Running Quartus II with a Mac? No problem.

I recently just bought a Macbook Air (lovely piece of machinery), only to have a horrifying question dawn on me.

Will my Macbook Air run Quartus II? (insert scared face here)

The answer is no. No version of the Mac OS will natively support current versions of Quartus II and Nios II EDS. But the answer is also fortunately yes! Macbook comes with a great software known as Parallels, which runs Quartus II without a hitch.

Mac USB Connection with Quartus II

  1. Install Parallels, Windows 7, and USB Blaster drivers.
  2. Connect FPGA board to Mac
  3. ???
  4. Profit!
Programming the DE0-Nano with a Macbook Air

Programming the DE0-Nano with a Macbook Air


  • Rohan
    June 26, 2012 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Sorry but Parallels does not come standard with the Macbook Air, you have to pay for it.

  • Me
    September 3, 2012 - 3:14 am | Permalink

    Yeah there are options such as Parallels and Bootcamp and running windows 7 with a virtualbox but all of these require a copy of windows 7 and parallels requires additional costs, not to mention a good chuck of space, which the macbook air does not have too much of.

  • February 13, 2013 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

    so it does not run on OSX, it runs on Windows. so not only did you over pay for your “machine”, but then you paid even more money just so you could run what everyone else runs standard…

  • February 17, 2013 - 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I run Quartus II in a Linux VM, but using the far superior VMware Fusion – there’s a lot of advantages to using Linux over Windows here. The ability to trivially run command line utilities “remotely” on the VM using ssh is invaluable (it’s certainly not trivial to get working with Windows).

    That said, a native MacOS X Quartus II would be nice.

    Edit: Linux is of course also free, unlike a licensed copy of Windows.

  • Oskar Wahlbäck
    September 7, 2013 - 4:12 am | Permalink

    Did you open the exe file in the mac OS through parallells or in the windows enviroment? 🙂 cant get it to work if opened in på mac os, get me the error 41300…
    Any advises?

  • Ayden Lee
    October 13, 2013 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    Can you write your FPGA chip normally ? I try to write .sof file to my FPGA ,but I failed . Then I change windows( not VM version) running on Macbook, then it can work normally. do you have the similar problems?

  • Tarekul
    March 8, 2014 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

    where do i get the disk image for windows? can i get disk image for windows xp for free? or do i have to purchase it and download it in mac but the parallel is working for image. im confused.

  • Chris
    August 30, 2014 - 3:43 am | Permalink

    I’ve successfully installed Quartus 13 for Linux using VirtualBox on Mac OSX 10.9 (iMac 21.5″ Mid 2011, 2.8GHz Intell Core i7, 8GB RAM) and it talks to an Altera DE-1 board successfully via USB. OS is Ubuntu 14.04LTS x64 Desktop.

  • Dag Rende
    January 28, 2016 - 12:16 am | Permalink

    I run Quartus II 13.1 on Mac, but inside the free VirtualBox with the free Ubuntu Linux, and with USB Blaster JTAG adapter.

  • Halil İbrahim Akgün
    May 31, 2016 - 5:32 pm | Permalink

    can you help me to install quartus on my mac

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