LimeSDR-XTRX gateware from version 1.13 onwards is designed with multiboot functionality in mind. This section of documentation describes the process of multiboot and the functions of different precompiled bitstream images provided in the gateware repository.

Multiboot procedure

Multiboot on the LimeSDR-XTRX works by placing a gold image at the bottom of the flash memory, so that it is the first image to boot. The header of the gold image contains instructions for multiboot operation and the address of the user image that is supposed to be used. FPGA, after reading the instructions in the gold image header does not load the rest of the image and instead proceeds to attempt to boot from the user image address provided. In case of failure, FPGA returns to the gold image and boots from it, enabling JTAG-less recovery in case of a faulty user image. This process is summarised in the figure below.


Figure 1: Multiboot procedure flowchart

Images provided

The associated LimeSDR-XTRX_GW repository provides the following prebuilt gateware images:

  • user_flash_programming_file - up-to-date gateware intended for regular use, referred to as user image

  • gold_flash_programming_file - fallback image, should not be used under normal circumstances, referred to as gold image

  • combined_flash_programming_file - an image combining both user and gold images, should be written to the gold image address

Note! Gold image can be recognized by its GW revision number (57005.57005) and LED blink pattern (both LEDs blink slowly and synchronously)

Choosing the right image

If your GW version is v1.13 or higher, your board should already have the gold image written into the flash memory. In that case user_flash_programming_file.bin should be used.

If your GW version is v1.12 or lower, use combined_flash_programming_file.bin to update your GW and add multiboot functionality.


  • If after updating from GW >v1.13 to a different version the gw version reported in LimeSuite does not change after a board power cycle, it is likely that your gold image was overwritten by user image. In this case you should write gold_flash_programming_file.bin or combined_flash_programming_file.bin using the gold image write function in software.

  • Loading gold image when user image loading fails takes more time than successfully loading user image. For this reason, in fallback mode, your OS may have issues recognizing the board. Entering the UEFI/BIOS settings while booting up and exiting may alleviate this. Powering the board via USB is also known to help.

  • If for some reason you do not wish to use multiboot functionality, you can program your board using the gold_image programming function in software and the user_flash_programming_file.bin file.