Sifive-welcome sample doesn't work on HiFive1 Rev B

I have managed to compile and upload sifive-welcome sample program, which were bundled with Freedom Studio.

This is the default program, which is factory flashed onto new board:

#include <stdio.h>
#include <metal/cpu.h>
#include <metal/led.h>
#include <metal/button.h>
#include <metal/switch.h>

#define RTC_FREQ    32768

struct metal_cpu *cpu0;
struct metal_interrupt *cpu_intr, *tmr_intr;
int tmr_id;
volatile uint32_t timer_isr_flag;

void display_banner (void) {

    printf("                  SIFIVE, INC.\n");
    printf("           5555555555555555555555555\n");
    printf("          5555                   5555\n");
    printf("         5555                     5555\n");
    printf("        5555                       5555\n");
    printf("       5555       5555555555555555555555\n");
    printf("      5555       555555555555555555555555\n");
    printf("     5555                             5555\n");
    printf("    5555                               5555\n");
    printf("   5555                                 5555\n");
    printf("  5555555555555555555555555555          55555\n");
    printf("   55555           555555555           55555\n");
    printf("     55555           55555           55555\n");
    printf("       55555           5           55555\n");
    printf("         55555                   55555\n");
    printf("           55555               55555\n");
    printf("             55555           55555\n");
    printf("               55555       55555\n");
    printf("                 55555   55555\n");
    printf("                   555555555\n");
    printf("                     55555\n");
    printf("                       5\n");

    printf("               Welcome to SiFive!\n");


void timer_isr (int id, void *data) {

    // Disable Timer interrupt
    metal_interrupt_disable(tmr_intr, tmr_id);

    // Flag showing we hit timer isr
    timer_isr_flag = 1;

void wait_for_timer(struct metal_led *which_led) {

    // clear global timer isr flag
    timer_isr_flag = 0;

    // Turn on desired LED

    // Set timer
    metal_cpu_set_mtimecmp(cpu0, metal_cpu_get_mtime(cpu0) + RTC_FREQ);

    // Enable Timer interrupt
    metal_interrupt_enable(tmr_intr, tmr_id);

    // wait till timer triggers and isr is hit
    while (timer_isr_flag == 0){};

    timer_isr_flag = 0;

    // Turn off this LED

int main (void)
    int rc, up_cnt, dn_cnt;
    struct metal_led *led0_red, *led0_green, *led0_blue;

    // This demo will toggle LEDs colors so we define them here
    led0_red = metal_led_get_rgb("LD0", "red"); //problem. This actually returns null.
    led0_green = metal_led_get_rgb("LD0", "green"); //problem. This actually returns null.
    led0_blue = metal_led_get_rgb("LD0", "blue"); //problem. This actually returns null.
    if ((led0_red == NULL) || (led0_green == NULL) || (led0_blue == NULL)) {
        printf("At least one of LEDs is null.\n");
        return 1; //stops program. If bypassed, nothing happens

    // Enable each LED

    // All Off

    // Lets get the CPU and and its interrupt
    cpu0 = metal_cpu_get(0);
    if (cpu0 == NULL) {
        printf("CPU null.\n");
        return 2;
    cpu_intr = metal_cpu_interrupt_controller(cpu0);
    if (cpu_intr == NULL) {
        printf("CPU interrupt controller is null.\n");
        return 3;

    // display welcome banner

    // Setup Timer and its interrupt so we can toggle LEDs on 1s cadence
    tmr_intr = metal_cpu_timer_interrupt_controller(cpu0);
    if (tmr_intr == NULL) {
        printf("TIMER interrupt controller is  null.\n");
        return 4;
    tmr_id = metal_cpu_timer_get_interrupt_id(cpu0);
    rc = metal_interrupt_register_handler(tmr_intr, tmr_id, timer_isr, cpu0);
    if (rc < 0) {
        printf("TIMER interrupt handler registration failed\n");
        return (rc * -1);

    // Lastly CPU interrupt
    if (metal_interrupt_enable(cpu_intr, 0) == -1) {
        printf("CPU interrupt enable failed\n");
        return 6;

    // Red -> Green -> Blue, repeat
    while (1) {

        // Turn on RED

        // Turn on Green

        // Turn on Blue

    // return
    return 0;

I did some simple printf() debuging and found, that metal_led_get_rgb() have problem (look in int main function). That function returns NULL, which causes problems. Keep in mind, that this is original, unmodified code.
Does anybody know how to solve this problem? I just want to get leds working (when board arrived, RGB leds worked).

I am using Ubuntru 19.04 and latest Freedom Studio (Version: I have HiFive1 Rev B board.

I have the same problem. Trying the welcome program using the freedom-e-sdk cmdline approach prints At least one of LEDs is null. making it obvious the call returned a NULL.

Yes, something has gone wrong with the current source code or metal library or BSP or something. I hope the metal team will look at it on Monday.

Obviously the preloaded copy works, but that will have been compiled some time ago.

1 Like

Any updates/resolutions on this issue? metal_led_get_rgb() in freedom-e-sdk:master still returns null!

All you have to do is modify the bsp code and add your led pins. Check my commit to see what to change and do the same thing.