Programming The Papilio Without Root Privileges

Having to run the Papilio programmer utility as root is undesirable. I wanted to be able to access the Papilio USB device from my unprivileged user account in order to program my Papilio Pro board. Fortunately this can be achieved easily with a udev rule file and a couple of group ownership tweaks.

Add your user account to the dialout group

Firstly, you need to ensure that your user account is a member of the dialout group:

$ sudo usermod -a -G dialout `whoami`

You will also need to log out and log back in for your group memberships to be updated.

Change the group of the Papilio programmer binary

Secondly, you need to change the group ownership of the Papilio programmer to dialout:

$ sudo chgrp dialout /usr/local/bin/papilio-prog

Add a udev rules file

Lastly, you need to add a udev rules file for the Papilio. This rule instructs the udev system that the Papilio USB device should be owned by the dialout group when it is connected.

Create the file /etc/udev/rules.d/papilio.rules:

SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="0403", ATTRS{idProduct}=="6010", GROUP="dialout"

You will then need to disconnect and reconnect your Papilio board for the new rules to be applied.


You should now be able to run the Papilio programmer from your unprivileged user account:

$ papilio-prog -c
Using built-in device list
JTAG chainpos: 0 Device IDCODE = 0x24001093 Desc: XC6SLX9

ISC_Done       = 1
ISC_Enabled    = 0
House Cleaning = 1
DONE           = 1
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