Xilinx Development Tool Menus in Ubuntu 12.xx

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Create Xilinx Design Tools menus in Ubuntu 12.xx

Executing this has only sense when Xilinx Development tools are installed on your Ubuntu 12.xx system (running under Unity).

The attached file "Xilinx_Menus_for_Ubuntu_12xx_Unity_Nov12.tar.gz" contains the necessary files to create a Xilinx Development menu system for Ubuntu 12.xx.

Xilinx development tools running on Linux never had a menus system like they have in Microsoft Windows. Often seen as a stumble stone for starting people. This setup tries to solve this issue.

The who setup can be carried out without having to open a terminal window or typing Linux specific commands.

Lets start putting the Xilinx menus in place:

  • Download the "Xilinx_Menus_for_Ubuntu_12xx_Unity_Nov12.tar.gz" file and save it.
  • Extract the file into a local folder on your machine.
  • Two Directories will show up (with sub-Directories and files):

Directory 1

   | <share>
       |       |Contains: .desktop files
               |Contains: Xilinx icons represented as .svg files

Directory 2


  • Open the Home Folder.
  • Click second icon under the "Dash Home" button in the launcher bar.
  • In that Nautillus browser window click on the "File System" icon,view figure 1.

Home folder

  • Now Select "show hidden files", in the "view" menu, view figure 2.

Show hidden files

  • Browse down to:
  • Copy here the contents, all .desktop file, from the "application" folder of the uncompressed "Xilinx_Menus_for_Ubuntu_12xx_Unity_Nov12.tar.gz" file.
  • Browse now to:
  • Copy here the Xilinx folder from the uncompressed "Xilinx_Menus_for_Ubuntu_12xx_Unity_Nov12.tar.gz" file, view Figure 3.

Folder dotLocal Share Apps.png

It's not done yet!

  • Paths in .desktop files must be absulte paths. Because I created this on my system, you will need to edit the files and change some path settings in the different .desktop files you just copied.
  • Browse back to:

  • Open a text editor (gedit, vim, or so).
  • Load the first .desktop file.
  • In the text several lines refer to: "/home/<USER>/.local/s....." replace the <USER> by the name of your home directory, usually your username.
  • When the Xilinx tools are not installed in the default install directory, "/opt/Xilinx/1....." adapt this path to. (e.g. when the Xilinx tools are installed in /usr the path must look like: "/usr/Xilinx/1.....").
  • Do this for all just copied .desktop files.

Now the last step!

  • Install the small tool: Drawers.
  • Start a terminal window and type:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ian-berke/ppa-drawers
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install drawers


  • Start a terminal window
  • Copy or move, as sudo, the folder "drawers". from the extracted "Xilinx_Menus_for_Ubuntu_12xx_Unity_Nov12.tar.gz" file.

In the same folder of your system. Starting from the home foders this can be done as:

  • cd  ../../opt/extras.ubuntu.com
  • sudo mv sudo cp -R <Foder_were_extracted_files_reside>/* 

As last - Cherry on the cake:

  • drag the "ISE Design Tools.desktop" (Xilinx Design Tools) file to the launcher bar. An icon with a stylish X as in figure 2 is now shown.

To start the menus:

  • Just click the icon or right click the icon and select what's wanted.