Anchored developers alive on kernels or bare-metal programs generally go through several development cycles. Anniversary time the developer modifies the code, the cipher has to be compiled, the ELF (Executable and Linkable Format)/kernel angel has to be affected assimilate the SD card, and the agenda again has to be transferred from the PC to the development lath and rebooted. In my acquaintance as a developer, I activate the aftermost two accomplish to be a above bottleneck. Alike artful files to the fastest SD cards is slower than artful files amid adamantine drives and sometimes amid computers beyond the network.
Moreover, by frequently inserting and removing the SD agenda from the slot, one incurs the accident of damaging the brittle connectors on the development boards. Believe me! I absent a BeagleBoard by accidentally applying too abundant force while captivation the lath and affairs out the SD card. The burden acquired the I2C bus to fail. Because the adeptness administration dent was controlled by I2C, annihilation added than the consecutive terminal formed afterwards that. Ambience abreast the amount of the board, a lath abortion at a analytical time during a activity is adverse if you do not accept a advancement board.
Afterwards accident the BeagleBoard, I hit aloft the abstraction to amount my bare-metal cipher over the LAN via bootp and TFTP and leave the lath untouched. This not alone bargain the accident of mechanically damaging my board, but it additionally bigger on my turn-around times. I no best bare to archetype files to the SD agenda and move it around.
In this article, I present a abrupt addition to U-Boot and again call the all-important configurations to set up a development ambiance application DHCP and TFTP. The bureaucracy I present actuality will let you arrange and analysis new builds bound with no added than rebooting the board. I use the BeagleBone Black as the ambition belvedere and Ubuntu as the development belvedere for my examples in this article. You may, however, use the methods presented actuality to assignment with any lath that uses U-Boot or Barebox as its stage-2 bootloader.
U-Boot is a accepted bootloader acclimated by abounding development platforms. It supports assorted architectures including ARM, MIPS, AVR32, Nios, Microblaze, 68K and x86. U-Boot has abutment for several filesystems as well, including FAT32, ext2, ext3, ext4 and Cramfs congenital in to it. It additionally has a carapace area it interactively can booty ascribe from users, and it supports scripting. It is broadcast beneath the GPLv2 license. U-Boot is a stage-2 bootloader.
The U-Boot activity additionally includes the x-loader. The x-loader is a baby stage-1 bootloader for ARM. Best avant-garde chips accept the adeptness to apprehend a FAT32 filesystem congenital in to the ROM. The x-loader endless the U-Boot into anamnesis and transfers ascendancy to it. U-Boot is a appealing avant-garde bootloader that is able of loading the atom and ramdisk angel from the NAND, SD card, USB drive and alike the Ethernet via bootp, DHCP and TFTP.
Figure 1 shows the absence cossack arrangement of the BeagleBone Black. This arrangement is added or beneath applicative to best anchored systems. The x-loader and U-Boot executables are stored in the files alleged MLO and uboot.img, respectively. These files are stored in a FAT32 partition. The consecutive anchorage outputs of the BeagleBone are apparent in Listings 1–3. The x-loader is amenable for the achievement apparent in Listing 1. Once the beheading is handed over to U-Boot, it offers you a few abnormal to arrest the cossack sequence, as apparent in Listing 2. If you accept not to interrupt, U-Boot executes an ambiance capricious alleged bootcmd. bootcmd holds the chase arrangement for a book alleged uImage. This is the atom image. The atom angel is loaded into the memory, and the beheading assuredly is transferred to the kernel, as apparent in Listing 3.
Figure 1. Cossack Arrangement
The chase arrangement authentic in the bootcmd capricious and the filename (uImage) are hard-coded in the U-Boot antecedent cipher (see Listing 9). Listing 4 shows the formatted agreeable of the ambiance capricious bootcmd. The absorbing genitalia of bootcmd are curve 19–28. This allotment of the calligraphy checks for the actuality of a book alleged uEnv.txt. If the book is found, the book is loaded into the anamnesis (line 19). Then, it is alien to the ambiance accessible to be apprehend or accomplished (line 22). Afterwards this, the calligraphy checks to see if the capricious uenvcmd is authentic (line 24). If it is defined, the calligraphy in the capricious is executed. The uEnv.txt book is a adjustment for users to admit scripts into the environment. Here, we’ll use this to override the absence chase arrangement and amount the atom angel or an ELF book from the TFTP server.
For bigger acumen into the apparatus of U-Boot, I acclaim arresting the beheading and bottomward to the U-Boot shell. At the shell, you can see a account of accurate commands by accounting advice or ?. You can account all authentic ambiance variables with the env book command. These ambiance variables are a able apparatus for scripting. To resume the cossack sequence, you either can affair the cossack command or run bootcmd. A acceptable way to accept what the bootcmd is accomplishing is to assassinate anniversary command one at a time from the U-Boot carapace and see its effect. You may alter the if…then…else…fi blocks by active the codicillary account afterwards the if allotment and blockage its achievement by accounting answer $?.
The DHCP (Dynamic Host Agreement Protocol) is a agreement to accommodate hosts with the all-important advice to admission the arrangement on demand. This includes the IP abode for the host, the DNS servers, the aperture server, the time servers, the TFTP server and so on. The DHCP server additionally can accommodate the name of the book absolute the atom angel that the host charge get from the TFTP server to abide booting. The DHCP server can be set up to accommodate a agreement either for the absolute arrangement or on a per-host basis. Configuring the filename (Listing 5) for the absolute arrangement is not a acceptable idea, as one atom angel or ELF book will assassinate alone on the architectonics for which it was built. For instance, the vmlinuz angel congenital for an x86_64 will not assignment on a arrangement with an ARM-based processor.
Be acutely accurate while application the DHCP server. A arrangement charge not accept added than a distinct DHCP server. A additional DHCP server will account austere problems on the network. Added users will lose arrangement access. If you are on a accumulated or a university network, you will accomplish a acute adventure agreeable the IT administration to appear attractive for you.
The Ubuntu apt athenaeum offers two DHCP servers: isc-dhcp-server and dhcpcd. I adopt to use isc-dhcp-server.
The isc-dhcpd-server from the Ubuntu athenaeum is appealing avant-garde and accouterments all the all-important features. I acclaim application Webmin to configure it. Webmin is a Web-based agreement apparatus that supports configuring several Linux-based casework and dæmons. I acclaim installing Webmin from the apt repository. See the Webmin affidavit for instructions for abacus the Webmin apt athenaeum to Ubuntu.
Once you accept your DHCP server installed, you charge to configure a subnet and baddest a basin of IP addresses to be dished out to hosts on the arrangement on request. Afterwards this, add the curve agnate to the host from Listing 5 into your /etc/dhcp/dhcpcd.conf file, or do the agnate from Webmin’s automatic interface. In Listing 5, C8:A0:30:B0:88:EB corresponds to the BeagleBone’s Ethernet address. The next-server is the abode of the TFTP server from which to back the atom angel of ELF. The /BI/uImage filename is the name of the atom image. Rename the angel to whatever you use.
TFTP (Trivial Book Transfer Protocol) is a failing file-transfer protocol. It does not abutment affidavit methods. Anyone can affix and download any book by name from the server or upload any book to the server. You can, however, assure your server to some admeasurement by ambience firewall rules to abjure IP addresses out of a accurate range. You additionally can accomplish the TFTP home agenda read-only to the world. This should anticipate any awful uploads to the server. The Ubuntu apt athenaeum has two altered TFTP servers: atftp and tftp-hpa. I acclaim tftp-hpa, as development of atftp has bedeviled back 2004.
tftpd-hpa is added or beneath accessible to run aloof afterwards installation. The absence book abundance is usually /var/lib/tftpboot/, and the agreement files for tftp-can may be activate in /etc/default/tftpd-hpa. You can change the area of the absence book abundance to any added area of your best by alteration the TFTP_DIRECTORY option. The TFTP accession creates a user and a accumulation alleged tftp. The tftp server runs as this user. I acclaim abacus yourself to the tftp accumulation and alteration permissions on the tftp abstracts agenda to 775. This will let you apprehend and abode to the tftp abstracts agenda afterwards switching to basis anniversary time. Moreover, if files in the tftp abstracts agenda are endemic by root, the tftp server will not be able to apprehend and serve them over the network. You can analysis your server by agreement a book there and attempting to get it application the tftp client:
Some accepted problems you may face accommodate errors due to permission. Accomplish abiding that the files are bright by the tftp user or whichever user the tftpd runs as. Additionally, directories charge accept assassinate permission, or tftp will not be able to alight and apprehend the agreeable of that directory, and you’ll see a “Permission denied” absurdity back you attack to get the file.
Now that you accept your DHCP and TFTP servers working, let’s abode a U-Boot calligraphy that will back the atom angel and cossack it. I’m activity to present two means of accomplishing this: application DHCP and application alone TFTP. As I mentioned before, active a ailing configured DHCP server will account a network-wide disruption of services. However, if you apperceive what you are accomplishing and accept above-mentioned acquaintance with ambience up arrangement services, this is the simplest way to cossack the board.
A DHCP cossack can be accomplished artlessly by abacus or modifying the uenvcmd capricious in the uEnv.txt file, as apparent in Listing 6. uEnv.txt is activate in the FAT32 allotment of the BeagleBone Black. This allotment is accessible to be army back the BeagleBone Black is affiliated to your computer via USB cable.
For a TFTP-only boot, you manually specify an IP abode for the development lath and the TFTP server. This is a abundant safer process, and you acquire absolute little accident of interfering with added users on the network. As in the case of configuring to cossack with DHCP, you charge adapt the uenvcmd capricious in the uEnv.txt file. The calligraphy apparent in Listing 7 is an archetype of how to set up your BeagleBone Black to get a atom angel from the TFTP server and canyon on the beheading to it.
Both Listing 6 and 7 are formatted to accord a bright compassionate of the process. The absolute uEnv.txt book should attending article like the calligraphy apparent in Listing 8. For added advice about U-Boot scripting, accredit to the U-Boot FAQ and U-Boot Manual. The assorted commands in the uenvcmd capricious charge be on the aforementioned band afar by a semicolon. You may apprehension that I abode my calligraphy in uenvcmdx instead of uenvcmd. This is because analysis -n throws an absurdity to the animate based on the agreeable of the capricious it is testing. Certain capricious contents, abnormally continued complicated scripts, account the analysis -n to abort with an absurdity bulletin to the console. Therefore, I put a simple command to run uenvcmdx in uenvcmd. If you acquisition that your calligraphy from the uEnv.txt is not actuality executed, attending for an absurdity on the consecutive animate like this:
On some development boards like the BeagleBoard xM, the Ethernet anchorage is implemented on the USB bus. Therefore, it is all-important to alpha the USB subsystem afore attempting any network-based boot. If your development lath does not authority a Flash anamnesis on board, it may not accept a MAC abode either. In this case, you will accept to set a MAC abode afore you can affair any arrangement requests. You can do that by ambience the ambiance capricious ethaddr forth with the blow of the uEnv.txt script.
An another but bulky way to change the absence cossack arrangement is to adapt the U-Boot antecedent code. Modifying the antecedent cipher gives you greater versatility for booting your development board. Back you arrest the U-Boot cossack sequence, bead to the U-Boot carapace and affair the env book command, you’ll see a lot of ambiance variables that are authentic by default. These ambiance variables are authentic as macros in the antecedent code. Modifying the antecedent cipher aims at modifying these variables. As apparent in Figure 1, U-Boot begins loading the atom by active the calligraphy in bootcmd. Hence, this is the capricious that charge be modified.
To begin, you’ll charge the antecedent cipher to U-Boot from the git repository:
Afore authoritative any modifications, I acclaim accumulation the blunt antecedent cipher as a acumen check:
This best acceptable will assignment afterwards a hitch. Now you can adapt the u-Boot/include/configs/am335x_evm.h file. In this file, you’ll acquisition cipher agnate to Listing 9. Adapt this as you amuse and re-compile. Depending on your ambition board, you will accept to adapt a altered file. The files to some accepted ambition platforms are:
Panda Board: u-Boot/include/configs/omap4_common.h
I achievement the instructions provided actuality advice you actualize a arrangement to advance and arrange bare-metal programs and atom images quickly. You additionally may appetite to attending into u-boot-v2, additionally accepted as Barebox. The best accessible cipher modification that I advance actuality is to abridge the U-Boot with an busy cossack arrangement that you can clothier to your needs with the atomic modifications. You can try out some adorned scripts to analysis and amend firmware over LAN—I would accede that absolutely cool. Abode to me at bharath (you-know-what) lohray (you-know-what) com.
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