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Update the Linux Image - Colibri Evaluation Board - Colibri T20


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In this how-to section, you will update to the latest pre-built Linux image provided by Toradex.

In this module you will:

  • Format an SD card.
  • Use an SD card to flash the new image to the module.
  • Access the bootloader (U-Boot).
  • Flash a new Linux image to the module.


The following table lists the items required:

List of items required
SD card with more than 2GB
Cable USB-micro USB

Note: The following steps are meant to be run in the development workstation, and not on the target module, unless otherwise stated.

Step 1

Install the prerequisites for generating the SD card:

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install dosfstools e2fsprogs gawk mtools parted
sudo apt-get install zlib1g:i386 liblzo2-2:i386 libuuid1:i386 libusb-1.0-0:i386
sudo apt-get install gparted

Step 2

Before inserting the SD card in your host computer, list the hard-disks and partitions being used by your system. See the example below:

user@host:~$ df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
udev 3,9G 0 3,9G 0% /dev
tmpfs 792M 50M 743M 7% /run
/dev/sda7 42G 30G 10G 75% /
tmpfs 3,9G 145M 3,8G 4% /dev/shm
tmpfs 5,0M 8,0K 5,0M 1% /run/lock
tmpfs 3,9G 0 3,9G 0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/sda5 922M 340M 520M 40% /boot
/dev/sda8 178G 28G 141G 17% /usr/local
/dev/sdb5 620G 558G 31G 95% /home
tmpfs 792M 92K 792M 1% /run/user/1000

Notice that there are two hard-disks: /dev/sda and /dev/sdb. The indexes list different partitions inside the disks and can be ignored.

Step 3

Insert the SD card in the host computer. A pop-up message should appear. Select the option Do Nothing, as illustrated in the picture below:

  • Select *do nothing* after SD card insertion

    Select *do nothing* after SD card insertion

Notice that some SD cards have a physical lock that enables read-only mode, therefore you have to make sure this lock is not enabled. If the lock is enabled, further steps from this how-to section will not work.

Step 4

List the hard-disks and partitions being used by your system. See the example below:

user@host:~$ df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
udev 3,9G 0 3,9G 0% /dev
tmpfs 792M 50M 743M 7% /run
/dev/sda7 42G 30G 10G 75% /
tmpfs 3,9G 145M 3,8G 4% /dev/shm
tmpfs 5,0M 8,0K 5,0M 1% /run/lock
tmpfs 3,9G 0 3,9G 0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/sda5 922M 340M 520M 40% /boot
/dev/sda8 178G 28G 141G 17% /usr/local
/dev/sdb5 620G 558G 31G 95% /home
tmpfs 792M 92K 792M 1% /run/user/1000
/dev/mmcblk0p1 7,5G 296M 7,2G 4% /media/<user>/3E18-AADE

Notice that there is a new device, /dev/mmcblk0, and this is the SD card.

If you use an SD card to USB adapter, your device may be listed as /dev/sdX, being X a character that depends on how many disks your system have. For the computer from the exemple, the device is /dev/sdc:

/dev/sdc1 7,5G 296M 7,2G 4% /media/<user>/3E18-AADE

Attention: Proceed carefully through the next steps. If you use the wrong device, you will erase the computer hard-disk and permanently lose data.

Step 5

Start gparted from command-line using the SD card device as an argument:

sudo gparted /dev/mmcblk0

A window such as presented in the figure below will open. In the top-right corner of the window, only the SD card device must be listed:

  • Gparted GUI

    Gparted GUI

Warning: If you do not pass the SD card as an argument to gparted, all your drives will be listed and, therefore, you are more prone to formatting your machine's HD.

Step 6

From the Partition menu, select the Unmount option:

  • Unmount the SD card

    Unmount the SD card

Step 7

Delete all of the partitions from the SD card, by using the option Delete from the menu Partition:

  • Delete the current SD card partitions

    Delete the current SD card partitions

Step 8

From the Partition menu, select the New option. A new window will appear:

  • Create new partition

    Create new partition

Step 9

From the File system drop-down menu, select the fat32 option:

  • Select FAT32 file system

    Select FAT32 file system

Also create a label for your partition, such as data. This is not mandatory, but when the system automatically mounts the SD card, it will use this label as the name of the directory where the device will be mounted.

Step 10

Start the process by clicking the green check button Apply All operations, and acknowledge the warning message:

  • Apply all operations

    Apply all operations

  • Acknowledge warning message

    Acknowledge warning message

A window will display information during the process. Just wait until it finishes:

  • Formatting SD card

    Formatting SD card

In the end, you must have a Gparted window such as the one below. You can then close Gparted.

  • SD card successfully formatted

    SD card successfully formatted

Step 11

Mount the SD card. Two easy ways of doing it are: - Either to click the SD card icon in the launcher to the left of the screen, or - Open the files manager and click the SD card partition label listed at the left side of the window.

Both options are illustrated in the figure below:

  • Mount the SD card

    Mount the SD card

Notice that the default mount path for Ubuntu is:


Where user is the user you are logged in, and partition_label is the label chosen at step 10, or a random alphanumeric value if the label was left blank.

Step 12

Download the pre-built Linux image. Find the latest Toradex pre-built image for your module here.

Step 13

Extract the compressed file contents with root privileges:

Note: You must execute as root to preserve the target root filesystem permissions.

sudo tar xjvf Colibri-T20_LXDE-Image_<bsp-version>-<date>.tar.bz2

Step 14

To flash the SD card, enter the Linux image directory and run the script:

cd Colibri-T20_LXDE-Image_<bsp-version>
./ -o /media/<user>/<partition_label>/

Step 15

Unmount the SD card and remove it from the development workstation:

umount /media/<user>/<partition_label>/

Step 16

Insert the SD card in the SD/MMC connector, as illustrated:

  • SD card slot highlighted

    SD card slot highlighted

Step 17

Make sure that you have a working serial terminal application on your host machine. Note: You can go back to the last section if there are any doubts regarding the serial terminal application and its configuration.

Plug the USB A to micro B cable into the USB Client Connector (x10) to enter the recovery mode.

  • USB A to micro B cable

    USB A to micro B cable

  • USB A to micro B cable highlighted

    USB A to micro B cable highlighted

Simultaneously apply power to the embedded system and press the SPACE key in your keyboard a few times, while focused in the serial terminal. If you are successful, this procedure will stop the bootloader and you will have a terminal with the following prompt:

Colibri T20 512MB V1.2A SerialNo: 5120465
RAM: 512 MB, CarveOut: 64 MB
Locating kernel image in flash...Done(890)
Decompressing IMAGE(17136826, 33159552) from FLASH(0) to RAM(16000)...Done(373ms)
Jumping to image at 0x80016000...
Toradex Bootloader 2.1 for Tegra Built Feb 20 2018 09:03:40
Press [SPACE] to enter Bootloader Menu
BootLoader Configuration:
C) Clear Flash Registry
X) Enter CommandPrompt Mode
D) Download image to RAM now
F) Download image to FLASH now
L) Launch existing flash resident image now

Note: If you press the SPACE key too late, the system will start booting. Power-off and try again.

Step 18

Press X to enter the CommandPrompt mode, then enter the following command to enter recovery mode:

Enter your selection: x
>reboot rcm

At your host PC use the following command to load the U-Boot bootloader in the module's RAM:

[ Colibri-T20_LXDE-Image_2.7.4 ] $ ./ -d -r 512 -v V1_2
Colibri T20 rootfs detected

Step 19

At your target device terminal, you will see that U-boot automatically starts to run:

U-Boot SPL 2016.11-2.7.4+g1b121c6 (Oct 05 2017 - 04:41:47)
Trying to boot from RAM
U-Boot 2016.11-2.7.4+g1b121c6 (Oct 05 2017 - 04:41:47 +0000)
DRAM: 512 MiB
NAND: 1024 MiB
MMC: Tegra SD/MMC: 0
*** Warning - bad CRC, using default environment
In: serial
Out: vidconsole
Err: vidconsole
Model: Toradex Colibri T20 512MB IT V1.2A, Serial# 05120465
USB recovery mode, disabled autoboot
Net: No ethernet found.

Run the following commands at your target device terminal to flash the image:

Colibri T20 # nand erase.chip
Colibri T20 # cfgblock create
Is the module an IT version? [y/N] y
Enter the module version (e.g. V1.2A): V1.2A
Enter module serial number: 05120465
Toradex config block successfully written
Colibri T20 # setenv fdt_addr_r 0x01000000
Colibri T20 # saveenv
Colibri T20 # run setupdate
Colibri T20 # run update

After a while, the system boots the updated Linux image and you will see the login message:

  • Login to the Linux terminal

    Login to the Linux terminal