Setting up the Parallella

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The Parallella is an open-hardware platform. It boasts high performance, compact size, and the potential for parallel computing with 16 Epiphany cores.


Parallellas can be acquired here:

Getting started (before you get started)


This board is SENSITIVE to static electricity. Although it may look like other development boards you may be familiar with, it is more delicate than you may expect. Simply placing you finger near the underside of this board can cause it to shutdown or malfunction in ways that a Rasperry Pi or Beaglebone would not.


This board runs hot. Even with a heat sink, it runs hot. Unless you have a fan hooked up, do not leave it running for extended periods of time. The makers recommend using a fan, even if a heat sink is attached.

Make Note of This

Before you secure the heatsink (if your model includes it), be sure to write down what FPGA chip is on your board. The ZYNQ series chip contains the FPGA which connects the I/O and HDMI. You will need to download the correct .bit file to interface with your board. Needless to say, it is helpful to know which chip is mounted on your board. Currently, the 7010 and 7020 are the only possibilities.

Where's my USB port?

The Paralella doesn't have USB ports. Don't worry, as it comes standard with two micro-USB ports. You will need USB-to-microUSB cables to hook up a mouse and keyboard. If you want more than just two peripherals, you may want to attach a USB hub (make sure that it a conforming powered USB hub, else your board could be destroyed).

Really Getting Started

You may find the following guides helpful for general setup

from the good folks at Parallella

from rayhightower

There there are a few things you have to do

-download the necessary files from

-be sure to pick the FPGA files that match your chip (7010 vs. 7020) and desired setup (headless vs. with monitor)

-extract the files

-burn the ubuntu image (it is a .iso file) to a micro SD card

-put the linux kernel and FPGA files on your micro SD card

-rename the FPGA file as "parallella.bit.bin"

-insert the micro SD card

-connect the peripherals (mouse, computer, hub, WiFi adapter, flash drive, etc)

-connect the power

At this point you should be prompted with a login screen.

default username is: linaro

default password is: linaro

if you run into trouble go back and check the previous steps, paying special attention to the linux kernel and FPGA file selection.

Happy Computing

-Indoor Localization Module Team