Booting to Linux from an SD Card/MMC for P1020/P1011

Document created by Omar Cruz Employee on Jul 24, 2012
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To boot to Linux from an SD card/MMC, it is assumed that all following configuration files for booting are in the same directory under a Linux machine:

  • RAM-based U-Boot image (u-boot.bin)
  • Kernel image (uImage)
  • Flat device tree file (mpc8536ds.dtb)
  • Root file syste (rootfs.ext2.gz.uboot)
  • Latest boot-format


Perform the following sequence of tasks to boot to Linux from an SD card/MMC; note that the MPC8536DS system is used as an example:

  • Plug an empty SD card/MMC into the Linux machine.
  • Use Linux command fdisk to create two partitions: one 512-Mbyte FAT16 and one ext2/ext3 with remainder of the available disk size.
  • Use Linux command mkfs to create the FAT file system for the first partition.
  • Use mkfs to create the ext2/ext3 file system for the second partitions
  • Follow the procedure for putting a Boot Image on an SD Card/MMC.
  • Use boot_format to put the boot image on the card.
  • Put the root file system (rootfs.ext2.gz.uboot) on the second partition using the following commands:
   — dd if=rootfs.ext2.gz.uboot of=rootfs.gz bs=64 skip=64
   — gunzip rootfs.gz
   — dd if=rootfs of=/dev/sdc2


  • Mount the FAT system (mount /dev/sdc1 /mnt/tmp).
  • Copy the kernel file (cp uImage /mnt/tmp) and flat device tree file (cp mpc8536ds.dtb /mnt/tmp) to the root directory of the FAT system.



  • After above step is performed properly, all the required files and information are on the SD card/MMC.
  • Unmount the FAT system (umount /mnt/tmp).
  • If a Linux desk PC is used:

a) Unplug the SD card/MMC from this PC. b) Plug the SD card/MMC into a system that is going to boot from this card.