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Versatile Express Setup

This document will detail the steps required to boot a Linaro disk image from an SD card on a Versatile Express board. The basic requirement is to get the board booting into Linaro's U-Boot which will then automatically boot the SD card image.

If you are completely new to the Versatile Express, the introduction of Pawel's article provides some very useful background and should be read first. There is also the QuickStart.pdf on the CD which comes with the hardware.

If you are familiar with the Versatile Express then you may want to skip these instructions. All you need to do is grab the u-boot.bin file off the boot partition of the SD card and use your normal method for getting the board to run that at boot.

Update Firmware

First, it is a good idea to make sure you have the latest firmware on your board as this may contain FPGA fixes for various issues. Also, these steps will return the board to it's factory settings, which will help avoid problems caused by configurations left over from any previous use.

TIP: Whenever changing any firmware or config files, always remember to unmount/eject the firmware disk from your PC before rebooting the Versatile Express, otherwise the filesystem is likely to get corrupt.

  1. Make sure both DIP switches on the back of the Versatile Express are UP. (These are next to the black reset button.)
  2. Install the Versatile Express DVD on your PC (requires a Windows machine) then grab contents of Versatile_Express_3_0 folder.
    At time of writing, the latest version is 3.0 which is known to work with Linaro kernels when using the A9x4 CoreTile. However, for the A5x2 CoreTile a new motherboard binary is required (MB/HBI0190D/mbb_v229.ebf) which is not yet publicly available.

  3. Do the 'System Recovery' step in Versatile_Express_3_0/sw/info/releasenotes.html. This will get the latest firmware and configuration files onto the board. When formatting the disk, it's a good idea to use the factory standard label 'VEMSD'.

  4. Reboot the board to make sure all is OK with restored image first.

Flash U-Boot

These steps will programme Linaro's U-Boot into NOR flash.

  1. With the Versatile Express connected to your PC via USB, press the black reset button, then at a serial console which is attached to the board enter:
    usb_on

    This should cause the PC to detect the firmware disk on the Versatile Express board as an external USB disk. On an Ubuntu PC machine this will be automatically mounted at /media/VEMSD, (assuming the disk had the label 'VEMSD').

  2. Copy the relevant U-Boot file from the boot partition of the Linaro disk image to the SOFTWARE directory of the firmware disk, giving it the name uboot.bin. If the disks have been automatically mounted then, for the A9x4 CoreTile, this should be possible with:

    cp /media/boot/u-boot.bin /media/VEMSD/SOFTWARE/u-boot.bin

    or for the A15x2 CoreTile:

    cp /media/boot/u-boot_v2p-ca15-tc1.bin /media/VEMSD/SOFTWARE/u-boot.bin

    or for the A5x2 CoreTile:

    cp /media/boot/u-boot_v2p-ca5s.bin /media/VEMSD/SOFTWARE/u-boot.bin

    For 2011.11 and 2011.12 releases only: the shipped version of U-Boot doesn't automatically boot from MMC, so use this one instead.

  3. We now need to add U-Boot to the list of NOR images, this varies depending on which CoreTile you have.

    • For a CA9x4 CoreTile, edit /media/VEMSD/SITE1/HBI0191B/images.txt and add an image to the end of the list with.

      NOR4UPDATE: AUTO                 ;IMAGE UPDATE:NONE/AUTO/FORCE
      NOR4ADDRESS: 47800000            ;Image Flash Address
      NOR4FILE: \SOFTWARE\u-boot.bin   ;Image File Name
      NOR4LOAD: 0x60800000             ;Image Load Address
      NOR4ENTRY: 0x60800000            ;Image Entry Point
    • For a CA15x2 CoreTile, edit /media/VEMSD/SITE1/HBI0237A/images.txt and add an image to the end of the list with.

      NOR4UPDATE: AUTO                 ;IMAGE UPDATE:NONE/AUTO/FORCE
      NOR4ADDRESS: 0f800000            ;Image Flash Address
      NOR4FILE: \SOFTWARE\u-boot.bin   ;Image File Name
      NOR4LOAD: 0x80800000             ;Image Load Address
      NOR4ENTRY: 0x80800000            ;Image Entry Point
    • For a CA5x2 CoreTile, edit /media/VEMSD/SITE1/HBI0225B/images.txt and add an image to the end of the list with.

      NOR4UPDATE: AUTO                 ;IMAGE UPDATE:NONE/AUTO/FORCE
      NOR4ADDRESS: 0f800000            ;Image Flash Address
      NOR4FILE: \SOFTWARE\u-boot.bin   ;Image File Name
      NOR4LOAD: 0x80800000             ;Image Load Address
      NOR4ENTRY: 0x80800000            ;Image Entry Point

    The TOTALIMAGES: line in the file will also need updating to account for this extra image and the 'NOR4' lines added may need to have a different number to '4' if that is not the next in sequence.
    Also note, the directory names for the CoreTiles may have a different final letter depending on its revision.

  4. If you want to thet the board to automatically boot into Linaro image then:
    • Look for the name of the BOOTSCRIPT image in the file you edited in the previous step; this should be either \SOFTWARE\booscr_l.txt or \SOFTWARE\booscr_r.txt.

    • Edit this bootscript file to have the line:
      flash run u-boot
    • Put the left DIP switch (next to the black reset button) into the DOWN position. Automatic boot can be disabled later by moving it UP.
  5. Now unmount the firmware disk:
    umount /media/VEMSD/
  6. Reboot board with red button, should see U-Boot being flashed into NOR. If you went for automated boot, then the board should now also start U-Boot. Otherwise you will need to do this from the boot monitor by entering:
    flash run u-boot

    Before the U-Boot timer reaches zero interrupt it by pressing any key on your serial console, you should get a Vexpress# prompt.

  7. We now need to setup the U-Boot environment. As the default U-Boot configuration should be sufficient, all we need to do is make sure any environment from any previous U-Boot install is erased. This can be done from the U-Boot prompt with:
    env default -f
    saveenv
  8. Place the SD card with the Linaro image into the Versatile Express then press the red reset button. If you went for the automatic boot option then U-Boot should now load and boot the Linaro image. Otherwise, you will have to enter flash run u-boot at the boot monitor prompt.


CategoryHowTo

ARM/VersatileExpressSetup (last modified 2012-10-24 14:08:21)