Embedded Linux on Xilinx MicroBlaze Workshop

Course Information
Xilinx Software Requirements
Supported Platforms


The objective of this workshop is to equip university academics with the resources, high level skills and confidence to introduce Embedded Linux on Xilinx MicroBlaze™ to their teaching and research programs. Through the course of the workshop attendees will progress towards the following outcomes:

  • Basic understanding of the Linux operating system, and Embedded Linux concepts, including
    • Linux kernel architecture
    • Device driver concepts and loadable modules
    • Memory management and MMU vs no MMU Linux kernels
  • Ability to use the Xilinx EDK and PetaLinux to achieve a working MicroBlaze Linux kernel bring up
  • Ability to build, modify and debug Embedded Linux applications on the MicroBlaze platform
  • Understanding of the hardware interfacing options for adding custom hardware to MicroBlaze/Linux systems
  • Ability to develop a simple custom hardware peripheral for MicroBlaze
  • Ability to develop a simple Linux device driver for a custom hardware peripheral
  • Ability to integrate an open source IP core from the website
  • Understanding of some of the key research directions and activities surrounding operating systems and Embedded Linux on FPGA platforms
  • Ideas for student project work based on the platform
  • Links to helpful resources beyond the workshop materials

About the Author

Dr. John Williams is the owner and CEO of PetaLogix, an embedded Linux solutions provider spun-out from his research and development activities at The University of Queensland, Australia. He is the architect and maintainer of the port of the Linux operating system to the Xilinx MicroBlaze soft processor, and consults widely in industry helping companies get the most out of this exciting embedded architecture. Dr. Williams offers a new course on Embedded Linux on Xilinx FPGAs for all XUP academic members.

Obtain Course Material

XUP members may request special access to the Embedded Linux On MicroBlaze materials (only soft copies available). It may take up to a week to process your request. University faculty may sign up to become members by creating a Xilinx Account.

Obtain Xilinx software

XUP members are eligible to receive donations of full versions of Xilinx software. Please review our donation program and submit a donation proposal. University faculty may become members by creating a Xilinx Account, thereby gaining access to the donation form.

For OS, Petalinux, and Xilinx software installation

XUP members who wish to install the workshop environment on their local machine may obtain instructions after obtaining special access permission as described in "Obtain the Course Material" section above. The installation following the instructions and downloaded material will enable the user to carry out the workshop labs at their site.

Contact XUP

For general questions or comments, please send an email to