Installing Intel/Altera Quartus Prime in Ubuntu 17.10

Installing the Intel® Quartus® Prime Lite edition software (the free Intel/Altera FPGA design software suite) for Ubuntu 17.10 is not trivial.

There are two main problems:

  1. The installer does not terminate properly, which seems to leave it in an unlicensed state.
  2. The software needs libpng12, which is not distributed with Ubuntu 17.10.

Installing libpng12

The simplest way is to build and install libpng12 from source (requires build-essential).

  1. Install build-essential (to get gcc etc): sudo apt install build-essential
  2. Download the source code from sourceforge (select a suitable version and tar archive).
  3. Unpack the tar archive to /tmp
  4. Build and install:
cd /tmp/libpng-1.2.59
./configure --prefix=/usr/local
sudo make install
sudo ldconfig

Installing Quartus

The solution is to run the installer in unattended headless mode (I found a tip by Jonathan here), and install the different components in separate steps.

Start by unpacking the Quartus installer, e.g. to /tmp/quartus, and then run the following command (replace $DOWNLOADDIR, and $INSTALLDIR and $VER with sutitable values, e.g. /tmp/quartus, ~/intelFPGA_lite/17.1 and

$DOWNLOADDIR/components/QuartusLiteSetup-$ \
  --mode unattended \
  --unattendedmodeui none \
  --installdir $INSTALLDIR \
  --disable-components quartus_help,modelsim_ase,modelsim_ae \
  --accept_eula 1

After running for a while, this may hang. Check with top to see if the QuartusLiteSetup program is still running or not. If not, hit CTRL+C to stop it.

Then repeat the process for the following two commands:

$DOWNLOADDIR/components/ModelSimSetup-$ \
  --mode unattended \
  --unattendedmodeui none \
  --installdir $INSTALLDIR \
  --modelsim_edition modelsim_ase \
  --launch_from_quartus 1 \
  --accept_eula 1

$DOWNLOADDIR/components/QuartusHelpSetup-$ \
  --mode unattended \
  --unattendedmodeui none \
  --installdir $INSTALLDIR \
  --accept_eula 1


You should be able to start the quartus/bin/quartus program in the installation folder (I added a script,, in my ~/bin/ folder that launches the quartus binary).

4 thoughts on “Installing Intel/Altera Quartus Prime in Ubuntu 17.10

  1. NEIDE

    Thank you! :)))

  2. You are the hero we need. God bless your little heart.

  3. helpme :-)

    did you had a problem with the jtag?
    recently I updated my Ubuntu Version to 17.10 and I always get this error:
    1) USB-Blaster [5-2.1]
    Unable to read device chain – JTAG chain broken

    with other Ubuntu versions worked for me always 🙁

    1. Marcus Geelnard

      I haven’t gotten that far. Is it a USB problem? Maybe this helps?

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