Nios 2 "Hello World"?

I've managed to run a complicated project on the Nios 2 Altera DE2 board where I created a timer with assembly and C code using the input and output. With the Nios 2 IDE I can download the project to the DE2 FPGA and the clock runs as expected. But I don't understanding everything about the programming model and I'm also trying to understand the basic Hello World example and the diagnostics example that comes with the IDE.

The Hello World example is just

 * "Hello World" example.
 * This example prints 'Hello from Nios II' to the STDOUT stream. It runs on
 * the Nios II 'standard', 'full_featured', 'fast', and 'low_cost' example
 * designs. It runs with or without the MicroC/OS-II RTOS and requires a STDOUT
 * device in your system's hardware.
 * The memory footprint of this hosted application is ~69 kbytes by default
 * using the standard reference design.
 * For a reduced footprint version of this template, and an explanation of how
 * to reduce the memory footprint for a given application, see the
 * "small_hello_world" template.

#include <stdio.h>

int main()
  printf("Hello from Nios II!\n");

  return 0;

But when I compile and run this "as Nios 2 hardware", it only prints Hello World to the standard out in the IDE, it does not download and run on the board - isn't is supposed to do that? What is the point of the example if it does't run on the board? Did I do anything wrong, if so what since the example compiles and runs? Do I have to set the BSD editor to something?


It's not working at all. I tried the different combinations in the BSP editor and none work. When I try to run the project as "Nios II hardware" nothing happens on the board even though it says in the IDE that the project is downloading to the board. Why is the easy thing difficult? The UX is horrible and having to guess is not scientific.

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  • The program IS running on the board. From the program comments...

    This example prints 'Hello from Nios II' to the STDOUT stream.

    The STDOUT stream in this case is the software terminal. So the Nios II board is running the hello world program and sending the output to the computer. To use the screen on the board you'll have to include the LCD display in the configuration with the SOPC builder, then write to the LCD screen directly.