Red Pitaya ecosystem and applications

Here you will find the sources of various software components of the Red Pitaya system. The components are mainly contained in dedicated directories, however, due to the nature of the Xilinx SoC "All Programmable" paradigm and the way several components are interrelated, some components might be spread across many directories or found at different places one would expect.

directories contents
api API source code
Applications WEB applications (controller modules & GUI clients).
apps-free WEB application for the old environment (also with controller modules & GUI clients).
Bazaar Nginx server with dependencies, Bazaar module & application controller module loader.
fpga FPGA design (RTL, bench, simulation and synthesis scripts)
OS/buildroot GNU/Linux operating system components
patches Directory containing patches
scpi-server SCPI server
Test Command line utilities (acquire, generate, ...), tests
shared API source code (to be deprecated soon hopefully!)

Supported platforms

Red Pitaya is developed on Linux, so Linux (preferably 64bit Ubuntu) is also the only platform we support.

Software requirements

You will need the following to build the Red Pitaya components:

  1. Various development packages: bash sudo apt-get install make u-boot-tools curl xz-utils nano
  2. Xilinx Vivado 2015.2 FPGA development tools. The SDK (bare metal toolchain) must also be installed, be careful during the install process to select it. Preferably use the default install location.
  3. Linaro ARM toolchain for cross compiling Linux applications. We recommend to install it to /opt/linaro/ since build process instructions relly on it. bash TOOLCHAIN="" #TOOLCHAIN="" curl -O $TOOLCHAIN sudo mkdir -p /opt/linaro sudo chown $USER:$USER /opt/linaro tar -xpf *linaro*.tar.xz -C /opt/linaro

NOTE: you can skip installing Vivado tools, if you only wish to compile user space software.

Build process

Go to your preferred development directory and clone the Red Pitaya repository from GitHub.

git clone
cd RedPitaya

An example script is provided for setting all necessary environment variables. The script assumes some default tool install paths, so it might need editing if install paths other than the ones described above were used.


Prepare a download cache for various source tarballs. This is an optional step which will speedup the build process by avoiding downloads for all but the first build. There is a default cache path defined in the script, you can edit it and avoid a rebuild the next time.

mkdir -p dl
export BR2_DL_DIR=$PWD/dl

To build everything just run make.


Partial rebuild process

The next components can be built separately.

  • FPGA + device tree
  • u-Boot
  • Linux kernel
  • Debian OS
  • API
  • SCPI server
  • free applications

Base system

Here base system represents everything before Linux user space.

FPGA and device tree

Detailed instructions are provided for building the FPGA including some device tree details.


To build the U-Boot binary and boot scripts (used to select between booting into Buildroot or Debian):

make tmp/u-boot.elf
make build/u-boot.scr

The build process downloads the Xilinx version of U-Boot sources from Github, applies patches and starts the build process. Patches are available in the patches/ directory.

Linux kernel

To build a Linux image:

make tmp/uImage

The build process downloads the Xilinx version of Linux sources from Github, applies patches and starts the build process. Patches are available in the patches/ directory.

Boot file

The created boot file contains FSBL, FPGA bitstream and U-Boot binary.

make tmp/boot.bin.uboot

Since file tmp/boot.bin.uboot is created it should be renamed to simply tmp/boot.bin. There are some preparations for creating a memory test tmp/boot.bin.memtest which would run from the SD card, but it did not go es easy es we would like, so it is not working.

Linux user space


Buildroot is the most basic Linux distribution available for Red Pitaya. It is also used to provide some sources which are dependencies for user space applications.

make build/uramdisk.image.gz

Debian OS

Debian OS instructions are detailed elsewhere.


To compile the API run:

make api

The output of this process is the Red Pitaya library in api/lib directory. The header file for the API is redpitaya/rp.h and can be found in api/includes. You can install it on Red Pitaya by copying it there:

scp api/lib/ [email protected]:/opt/redpitaya/lib/

SCPI server

Scpi server README can be found here.

To compile the server run:

make api

The compiled executable is scpi-server/scpi-server. You can install it on Red Pitaya by copying it there:

scp scpi-server/scpi-server [email protected]:/opt/redpitaya/bin/

Free applications

To build free applications, follow the instructions given at apps-free/ file.