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2.1 i.MX Linux® Board Support Package
i.MX Linux® Board Support Package
- Long-Term Support Kernel Release
- Yocto Build Tools
The i.MX Linux® Board Support Package (BSP) is a collection of binary files, source code, and support files that can be used to create a U-Boot boot loader, a Linux® kernel image, and a root file system for i.MX development systems. Current releases of
BSP and source code can be found on www.nxp.com/imx6tools
Before the Linux® OS kernel can boot on an i.MX board, the Linux® image needs to be copied to a boot device and the boot switches need to be set to boot that device.
To bring up the board and run Linux®, four elements are needed:
- Boot loader (U-Boot)
- Linux® kernel image (zImage)
- A device tree file (.dtb) for the board being used
- A root file system (rootfs) for the particular Linux® image
Prepare a Linux® BSP Image
The release contains a prebuilt SD card image that is built specifically for the i.MX 6Quad Sabre-SD board. The SD card image is a file that is typically named
and is a specially constructed disk image including partitions and all necessary files to boot the board, including all four components mentioned above.
The prebuilt NXP Linux® Binary Demo Image provides a typical system and basic set of features for using and evaluating the processor. Without modifying the system, the users can evaluate hardware interfaces, test SoC features, and run user space applications.
With the source code and documentation, the users also can customize the Linux® image built for your own device, i.e. add or remove system components.
The Yocto Project is the framework of choice with NXP professional support to build the images that are used for booting a Linux® kernel, although other methods can be used.
For more details, see NXP Yocto Project User’s Guide
Download Linux® BSP Image
There are various ways to download the Linux® BSP image for different boards, boot devices, and results desired.
For Getting-Started, we only list the few methods to transfer the BSP image to SD card. Experienced Linux® developer can explore other options.
The.Sdcard image (either from a prebuilt or self-built BSP image) is an SD card image that can be flashed directly. This is the simplest way to load everything needed onto the card with one command.
When more flexibility is desired, an SD card can be loaded with the individual components (boot loader, kernel, dtb file, and rootfs file) one-by-one or the.Sdcard image can be loaded and the individual parts can be overwritten with the specific components.
Copying the full SD card image
An SD/MMC card reader is required to transfer the boot loader and kernel images to initialize the partition table and copy the root file system.
The Linux® kernel running on the Linux® host assigns a device node to the SD/MMC card reader.
To identify the device node assigned to the SD/MMC card, carry out the following command in the host computer:
WARNING: The instructions below will permanently delete existing content on the SD card and are dangerous to your PC if run incorrectly. If you have question or would like further details, please consult the i.MX Linux® User's Guide.
$ cat /proc/partitions
Carry out the following command to copy the SD card image to the SD/MMC card. Change sdx below to match the one used by the SD card.
$ sudo dd if= of=/dev/sd bs=1M && sync
Where is the correct board-specific SD card image
Warning: Make sure that the device node is correct for the SD/MMC card. Otherwise, it may damage your operating system or data on the hard disk of your computer.
To set up the partition manually, please read 4.3.3 in i.MX Linux® User's Guide.
To load individual component separately when the full SD card image is not used, please read 4.3.4-3.4.6 in i.MX Linux® User's Guide
The U-Boot boot loader is able to download images over Ethernet to RAM and then writes to an SD card. For this operation. Network communications need to be configured.
For instructions about how to download U-Boot to an MMC/SD card that is not the one used to boot from, please refer to section 4.4.1
Images can be downloaded to other boot media (memory storage device) using U-Boot. To use other memory device, please refer to sections under 4.4.1
Using Manufacturing Tool
The Manufacturing Tool, named MfgTool, is a tool that runs on a Windows OS host and is used to download images to different devices on an i.MX board. The tar.gz file can be found with the prebuilt Linux® BSP image.
Use Manufacturing Tool
2.4 Boot Switch Setup
The boot modes of the i.MX boards are controlled by the boot configuration DIP switches on the board.
The following table shows the DIP switch settings for booting from the SD card slot labeled SD2 and J500 on the i.MX 6 SABRE-SD boards. The SD2 card slot is located beside the LVDS1 connection on the back of the board.
Booting from SD2 (J500) on i.MX 6 SABRE-SD
For boot switch setup to boot from other device (SD3 and SATA), please refer to 4.5 in i.MX Linux® User Guide.
2.2 i.MX Android™ Board Support Package
- Android™ Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) compatible Release
- Extended Multimedia Features
This section walks through the booting process of the i.MX 6QuadPlus SABRE board with the Android™ system image and briefly introduce how to build the software components that create your own system image. For more information about building the Android™
platform, see source.android.com/source/building.html
Current releases of Demo Images and source code can be found on www.nxp.com/imx6tools
The storage devices on the development system (MMC/SD or NAND) must be programmed with the U-Boot boot loader. The i.MX 6 series boot process determines what storage device to access based on the switch settings. When the boot loader is loaded and begins execution, the U-Boot environment
space is then read to determine how to proceed with the boot process.
The images from the prebuilt release package or created from source code contain:
- U-Boot image: u-boot.imx
- boot image: boot.img
- Android™ system root image: system.img
- Recovery root image: recovery.img
Prepare an Android™ BSP Image
The images needed to create an Android™ system can either be obtained from the release package or be built from source.
The prebuilt NXP Android™ demo image will provide a default system with certain features for purpose of evaluation. Without modifying the system, the users can perform some basic operations, and interact wit the system to test hardware interfaces and develop
software application in the user space.
The latest prebuilt demo files can be found in Android™ section at www.nxp.com/imx6tools
To build the Android™ source files, use a computer running Linux® OS. Ubuntu 14.04 (64-bit) versions are the ones we have tested the most for Android™ Marshmallow 6.0 build.
After installing the computer running Linux® OS, check whether you have all the necessary packages installed for an Android™ build. See "Setting up your machine" on the Android™ website
In addition to the packages requested on the Android™ website, please refer to Android™ User Guide to install the additional packages.
Get the source code
Get the Android™ source code from Google repo.
Get the kernel source code and U-Boot from Freescale open source Git.
Apply all the i.MX Android™ patches. For details, please refer to Android™ User Guide.
The build configuration command lunch can be issued with an argument
Here is an example to build the Android™ image with user type for the i.MX 6Quadplus SABRE Board:
$ cd ~/myandroid
$ source build/envsetup.sh
$ lunch sabresd_6dq-user
$ make 2>&1 | tee build-log.txt
When the make command is complete, the build-log.txt file contains the execution output. Check for any errors.
To create Android™ platform over-the-air, OTA, and package, the following make target is specified:
$ make otapackage
Note: U-Boot mage, kernel uImage, boot.img can be built separately.
Download Android™ BSP Image
Download Image using Linux® Utility
The Linux® utility "dd" on the computer running Linux® OS can be used to download the images into the SD card.
Before downloading, ensure that your partitions are created as described in Storage partitions.
Download Image using Manufacturing Tool
The Manufacturing Tool, named MfgTool, is a tool that runs on a Windows OS host and is used to download images to target devices on an i.MX board. The tar.gz file can be downloaded in Manufacturing Tools section at
Use Manufacturing Tool
Boot Switch Setupe
The boot modes of the i.MX boards are controlled by the boot configuration switches on the board.
The following table lists the boot switch settings for different boot methods:
|eMMC 4-bit (MMC2) boot
|(SW6) 11100110 (from 1-8 bit)
|eMMC 8-bit (MMC2) boot
|(SW6) 11010110 (from 1-8 bit)
|(SW6) 01000010 (from 1-8 bit)
For boot switch setup to boot from NAND/TFTP/NFS, please refer to 6.2-6.3 in i.MX Android™ User's Guide.
To boot with HDMI displays, please refer to section 3.4 for more instructions.