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VAR-SOM-MX7 Debian Jessie R3

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VAR-SOM-MX7 - Debian Jessie release R3


1 Overview

This page describes how to assemble and install Debian Jessie distribution on Variscite board VAR-SOM-MX7.

These instructions were 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_mx7_var03 var_som_mx7_debian

Create environment (Internet connection should be available):

$ cd ~/var_som_mx7_debian
$ ./make_var_som_mx7_debian.sh -c deploy

This environment prepared to build.

3 Make Debian

3.1 Build all

Internet connection should be available

$ cd ~/var_som_mx7_debian
$ sudo ./make_var_som_mx7_debian.sh -c all | tee 2.log

3.2 Build by parts

3.2.1 Build rootfs

Internet connection should be available

$ cd ~/var_som_mx7_debian
$ sudo ./make_var_som_mx7_debian.sh -c rootfs

3.2.2 Build kernel, dtb files and kernel modules

$ cd ~/var_som_mx7_debian
$ sudo ./make_var_som_mx7_debian.sh -c kernel
$ sudo ./make_var_som_mx7_debian.sh -c modules

3.2.3 Build bootloader

$ cd ~/var_som_mx7_debian
$ sudo ./make_var_som_mx7_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_som_mx7_debian
$ sudo ./make_var_som_mx7_debian.sh -c rtar
$ sudo ./make_var_som_mx7_debian.sh -c rubi

4 Create boot SD card

  1. Follow the steps for make rootfs, kernel, bootloader;
  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_som_mx7_debian
$ sudo ./make_var_som_mx7_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

A typical use-case, is to boot from SD-Card, program eMMC or NAND flash, and re-boot from eMMC/NAND.

5.1 Setting board dip-switches

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

  • "00" - Boot from SD
  • "01" - Boot from NAND
  • "10" - Boot from eMMC
  • "11" - N/A

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"
  • Power-up board
  • The board will automatically boot into Linux from SD

6 Build Results

The resulted images are located in ~/var_mx7_var_som_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.
SPL.emmc SPL built for SD Card/eMMC
u-boot.img.nand U-Boot built for NAND Flash.
u-boot.img.emmc U-Boot built for SD Card/eMMC
Device Tree Name
Boot Device
imx7d-var-som-emmc.dtb Boot from SD or internal eMMC
imx7d-var-som-nand.dtb Boot from internal NAND

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 to NAND, boot from SD card and run the following command as root:

# debian-nand.sh

To flash images with Cortex-M4 support to NAND, boot from SD card and run the following command as root:

# debian-nand.sh -m

To flash images to eMMC, boot from SD card and run the following command as root:
(both regular device tree and device tree with Cortex-M4 support will be installed)

# debian-emmc.sh

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

9 How-to: Test and use an Interface

Please see this section in the Yocto developer guide page. It is the same for Debian.

10 How-to: Modify kernel configuration

To modify kernel configuration (add/remove features and drivers) please follow the steps below:

1. cd ~/var_som_mx7_debian/src/kernel
2. Run "sudo make ARCH=arm mrproper"
3. Run "sudo make ARCH=arm imx7-var-som_defconfig"
4. Run "sudo make ARCH=arm menuconfig"
5. Navigate the menu and select the desired kernel functionality
6. Exit the menu and answer "Yes" when asked "Do you wish to save your new configuration?"
7. Run "sudo make ARCH=arm savedefconfig"
8. Run "sudo cp arch/arm/configs/imx7-var-som_defconfig arch/arm/configs/imx7-var-som_defconfig.orig
9. Run "sudo cp defconfig arch/arm/configs/imx7-var-som_defconfig
10. Follow the instructions above to rebuild kernel and modules, repack rootfs images and recreate SD card