk")
  • Extract the archive and locate the file called cyusb_linux_1.0.5.tar.gz .
  • Create a new subdirectory and copy cyusb_linux_1.0.5.tar.gz into it.
  • Inside this subdirectory, create a file called Dockerfile and paste this into it:

    # this is known to work on 18.04, may not work on later versions
    FROM ubuntu:18.04

    ARG DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive
    ARG CYUSB=cyusb_linux_1.0.5.tar.gz

    COPY $CYUSB /$CYUSB

    RUN apt-get update && \
            apt-get -y -qq install apt-utils && \
        apt-get -y -qq install sudo qt4-default \
            less make g++ dialog libusb-1.0-0-dev \
            xterm

    RUN export uid=1000 gid=1000 && \
        mkdir -p /home/developer && \
        echo "developer:x:${uid}:${gid}:Developer,,,:/home/developer:/bin/bash" >> /etc/passwd && \
        echo "developer:x:${uid}:" >> /etc/group && \
        echo "developer ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL" > /etc/sudoers.d/developer && \
        chmod 0440 /etc/sudoers.d/developer && \
        chown ${uid}:${gid} -R /home/developer

    # switch to user so it installs from the user's context
    USER developer
    ENV HOME /home/developer

    # needed so cypress app can program itself to go into flash mode
    ENV CYUSB_ROOT /home/developer/cyusb_linux_1.0.5

    # build/install
    RUN    sudo chmod a+r /$CYUSB && \
            tar xvfz /$CYUSB -C /home/developer && \
            sudo rm -f /$CYUSB && \
            cd $HOME && \
            cd cyusb* && \
            make && \
            sed -i 's/errno/_errno/g' gui_src/main.cpp && \
            sudo ./install.sh

    # put /usr/local/lib in the lib search path so running 'cyusb_linux' from anywhere works
    RUN     sudo sh -c "echo '/usr/local/lib' >> /etc/ld.so.conf.d/cyusb.conf" && \
            sudo ldconfig

    # launches in xterm so we can see log messages
    CMD xterm -e "cyusb_linux"
  • From within this subdirectory (which contains the .tar.gz file and Dockerfile), run this command:
    "docker build -t cyusb ."
  • It will take ~5 mins depending on the speed of your system.  When it finishes, your Docker image will be generatedand will be called "cyusb".
  • Plug in your FX3 to a USB port.
  • Make sure that the FX3 image that you want to program to the FX3 is stored somewhere under your home directory.
  • Run the following command:
    docker run --rm \
        -v $HOME:/shared:ro \
        -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix \
        -e DISPLAY \
        -e "QT_X11_NO_MITSHM=1" \
        --privileged \
        -v /dev/bus/usb:/dev/bus/usb \
        cyusb
  • If all goes well, the cyusb app will launch inside of the container.  Your host's home folder will be accessible as /shared in the root.  Follow the instructions from DdD to complete the programming.
  • When you exit the program, the container will automatically delete/uninstall itself.
The only thing left on your host system once you exit the container will be the file you put inside of /etc/udev/rules.d, the little script in /usr/local/bin, and the docker image that you created.  Uninstalling is as easy as removing those two files and deleting the docker image.  Simply re-execute the "docker run" command above in the future to reprogram.

Neat, eh?

Docker tips

I've had the need to learn more about Docker lately and had some trouble getting stuff working.  Here are some helpful links that I used to solve problems, put here so I can refer to them later (or so anyone else can benefit from them).

To docker-ize UI applications:

http://wiki.ros.org/docker/Tutorials/GUI
https://blog.docker.com/2013/07/docker-desktop-your-desktop-over-ssh-running-inside-of-a-docker-container/
http://fabiorehm.com/blog/2014/09/11/running-gui-apps-with-docker/

To expose USB devices to docker containers:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/24225647/docker-a-way-to-give-access-to-a-host-usb-or-serial-device


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Had to make a new VP932 adapter

Well, my first attempt at a VP932 adapter revealed some problems so I've ordered a second revision.


This one has a MAX232A chip on the board.  I wasn't able to find a solution without converting to RS232 voltages, even though the AVR on the Dexter board can accept TTL serial natively.  This is partially due to the safeguards I put in place for VP931 (Firefox) support.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Euro DL PCB arrived today!



Thanks to Matteo Marioni, I now have a Euro Dragon's Lair PCB on loan for Dexter development.  The molex connector that I soldered up for the Dexter add-on board seems to fit!  Phew!

I just happened to have the 36-pin connector type (which isn't available to buy anymore!) so my next step is to create a test bench wiring harness and then hook up a logic analyzer to sniff the serial I/O.  This is exciting progress!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Star Rider arcade game in action (using Dexter)

Aside from a few tweaks to the control panel, it seems to be fully working!  I can't believe that I've come this far!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Philips VP932 ptototype add-on board for Dexter now ready for testing

I've now finished soldering up my first prototype of the Philips VP932 add-on board that I've designed for Dexter.  As you can see from the picture, it plugs into the DB25 port and has the molex connector on the end.  I won't be able to fully develop/test it until I can get my hands on a Dragon's Lair Euro boardset, but hopefully this will happen sooner rather than later.