Vitis Tools - 2020.2 English

Versal ACAP System Software Developers Guide (UG1304)

Document ID
Release Date
2020.2 English

The Vitis development environment provides the following tools for use in Xilinx embedded software development:

Xilinx System Debugger (XSDB)
Provides a command line interface to the Xilinx hw_server. The hw_server is the backend tool, that provides device/processor level debug capabilities to front-end tools such as XSDB, and the Vitis IDE. XSDB also provides various low-level debugging features not directly available in the Vitis development environment.
Flash programmer
Used for programming the software application images into external flash devices including QSPI, OSPI, or eMMC.
Linker script generator
Used for mapping your bare-metal/FreeRTOS application elf sections across the hardware memory space.
GNU compiler tool suite
Includes tools such as GNU compiler collection (GCC), AS, LD, and binutils that are used for compilation on all Xilinx processors.
Used for generating the boot image known as the PDI.
Performance analysis tools
Includes GPROF, TCF Profiler, and OProfile.
Debug/download tools
Includes GNU debugger (GDB), XSDB, Flash writer.
Xilinx software command-line tool (XSCT)
Xilinx Software Command-line Tool (XSCT) is an interactive and scriptable command-line interface to the Vitis IDE. As with other Xilinx tools, the scripting language for XSCT is based on the tools command language (Tel). The tools helps to abstract away and group most of the common functions into logical wizards that even the novice can use.

However, scriptability of a tool is also essential for providing the flexibility to extend what is done with that tool. It is particularly useful when developing regression tests that will be run nightly or running a set of commands that are used often by the developer.

You can run XSCT commands interactively or script the commands for automation. XSCT supports the following actions:

  • Create hardware, domains, platform projects, system projects, and application projects
  • Manage repositories
  • Set toolchain preferences
  • Configure and build domains/BSPs and applications
  • Download and run applications on hardware targets
  • Create and flash boot images by running Bootgen and program_flash tools

This reference content is intended to provide the information you need to develop scripts for software development and debug targeting Xilinx processors.

For more information, refer to Xilinx Software Command-Line Tool in the Embedded Software Development flow of the Vitis Unified Software Platform Documentation (UG1416).

The Vitis tool provides a separate perspective for each task to ease the software development process. Perspectives available for C/C++ developers are as follows:

Design perspective views
View, create and build the software C/C++projects. By default, it consists of an editor area and other views, such as Vitis projects, C/C++ projects to show the software projects present in the workspace, a navigation console, properties, tasks, make targets, outline, and search.
Debug view
Helps debug software applications. You can customize the open source applications from the debug perspective and integrate with the Vitis environments.
Remote system explorer
Connect and work with a variety of remote systems, for example, running Linux on a Versal device.