Altera Quartus II Web Edition Software

The Web Edition is the free (and of course limited) Software to design Altera CPLDs and smaller FPGAs.
Upgrade to more powerful version is available for a fee.

Installation for Linux

  • Download from
  • Run Installer
    I assume installation below /opt/altera_design_suite/
  • (Optional for stricter security) Change ownership to root:
    sudo chown -R root:root altera_design_suite/
  • Start with /opt/altera_design_suite/quartus/bin/quartus --64bit (for 64bit System)
    Create yourself a shortcut, e.g. altera-quartus

  • Modifying your Altera Installation
    ./installer/altera_installer_cmd --update --gui

Errors and Workarounds

Configure Browser below Tools/Options/Internet Connectivity

  • Fix Error message for chromium oder sensible-browser:
    /usr/lib/chromium/chromium: /opt/altera_design_suite/quartus/linux64/ version `GLIBCXX_3.4.15' not found (required by /usr/lib/chromium/chromium)
    /usr/lib/chromium/chromium: /opt/altera_design_suite/quartus/linux64/ no version information available (required by /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/
  • Create yourself the following helper script and add it as browser:
    # Need to remove disturbing LD_LIBRARY_PATH Setting
    # Start Browser
    sensible-browser "$@"

Failing to invoke Modelsim-Altera

  • Running simulation gives the following error:
    Error: Can't launch ModelSim-Altera Simulation software -- make sure the software is properly installed and the environment variable LM_LICENSE_FILE or GGLS_LICENSE_FILE points to the correct license file.
    Error: NativeLink simulation flow was NOT successful
  • Calling Modelsim from the command line shows the source of the problem
    error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
  • Solution for amd64 architecture in Debian Wheezy:
    sudo aptitude install libxft2:i386


Language Support


RTL Simulation

  • Setup testbench at Assignments/Settings/Simulation
    • Select "Compile test bench" and define Test Bench file
  • Run with Tools/Run Simulation Tool/{RTL|Gate Level} Simulation

Gatelevel Simulation

  • Gatelevel simulation is not recommended; use STA instead
  • SDF backannotion fails when called from GUI because of faulty instance binding at vsim call
    • e.g. device under test is below testbench/dut
    • Then wrong default parameter to vsim: -sdftyp /TestBench=BlinkCounter_vhd.sdo
    • Correct is: -sdftyp /TestBench/dut=BlinkCounter_vhd.sdo
    • As work-around correct vcom call manually
    • Alternatively create own do-file for gatelevel simulation (custom flow)


  • To get readable gatelevel netlist enable "Map illegal HDL characters" in Assignments/Settings/EDA Tool Settings/Simulation/EDA Netlist Writer settings

Device Programming

With USB Blaster, like on Max V Development Kit

Required port permissions setup, adjusted from "USB Blaster Setup for Linux" to current (2013) udev syntax with improvement to allow only users in group "plugdev"

Create file /etc/udev/rules.d/51-usbblaster.rules

# USB-Blaster
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="09fb", ATTR{idProduct}=="6001", OWNER="root", GROUP="plugdev", MODE="0662"
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="09fb", ATTR{idProduct}=="6002", OWNER="root", GROUP="plugdev", MODE="0662"
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="09fb", ATTR{idProduct}=="6003", OWNER="root", GROUP="plugdev", MODE="0662"
# USB-Blaster II
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="09fb", ATTR{idProduct}=="6010", OWNER="root", GROUP="plugdev", MODE="0662"
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="09fb", ATTR{idProduct}=="6810", OWNER="root", GROUP="plugdev", MODE="0662"

Check that JTAG device is detected:

  • Run /home/opt/altera_design_suite/quartus/bin/jtagconfig
    Output for USB-Blaster:
    1) USB-Blaster [2-5]
    020A60DD   5M(240ZT144|570Z)/EPM570Z
  • For debugging: Identify USB-Device with lsusb
    • BUS XXX Device YYY --> file: /dev/bus/usb/XXX/YYY
  • Attention: jtagd will be automatically started, need to kill it in case of errors/user change
    • Automatically removed with program exit

Call from Menu Tools/Programmer

  • Add device "USB-Blaster" (automatically detected)
  • Setup configuration (e.g. Program/Configure, Verify, Blank-Check)
  • Start

Modelsim Simulator

  • Call modelsim stand-alone

Contact me

Topic revision: r3 - 2013-05-12 - 20:36:50 - RoLaUser



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