Run Ubuntu on iMx53 board

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Run Ubuntu on iMx53 board

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JayZhang
Contributor I

Hi all,

I want to run ubuntu on our imx53 board, is there anyone can tell how to do it?

Is there 'BSP' I can download and build the image for it?

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Yuri
NXP TechSupport
NXP TechSupport

Hello,

  The following may help.

https://community.nxp.com/message/288949 

Regards,

Yuri.

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wenmingfeng
Contributor III

Hi Yuri,

Thanks for your response. what I want is that I want to replace a new desktop. So I need to compiler by myself. I want the 1204 source code which generate the preinstalled 1204+imx5.

Best regards!

Wenming

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Yuri
NXP TechSupport
NXP TechSupport

Hello,

  Ubuntu RFS building is practically a (time consuming) handwork.
It is necessary to load , build and test (manually) every package You need to
optimize. And finally - to place binary images to filesystem.
   Below is a website to search the ubuntu rootfs component versions:

http://www.ubuntuupdates.org/

Regards,

Yuri.

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JorgeMuaᄆoz
Contributor I

Hi Ballock,

I haven't been up to date completely with the Linux distributions for the iMX53, but this is what I can tell you:

In theory the armhf distributions should be faster than the armel ones, however most of the Ubuntu distributions for the iMX53 that you find on Internet are based on the Linaro Kernel, that kernel is not optimized for our device and hence runs slowly.

On my short experience, I can tell you that the 2.6.35 kernel you get from freescale is probably the best one.

If you are looking to run Ubuntu you could try the 2.6.35 kernel above with an Ubuntu RootFS, and see how that goes. I tried that once and the RootFS did not start, however I didn't try to see what was the problem.

I wouldn't recommend to wait for a stable Ubuntu release for the iMX53 from Linaro or Ubuntu, I'm a bit disappointed with the work done in Linaro regarding the iMX53. They have failed to do new releases of Ubuntu for the iMX53 and now they announce they are dropping the Android ICS development for the same device. https://blueprints.launchpad.net/linaro-android/+spec/close-out-imx

Maybe someone with more experience that reads this could points us in another direction. Since I think having a full featured hardware enabled distribution for the iMX53 is feasible, since the guys of the EfikaMX have one based on the iMX51, and I don't think there is too much difference between the two SoC's. http://wiki.debian.org/EfikaMX


Bolesław Tokarski said:

Hey guys,

I have been trying to make the board work with Ubuntu Precise as well, and I got the same issue (system generally slow).

Do you know where to look for the reason of it? I would blame the kernel first, but the biggest change between ubuntu 11.10 and 12.04 seems to be the architecture - armel to armhf. At the same time it seems there is 12.04 for armel architecture, just no pre-built images. Do you think I can just upgrade from 11.10 to 12.04 and it would fix the issue?


On the kernel side, the freescale site has 11.09 pack with patches and "source" files. It seems there is kernel 2.6.38-imx and 2.6.35-imx source, but only 2.6.35 binary. Do you think I can just swap the Precise kernel for my own compiled version of 2.6.38-imx?

I also tried to compile xserver-xorg-video-imx for Precise by copying the libz160-bin and satisfying its armel dep by installing libc6:armel and libstdc++6:armel. Unfortunately, this source tree produces a set of compile errors. Is there any more up-to-date source repository of this xorg driver? Particularly one that would build a debian package, not just a binary?

Anyway, thanks, Jorge, for the post. It provided me with the most up-to-date information on using the board with Ubuntu/Debian.

Best regards,

Ballock

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Bolesa_awTokars
Contributor I

Hey guys,

I have been trying to make the board work with Ubuntu Precise as well, and I got the same issue (system generally slow).

Do you know where to look for the reason of it? I would blame the kernel first, but the biggest change between ubuntu 11.10 and 12.04 seems to be the architecture - armel to armhf. At the same time it seems there is 12.04 for armel architecture, just no pre-built images. Do you think I can just upgrade from 11.10 to 12.04 and it would fix the issue?


On the kernel side, the freescale site has 11.09 pack with patches and "source" files. It seems there is kernel 2.6.38-imx and 2.6.35-imx source, but only 2.6.35 binary. Do you think I can just swap the Precise kernel for my own compiled version of 2.6.38-imx?

I also tried to compile xserver-xorg-video-imx for Precise by copying the libz160-bin and satisfying its armel dep by installing libc6:armel and libstdc++6:armel. Unfortunately, this source tree produces a set of compile errors. Is there any more up-to-date source repository of this xorg driver? Particularly one that would build a debian package, not just a binary?

Anyway, thanks, Jorge, for the post. It provided me with the most up-to-date information on using the board with Ubuntu/Debian.

Best regards,

Ballock

Jorge Muñoz said:

Hi,

I also like using my iMX53 QSB with a desktop environment, about the Ubuntu version described above I think the one Hitesh recommends is the best option (as he mentions you'll need WindowsXP).
About the other distributions mentioned; the Ubuntu and Linaro folks are doing a good work, unfortunately the latest versions of Ubuntu precise 12.04 run slow on the iMX53 QSB.

If you want something that runs smoothly, you can try Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot (11.10) https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ARM/MX5

Also since the development of Linux for ARM devices goes fast, thanks to the folks of Linaro, Ubuntu and Debian, with new images coming out every month. I suggest getting one or two additional SD cards so you can test the images as they get released.


The current distribution I use is debian squeeze armel, I found that it runs very smooth and plus there is a ton of software I can install by just doing 'apt-get install <package>'. What I did was create a minimal Linux 2.6.35 boot and root file system using the steps found in the document of this thread:
http://imxcommunity.org/group/imx53quickstartboard/forum/topics/ubu...

As you see is not the latest Linux Kernel but it has all the patches by Freescale, something the Linaro kernel doesn't have.


Then I replaced the root filesystem by a Debian one I created using qemu and the steps defined in this page: http://www.aurel32.net/info/debian_arm_qemu.php

If you need more details on how to create the root filesystem, I found the following youtube videos very useful, they are for another ARM device, but the process is basically the same:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0P80XrnCmY&t=275

The downside of building the distribution that way is that I had a hard time compiling the gstreamer plugins provided by Freescale, without them you can't have accelerated video playback. Also I still don't have 3D acceleration and probably never will since they are released as a binary that it seems not compatible with the clib that Debian squeeze has.

Hope the above can get you started, as I mentioned before new things come out every month and is better to have some SD cards in hand.

As other resources I been trying to build a Linux installation using Debian sid armhf using the instructions in this page:
http://wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebianOn/Freescale/QuickStart
but I got stuck since there is a broken package on Debian sid and the root file system fails to build.

Also as a final thought as you can see, all the steps described on the on the links I've shown and in the video require Linux, I suggest that if you have windows; you setup a Virtual Machine with your favorite Linux distribution.


Hope you got enough to get started.

Enjoy!!

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Hitex
Contributor I

How to change the environment variable for setting the final display to LCD screen by default output goes to the VGA monitor?

Nivelinn Pantev said:

Hi Jey,

Just follow this how-to:
https://wiki.linaro.org/Platform/DevPlatform/Ubuntu/ImageInstallation

Get Ubuntu flavor (Nano, Desktop and etc) that suits your solution starting from here:
http://www.linaro.org/downloads/1204

Visit here to ask questions:
http://ask.linaro.org/

Good Luck!

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Hitex
Contributor I

How to change the environment variable for setting the final display to LCD screen by default output goes to the VGA monitor?

Tobin Davis said:

Or better yet, get the full Ubuntu desktop image at http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/precise/release/ubuntu-12.04-pre...

To run it, flash it to an SD card on your desktop as follows:

zcat ubuntu-12.04-preinstalled-desktop-armhf+mx5.img.gz |sudo dd bs=4M of=/dev/mmcblk0 (or /dev/sdb, etc). 

Remember, this is a full SD image, not just a partition, so write it to the raw device.  If you only have a Windows PC, use pkzip to unzip the image, and win32-imagewriter to write the image to your SD card.

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JorgeMuaᄆoz
Contributor I

Hi,

I also like using my iMX53 QSB with a desktop environment, about the Ubuntu version described above I think the one Hitesh recommends is the best option (as he mentions you'll need WindowsXP).
About the other distributions mentioned; the Ubuntu and Linaro folks are doing a good work, unfortunately the latest versions of Ubuntu precise 12.04 run slow on the iMX53 QSB.

If you want something that runs smoothly, you can try Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot (11.10) https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ARM/MX5

Also since the development of Linux for ARM devices goes fast, thanks to the folks of Linaro, Ubuntu and Debian, with new images coming out every month. I suggest getting one or two additional SD cards so you can test the images as they get released.


The current distribution I use is debian squeeze armel, I found that it runs very smooth and plus there is a ton of software I can install by just doing 'apt-get install <package>'. What I did was create a minimal Linux 2.6.35 boot and root file system using the steps found in the document of this thread:
http://imxcommunity.org/group/imx53quickstartboard/forum/topics/ubuntu-11-10-oneiric-64-bit-virtual-...

As you see is not the latest Linux Kernel but it has all the patches by Freescale, something the Linaro kernel doesn't have.


Then I replaced the root filesystem by a Debian one I created using qemu and the steps defined in this page: http://www.aurel32.net/info/debian_arm_qemu.php

If you need more details on how to create the root filesystem, I found the following youtube videos very useful, they are for another ARM device, but the process is basically the same:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0P80XrnCmY&t=275

The downside of building the distribution that way is that I had a hard time compiling the gstreamer plugins provided by Freescale, without them you can't have accelerated video playback. Also I still don't have 3D acceleration and probably never will since they are released as a binary that it seems not compatible with the clib that Debian squeeze has.

Hope the above can get you started, as I mentioned before new things come out every month and is better to have some SD cards in hand.

As other resources I been trying to build a Linux installation using Debian sid armhf using the instructions in this page:
http://wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebianOn/Freescale/QuickStart
but I got stuck since there is a broken package on Debian sid and the root file system fails to build.

Also as a final thought as you can see, all the steps described on the on the links I've shown and in the video require Linux, I suggest that if you have windows; you setup a Virtual Machine with your favorite Linux distribution.


Hope you got enough to get started.

Enjoy!!

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TobinDavis
Contributor I

Or better yet, get the full Ubuntu desktop image at http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/precise/release/ubuntu-12.04-preinstalled-desktop-armhf+mx5.img.g...

To run it, flash it to an SD card on your desktop as follows:

zcat ubuntu-12.04-preinstalled-desktop-armhf+mx5.img.gz |sudo dd bs=4M of=/dev/mmcblk0 (or /dev/sdb, etc). 

Remember, this is a full SD image, not just a partition, so write it to the raw device.  If you only have a Windows PC, use pkzip to unzip the image, and win32-imagewriter to write the image to your SD card.

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wenmingfeng
Contributor III

Hi Davi,

where can I got the source code line with ubuntu-12.04-preinstalled-desktop-armhf+mx5.img.gz the image.

thanks!

Wenming

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cxbere
Contributor I

Hi,

Thank you very much for your help, I have downloaded and boot my board with ubuntu 12.04. But I need user name ( root) and password.. Could you please say user and password for ubuntu 12.04 for imx

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NivelinnPantev
Contributor I

Hi Jey,

Just follow this how-to:
https://wiki.linaro.org/Platform/DevPlatform/Ubuntu/ImageInstallation

Get Ubuntu flavor (Nano, Desktop and etc) that suits your solution starting from here:
http://www.linaro.org/downloads/1204

Visit here to ask questions:
http://ask.linaro.org/

Good Luck!

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JayZhang
Contributor I

Hi Pantev,

Can you provide me something to study, I am really a newer.

Sorry for my poor English...

^0^

Nivelinn Pantev said:

Hi Jey,

Go check linaro.org

Great things are done (including 12.04 Precise) for i.MX53

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NivelinnPantev
Contributor I

Hi Jey,

Go check linaro.org

Great things are done (including 12.04 Precise) for i.MX53

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Hitex
Contributor I

If you want you can create SD card  with ubuntu 10.04 for IMX53QSB

MX53_QSB_UBUNTU_SD_DEMO_IMAGE  available on freescale site

its a .exe file which will run on windows xp, it gave error for me on windows 7.

you can create a demo card with this .exe

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