Xilinx is one of the two big FPGA players, the other being Altera. All tools are proprietary software, like Altera. Lattice is an option that has a FOSS toolchain.
Getting ISE 14.7 and Platform Cable USB I and or II to work with Debian 9 / Ubuntu 16.04
In debian 8, platform cable worked out of the box with ISE. It does not work in Debian 9 however, unless you run the following command before starting impact. This command forces use of the open source USB driver for the Platform Cable To recap:
export LD_PRELOAD=/opt/Xilinx/usb-driver/libusb-driver.so /opt/Xilinx/14.7/ISE_DS/ISE/bin/lin/impact
Note that this requires the USB driver to be installed. There are many guides online on how to manage this. Note that it is not the Digilent driver. The arch wiki (snapshot 11/2019) has details here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Xilinx_ISE_WebPACK#Xilinx_Platform_Cable_USB-JTAG_Drivers And they are copied here:
$ cd /opt/Xilinx $ sudo git clone git://git.zerfleddert.de/usb-driver $ cd usb-driver/ $ sudo make
There are also some other steps which may or may not be required, depending on your setup. See the wiki for details, if necessary. See also: