open_hw_manager - 2023.2 English

Vivado Design Suite Tcl Command Reference Guide (UG835)

Document ID
Release Date
2023.2 English

Open the hardware tool


open_hw_manager [‑quiet] [‑verbose]


Name Description
[-quiet] Ignore command errors
[-verbose] Suspend message limits during command execution




Open the Hardware Manager in the AMD Vivado™ Design Suite in either the Vivado IDE or in Tcl or batch mode. Opening the Hardware Manager is the first step in programming and/or debugging your design in AMD FPGA hardware. For more information refer to the Vivado Design Suite User Guide: Programming and Debugging (UG908).

Hardware Manager is a feature of the Vivado Design Suite which lets you interact with FPGA devices on a board. The features of the Hardware Manager include:

  • Logic Debug or Logic Analyzer- Debugging FPGA programmable logic designs.
  • Programming/Configuration - Program FPGA devices using JTAG and configuring flash memory devices connected to FPGAs.
  • In-system Serial I/O debug - Adjust SERDES receive/transmit settings and measure transmission bit error rates.
  • System Monitor - Control on chip system monitor and read system monitor temperature and voltage values.

The Hardware Manager uses a number of first class objects, like hw_server, hw_target, hw_device, and hw_ila. Each of these objects is related to other objects, and has properties that can be set or read by the set_property and get_property commands to configure or control its function in the Hardware Manager. Refer to the Vivado Design Suite Properties Reference Guide (UG912) for more information on these objects.

The steps to connect to hardware and program the target FPGA are:

  1. Open the hardware manager in the IDE (open_hw_manager).
    Tip: This step can be skipped if you are running in batch or Tcl mode.
  2. Connect to a hardware server running either on the local machine, or on a remote network accessible host (connect_hw_server).
  3. Open a hardware target on the connected hardware server (open_hw_target).
  4. Identify the AMD FPGA on the open hardware target (current_hw_device, get_hw_devices).
  5. Associate the bitstream data programming file (.bit), and probes file (.ltx) if one exists, with the appropriate FPGA (set_property).
  6. Program or download the programming file into the hardware device (program_hw_device, refresh_hw_device).

Note that you can run the Hardware Manager from within the Vivado tool without having a project or design open. You can open the Hardware Manager, connect to the hardware server, and program the device on the target by providing a bitstream file, and probes file for debugging.

You can close the Hardware Manager using the close_hw_manager command.

This command returns nothing if successful, and returns an error if it fails.


-quiet - (Optional) Execute the command quietly, returning no messages from the command. The command also returns TCL_OK regardless of any errors encountered during execution.
Note: Any errors encountered on the command-line, while launching the command, will be returned. Only errors occurring inside the command will be trapped.
-verbose - (Optional) Temporarily override any message limits and return all messages from this command.
Note: Message limits can be defined with the set_msg_config command.


The following example opens the Hardware Manager in the Vivado Design Suite: