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Bus Spider

The Bus Spider is open source network enabled electronic multi-tool for enthusiasts and professionals.
This project is heavily influenced and inspired by the Bus Pirate

The Bus Spider aims to implement Bus Pirate's protocol and preserve compatibility while providing more functions.
Network capabilities of the Bus Spider will allow to use it as core device for remote control and debug.

This repo contains source codes for Bus Spider hardware and software for implementation on the Terasic DE10-Nano development board.

Table of contents

Running Bus Spider from prebuilt images


Building Bus Spider from scratch


This instruction is valid for Debian 9 "Stretch". See for details. 4GB of RAM is needed if you are running Quartus Prime software to build FPGA bitstream. This instruction may work for Ubuntu 16.04 but results are not guaranteed.

  1. Make sure that basic utilities are available
    output of these commands shouldn't be empty:
which tar
which dd
which sudo
which xz
  1. Make sure that disk utilities are available
    output of these commands shouldn't be empty:
which fdisk
which e2fsprogs
which dosfstools
  1. Make sure that serial communication utilities are available:
    output of this command shouldn't be empty:
which minicom

alternatively you can use screen or picocom

  1. Make sure that git is available:
    output of this command shouldn't be empty:
which git
  1. Install ARM GNU toolchain for building HPS Linux kernel and U-Boot:
sudo apt-get install -y make gcc gawk bc libssl-dev
sudo apt-get install -y gcc-arm-linux-gnueabihf
  1. Install packages for ARM Debian rootfs regeneration
sudo apt-get install -y binfmt-support qemu qemu-user-static debootstrap
  1. Install fusesoc version 1.8.1:
sudo apt-get install -y python3-pip
sudo pip3 install fusesoc==1.8.1
  1. Install Quartus Prime Lite version 17.1

We recommend install Quartus Prime Lite into /opt/altera/17.1 directory.

  1. Install packages required for riscv-gnu-toolchain & riscv-qemu build
sudo apt-get install -y zlib1g-dev
sudo apt-get install -y texinfo bison flex libgmp-dev libmpfr-dev libmpc-dev
sudo apt-get install -y python pkg-config libglib2.0-dev libpixman-1-dev
  1. Create global user-writable RISC-V tools install path
sudo mkdir -p /opt/riscv
sudo chown $USER /opt/riscv

Clone Bus Spider repository and prepare it to build

git clone --recursive
cd de10-nano-bus-spider
mkdir -p $OUTPUT

Install RISC-V GNU toolchain and QEMU from Bus Spider repository

  1. Install RISC-V QEMU
( cd riscv-qemu && ./configure --target-list=riscv32-softmmu,riscv64-softmmu --prefix=/opt/riscv )
make -C riscv-qemu install
  1. Install RISC-V GNU toolchain
( cd riscv-gnu-toolchain && ./configure --prefix=/opt/riscv --with-arch=rv32i )
( make -C riscv-gnu-toolchain newlib )

Building U-Boot bootloader image

Result of this step is u-boot-with-spl.sfp --- U-Boot bootloader image

make -s -C u-boot ARCH=arm socfpga_de10_nano_defconfig
make -s -C u-boot ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabihf-

cp u-boot/u-boot-with-spl.sfp $OUTPUT

Building FPGA bitstream

Result of this step is de10-nano-bus-spider_0.rbf --- Cyclone V SoC FPGA bitstream

( QP=/opt/altera/17.1/quartus && export PATH=$PATH:$QP/sopc_builder/bin:$QP/bin && \
  cd riscv-soc-cores && fusesoc --cores cores/ build de10-nano-bus-spider )

cp riscv-soc-cores/build/de10-nano-bus-spider_0/bld-quartus/de10-nano-bus-spider_0.rbf $OUTPUT

Building Linux kernel image for HPS

Results of this step are:

  • socfpga_cyclone5_de10_nano.dtb --- device tree blob for ARM Linux kernel
  • zImage --- ARM Linux kernel image
make -s -C linux ARCH=arm socfpga_de10_nano_defconfig
make -s -C linux ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabihf-

cp linux/arch/arm/boot/zImage $OUTPUT
cp linux/arch/arm/boot/dts/socfpga_cyclone5_de10_nano.dtb $OUTPUT

Building Linux rootfs for HPS

Result of this step is debian-stretch-armhf.tar.xz --- ARM Linux rootfs

( cd output && sudo ../scripts/ )

Building Bus Spider RISC-V SoC firmware

Result of this step is bus_spider.nmon --- RISC-V SoC firmware

make -s -C bus-spider-firmware CROSS_COMPILE=/opt/riscv/bin/riscv32-unknown-elf- bus_spider.nmon
cp bus-spider-firmware/bus_spider.nmon $OUTPUT

Burn images to SD-card

Partition SD-card:

Check partition table on SD-card:

Output of this command should be:

| N | Size | Id |   Type    |
| 1 |  8M  | a2 | unknown   |
| 2 | 128M | 0b | W95 FAT32 |
| 3 | ---- | 83 | Linux     |

Partition 1 is for U-Boot. Double check it's ID=0xA2.
Partition 2 is for Linux kernel image, Device Tree files and FPGA bitstreams.
Partition 3 is for local Linux rootfs

dd if=u-boot-with-spl.sfp of=/dev/sdX1

Start Bus Spider

  1. Plug prepared SD-card in DE10-Nano SD-card slot
  2. Connect DE10-Nano to the LAN using Ethernet cable
  3. Connect DE10-Nano UART to the PC using miniUSB cable
  4. Power up DE10-Nano

Configuring Bus Spider to use NFS rootfs

TFTP-server setup


NFS-server setup


First run U-boot configuration


=> setenv ethaddr 00:01:02:03:04:05
=> saveenv
Saving Environment to MMC... Writing to MMC(0)... OK

Using U-Boot scripts for running Linux with NFS rootfs


First run Linux configuration


  1. Use ssh to access Bus Spider Linux Host (HPS subsystem)
  2. Add AL0 and AL1 minicom configurations:
mkdir -p /etc/minicom

cat <<EOF > /etc/minicom/minirc.AL0
pu port             /dev/ttyAL0
pu baudrate         115200
pu bits             8
pu parity           N
pu stopbits         1
pu escape-key       ^B
pu rtscts           No

cat <<EOF > /etc/minicom/minirc.AL1
pu port             /dev/ttyAL1
pu baudrate         115200
pu bits             8
pu parity           N
pu stopbits         1
pu escape-key       ^B
pu rtscts           No

Uploading Bus Spider SoC firmware from HPS hosted Linux


Accessing Bus Spider CLI from HPS hosted Linux


DE10-Nano base Bus Spider connectivity list

- FIXME: add connectivity schematic
- FIXME: use Quartus sdc-files to check devboard-UEXT connectivity

Work with Bus Spider



Resetting Bus Spider RISC-V SoC from HPS hosted Linux

GPIO=/sys/class/gpio; echo 2040 > $GPIO/export
echo high > $GPIO/gpio2040/direction; echo low > $GPIO/gpio2040/direction

# GPIO=/sys/class/gpio
# echo 2040 > $GPIO/export
# echo 2047 > $GPIO/export
# echo high > $GPIO/gpio2040/direction
# echo high > $GPIO/gpio2047/direction
# echo low > $GPIO/gpio2040/direction
# echo low > $GPIO/gpio2047/direction


Bus Pirate

XC6BP – FPGA Based 'Bus Pirate'


Bus Spider: flexible open source hacker multi-tool



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