Error "Unable to find metadata for bitstream" When Loading Custom Overlay

Hello, I am new to the PYNQ community. I am attempting to load my first custom overlay. It is a simple vector add function. I am using the SD card image v2.7. Here is the error that I get when I try to load the overlay:

from pynq import Overlay
overlay = Overlay('/home/xilinx/pynq/overlays/vector_add/vecAdder.bit')

RuntimeError Traceback (most recent call last)
1 from pynq import Overlay
----> 3 overlay = Overlay(’/home/xilinx/pynq/overlays/vector_add/vecAdder.bit’)

/usr/local/share/pynq-venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/pynq/ in init(self, bitfile_name, dtbo, download, ignore_version, device)
338 self._register_drivers()
→ 340 self.parser = self.device.get_bitfile_metadata(self.bitfile_name)
342 self.ip_dict = self.gpio_dict = self.interrupt_controllers = \

/usr/local/share/pynq-venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/pynq/pl_server/ in get_bitfile_metadata(self, bitfile_name)
604 parser = _get_bitstream_handler(bitfile_name).get_parser()
605 if parser is None:
→ 606 raise RuntimeError(“Unable to find metadata for bitstream”)
607 return parser

RuntimeError: Unable to find metadata for bitstream

Below is an image of the Vivado block design:

I am just in the very initial learning stage of how this all works, so please let me know if I need to provide more information. Thanks in advance for any help with this error!

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Hi @savannah,

You need to include the hardware handoff (hwh) file along the bitstream file. You can find more information here


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2 posts were split to a new topic: How to use the DMA