Programming FPGA returns Unable to find metadata for bitstream

I am trying to load an overlay and configure FPGA from a bitfile generated using Vivado 2021.2.
I followed the video in the link below to design a simple adder IP overlay (Overlay Tutorial β€” Python productivity for Zynq (Pynq))
How to make a custom PYNQ overlay - YouTube
In jupyter when I run the first cell

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

I get this error

RuntimeError                              Traceback (most recent call last)
<ipython-input-1-4cbc3eb392c9> in <module>
      1 from pynq import Overlay
----> 2 overlay = Overlay('/home/xilinx/pynq/overlays/adder/adder.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

SD image v2.7
Board Pynq-Z1
Can anyone help me resolve this error
Thanks in advance

Hi there,

This error can happen if you don’t provide a .hwh file along with your bitstream. If you were following an older video/tutorial it was likely using an earlier version of pynq (<v2.6) which required a .tcl hardware handoff file instead.


1 Like

Hi Shawn,
Thanks a lot for your reply,
It works perfectly. I have to add the .hwh file instead of the tcl
Thanks again