Linux for the Nios II Processor

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Please refer to for latest updates on Nios II Linux !

This is the community supported version of Nios II Linux with MMU. This package will work only on Linux. You will need a virtual Linux to run it on Windows. This is GPL software, and comes with absolutely NO warranty.

You may get support with the Altera Forum, or the nios2-dev mailing list or commercial support from Altera partners.

Getting started with Linux for the Nios II processor

  1. Linux desktop installation
  2. Download Linux distribution for the Nios II processor
  3. Quick start
  4. Creating a Nios II design with a memory management unit (MMU)
  5. Debug user space
  6. Try out without compilation
  7. Build the gcc4 toolchain
  8. Device tree
  9. KGDB (Kernel Debugger)
  10. Linux Sources
  11. Nios2 SMP Linux System

Important Notes

  • Kernel development is currently taking place in the "unstable-nios2mmu" branch of the git repository. It is stable despite the name and frequently gets updated with the most recent upstream changes. The branch contains code to run Linux on Nios II with or without MMU. So to build a current (2.6.39 as of this writing), you need to switch to that branch for the kernel. Inside the "linux-2.6" folder, issue a "git checkout unstable-nios2mmu" command to switch your head to that branch. Alternatively you can check out a stable tagged version. These are recognizable by their -nios2 prefix. To e.g. check out Linux Kernel 2.6.39 with Nios II support, issue "git checkout v2.6.39-nios2".
  • As of this edit (March 21, 2011), this page is somewhat out of date but it still contains the best information for getting Linux up and running on a MMU based NIOS processor. A comprehensive update is coming soon but for now I am adding "ugly" edits to note bugs / errors in the build instructions.

Many informations provided for the no-MMU uClinux distribution on this Wiki also applies to the MMU based Linux installation.






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