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DART-6UL Debian Jessie MX6UL

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DART-6UL - Debian Jessie release R1


1 Overview

This page describes how to assemble and install debian distro (jessie) on Variscite board mx6ul-var-dart.

This instruction was tested with Debian 8.4 x64 (jessie) and Ubuntu 14.04/16.04 x64! When using other distributions, there may be problems.

2 Create build environment

2.1 Installing required packages

2.1.1 Debian jessie x64

If your system does not have "sudo", set the "sudo" using the link: [1]

On your Debian building machine:

$ sudo apt-get install -y binfmt-support qemu qemu-user-static debootstrap kpartx
$ sudo apt-get install -y lvm2 dosfstools gpart binutils git lib32ncurses5-dev python-m2crypto
$ sudo apt-get install -y gawk wget git-core diffstat unzip texinfo gcc-multilib build-essential chrpath socat libsdl1.2-dev
$ sudo apt-get install -y autoconf libtool libglib2.0-dev libarchive-dev
$ sudo apt-get install -y python-git xterm sed cvs subversion coreutils texi2html bc
$ sudo apt-get install -y docbook-utils python-pysqlite2 help2man make gcc g++ desktop-file-utils libgl1-mesa-dev
$ sudo apt-get install -y libglu1-mesa-dev mercurial automake groff curl lzop asciidoc u-boot-tools mtd-utils

2.1.2 Ubuntu 14.04/16.04 x64

On your Ubuntu building machine:

$ sudo apt-get install -y binfmt-support qemu qemu-user-static debootstrap kpartx
$ sudo apt-get install -y lvm2 dosfstools gpart binutils git lib32ncurses5-dev python-m2crypto
$ sudo apt-get install -y gawk wget git-core diffstat unzip texinfo gcc-multilib build-essential chrpath socat libsdl1.2-dev
$ sudo apt-get install -y autoconf libtool libglib2.0-dev libarchive-dev
$ sudo apt-get install -y python-git xterm sed cvs subversion coreutils texi2html bc
$ sudo apt-get install -y docbook-utils python-pysqlite2 help2man make gcc g++ desktop-file-utils libgl1-mesa-dev
$ sudo apt-get install -y libglu1-mesa-dev mercurial automake groff curl lzop asciidoc u-boot-tools mtd-utils

2.2 Deploy source

Download archive contains the build script and support files for building Debian (Jessie) for this board:

$ cd ~
$ git clone https://github.com/varigit/debian-var.git -b debian_jessie_mx6ul_var01 var_mx6ul_dart_debian

Create environment (Internet connection should be available):

$ cd ~/var_mx6ul_dart_debian
$ ./make_var_mx6ul_dart_debian.sh -c deploy

This environment prepared to build.

3 Make Debian

3.1 Build all

Internet connection should be available

$ cd ~/var_mx6ul_dart_debian
$ sudo ./make_var_mx6ul_dart_debian.sh -c all | tee 2.log

3.2 Build by parts

3.2.1 Build rootfs

Internet connection should be available

$ cd ~/var_mx6ul_dart_debian
$ sudo ./make_var_mx6ul_dart_debian.sh -c rootfs

3.2.2 Build kernel, dtb files and kernel modules

$ cd ~/var_mx6ul_dart_debian
$ sudo ./make_var_mx6ul_dart_debian.sh -c kernel
$ sudo ./make_var_mx6ul_dart_debian.sh -c modules

3.2.3 Build bootloader

$ cd ~/var_mx6ul_dart_debian
$ sudo ./make_var_mx6ul_dart_debian.sh -c bootloader

3.2.4 Pack rootfs

For the create archive root file system (rootfs.tar.bz2) and image ubi (rootfs.ubi.img) run the following commands:

$ cd ~/var_mx6ul_dart_debian
$ sudo ./make_var_mx6ul_dart_debian.sh -c rtar
$ sudo ./make_var_mx6ul_dart_debian.sh -c rubi

4 Create boot SD card

  1. Follow the steps for make rootfs, kernel, bootloader: go;
  2. Insert the SD card to card reader connected to a host system;
  3. Run the following commands (Caution! All data on the card will be destroyed):
$ cd ~/var_mx6ul_dart_debian
$ sudo ./make_var_mx6ul_dart_debian.sh -c sdcard -d /dev/sdX

where '/dev/sdX' path to the block SD device in your system.

Successful process log

I: Flashing U-Boot
35+0 records in
35+0 records out
35840 bytes (36 kB) copied, 0.0773679 s, 463 kB/s
237+1 records in
237+1 records out
243104 bytes (243 kB) copied, 0.720032 s, 338 kB/s
I: Flashing "BOOT-VARSOM" partition
I: Flashing "rootfs" partition
I: Copying Debian images to /opt/images/Debian
I: Copying NAND U-Boot to /opt/images/Debian
I: Copying MMC U-Boot to /opt/images/Debian
I: Copying scripts to /opt/images/Debian
I: Sync sdcard...
I: Done make sdcard!
I: 
I: Command: "sdcard" end. Exit code: 0
I: 

5 Boot board with a bootable SD-Card

Note: Boot from SD-Card eliminates Wifi as the Wifi and SD-Card are using same SDIO interface.
A typical use-case, is to boot from SD-Card, flash eMMC or NAND-Flash, and re-boot form eMMC/NAND to have Wi-Fi operational.

5.1 Setting board dip-switches

Booting your system requires switching the relevant dip-switch to "Boot from SD-Card". See picture below.

Boot switch 6ul1.jpg


  • "00" - Boot from SDCARD - The picture mode
  • "01" - Boot from eMMC
  • "10" - Boot from NAND-Flash
  • "11" is illegal.

Be aware that your SOM has either eMMC or NAND but never both !

To boot board with SD-Card, Follow the steps below:

  • Power-off the board.
  • Insert the SD card into the SD/MMC slot of the carrier board (DVK)
  • Switch the relevant dip-switch to "Boot from SD-Card"
  • Power-up board
  • The board will automatically boot into Linux from SD-Card

5.2 Automatic device Tree selection in U-Boot

Upon reset you will see the U-BOOT-SPL printouts. It will print also the SOM configuration:
On-SOM storage: SD only, eMMC, NAND.
WIFI if chip exits.
For example:

U-Boot SPL 2015.10-00532-g482dc88 (Jan 03 2016 - 10:05:42)
i.MX6UL SOC 
Part number: DART-6U-A01
Assembly: AS11
Date of production: 2015 Dec 31
DART-6UL configuration: eMMC WIFI
Ram size: 512
Boot Device: SD

As explained in the above Build Results table we have 4 optional configurations.
We implemented in U-BOOT and automatic device tree selection, so when kernel boots, the u-boot will load the corresponding device tree according to On-SOM configuration.

Boot From
SOM Internal FLASH
SOM has WIFI/BT
Device Tree selected
SD eMMC Don't Care imx6ul-var-dart-sd_emmc.dtb
SD NAND Don't Care imx6ul-var-dart-sd_nand.dtb
eMMC eMMC Yes imx6ul-var-dart-emmc_wifi.dtb
eMMC eMMC NO imx6ul-var-dart-sd_emmc.dtb
NAND NAND YES imx6ul-var-dart-nand_wifi.dtb
NAND NAND NO imx6ul-var-dart-sd_nand.dtb

Note: Boot from SD-Card eliminates Wifi as the Wifi and SD-Card are using same SDIO interface.
A typical use-case, is to boot from SD-Card, flash eMMC or NAND-Flash, and re-boot form eMMC/NAND to have Wi-Fi operational.

5.3 Disable Automatic Device Tree selection

To disable the automatic device tree selection in u-boot:

> setenv var_auto_fdt_file N
> saveenv

Now you can set the device tree to meet your requirments. For example:

> setenv fdt_file imx6ul-var-dart-sd_emmc.dtb
> saveenv

Will select device tree that has SD and eMMC regardless if the SOM has WIFI.

> setenv fdt_file imx6ul-var-dart-sd_nand.dtb
> saveenv

Will select device tree that has SD and NAND regardless if the SOM has WIFI.

Comment:
Make sure you don't set am illegal value like "imx6ul-var-dart-sd_nand.dtb" in a SOM that has eMMC flash.

6 Build Results

The resulted images are located in ~/var_mx6ul_dart_debian/output/.

Image Name
How to use
rootfs.tar.bz2 Used to create sdcard and rootfs.ubi.img
rootfs.ubi.img Use for flash to nand
zImage Linux kernel image
SPL-nand SPL built for NAND-Flash. The SPL is pre-u-boot SW component, required for DDR initialization
SPL-emmc SPL built for SD-Card and eMMC boot. The SPL is pre-u-boot SW component, required for DDR initialization
u-boot.bin.nand U-Boot built for NAND Flash.
u-boot.bin.emmc u-boot built for SD-Card boot, or eMMC boot in case of DART-MX6UL.
Device Tree Name
Boot Device
imx6ul-var-dart-emmc_wifi.dtb Boot from internal eMMC with WI-FI enabled. (SDCARD & NAND disabled)
imx6ul-var-dart-nand_wifi.dtb Boot from internal NAND with WI-FI enabled. (SDCARD & eMMC disabled)
imx6ul-var-dart-sd_emmc.dtb SDCARD and eMMC enabled (WIFI & NAND disabled). You can boot from eMMC or SDCARD
imx6ul-var-dart-sd_nand.dtb SDCARD and NAND enabled (WIFI & eMMC disabled). You can boot from NAND or SDCARD

7 Linux console access

User name
User password
User descriptor
root root system administrator
user user local user
xuser used for X session access

8 Flash images to NAND and eMMC

To flash images on NAND, on the device, as root, run the following command:

# debian-nand.sh

If you wanr to flash images on eMMC, on the device, as root, run the following command:

# debian-emmc.sh

Both the above commands are located in /usr/bin folder of uSD card used to boot debian.