Linux help

Windows help

Linux Live CD

The library is built around Linux scripts which will not run natively on a Windows machine. Two solutions are illustrated here:

  1. A Linux environment like cygwin can be installed. Linux programs like those from Alliance, Magic and Xcircuit can then be installed and used under cygwin (I think, as I haven't tested this myself).
  2. A Linux Live CD can be used to boot a Windows computer. The library release has compiled versions of the Linux programs from Alliance, and these can then be used to exercise the supplied examples and view the layout.

Using the library in Windows

The Spice characterisation uses the Windows program Winspice wrapped inside some Linux scripts. If this is run from cygwin then it runs pretty well. Other activities like running the synthesis and layout flow from the examples directory are tough because custom versions of the place and route software are needed and the source code modifications that have to be made for these custom programs are poorly documented.

Using the library with a Linux Live CD

Booting a Windows computer from a Linux Live CD gives a Linux operating system which is surely a better option than Windows. However, the computer's hard disk cannot be written to, so actually doing useful stuff and saving it can be difficult.
Update: It seems that the Ubuntu 7.10 Live CD allows writing to a Windows NTFS formatted hard disk, but I haven't fully checked this out.

The best way is to use a large capacity USB disk onto which has been downloaded the pharosc library. This can be unpacked and since it contains all the required Linux programs, the examples can be run without the user needing to do any program installation or source code compiling.

Although Live CD's are thought of as being slow, some of the examples can actually run more quickly with a Live CD than with the Linux operating system resident on disk!

Since the Linux Live CD option is likely to be used by a Windows user, the explanations on how to do it are quite detailed. Two Linux distributions have been considered, Ubuntu 6.10 (aka Edgy Eft) and 7.04 (aka Feisty Fart), and these are from my experience the best options. I have tested other Live CD's but with less success.

Unfortunately the examples don't just run with the Live CD out of the box. The Linux program gawk needs to be installed, and so does openmotif. I also recommend making some changes to the Linux environment before testing the library release, although this is not necessary. The help files show how to do this.