Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Compatibility Note: Xilinx ISE WebPack NOT Compatible with Microsoft Windows 8.1, MAY BE Compatible with Linux

Towards developing a prototype of MIT's 1980s-era CADR Lisp Machine design on the Papilio FPGA platform, today I'd installed Xilinx ISE WebPack on my HP TouchSmart laptop. This laptop presently runs Windows 8.1 as its primary OS. Much to my chagrin, I've since discovered that Xilinux ISE WebPack is not compatible with Windows 8, but that it may be compatible with Linux.

Someone has provided some helpful advice for installing ISE WebPack on Ubuntu, specifically. When installing Xilinux ISE WebPack from DVD, the 'xsetup' file would be located in the root directory of the DVD image, itself. Documentation about installing Linux, of course, would be available of the respective Linux distributor. "YMMV" -- Of course, I'd tried to install Linux Mint directly onto my HP laptop, without immediate success however. I'd kept a sort of simple work-log, after that endeavor. Since then, I've effectively uninstalled the item from the laptop's hard disk drive, instead installing to Virtualbox on Microsoft Windows. It runs well enough, especially when running at realtime priority, but of course it's not as efficient as a Linux installation directly to the hard disk drive would be.

My HP Laptop uses UEFI firmware, moreover -- alternate to the conventional BIOS architecture. The laptop allows for "legacy" boot configuration, such that would function in a manner similar to a BIOS boot, but with the "legacy" configuration enabled, the laptop may not be able to boot to Linux, by default.  As something of a resource, for installing Linux in a manner as that the boot-loader would be integrated with the laptop's native UEFI framework, there's a Quick Install guide for Linux on UEFI, by Roderick W. Smith

I'd written the following notes, as was previous to discovering that ISE WebPack is fully incompatible with editions of Windows 8.

During the installation process, a dialogue window has appeared, notifying me -- effectively -- that the WinPcap installation provided with the ISE WebPack installation is not compatible with Microsoft Windows 8.1. The notification dialogue has provided a web link for further information.

In short, it seems that there is a sure workaround for that software compatibility issue, namely: To install WinPcap manually, after ISE WebPack is installed. Of course, considering that the WinPcap (4.1.1) as provided with ISE WebPack is only two patchlevels older than the current WinPcap (4.1.3) and that the former installed without apparent issue, the workaround -- as such -- may not be necessary.

I'm not certain of what exactly resulted in that -- ostensibly -- helpful dialogue window having appeared. It might simply be to an inaccurate view of the installer's platform compatibility. Nonetheless, the workaround -- as such -- would be available, should not impede normal ISE WebPack functionality, and inasmuch would be advised, simply to install WinPcap manually, in its latest available version.

Even with that completed, however, the applications installed with Xilinx ISE WebPack will not run successfully under Windows 8.1.