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  • Logo Linux

    Logo Linux

Linux, developed as an open source operating system for IBM computers, was ported to ARM in the early days. Today, Linux holds a significant market share in the embedded world, mainly on ARM devices. The advantages over proprietary embedded operating systems include no royalties or licensing fees, a stable kernel, a vast number of tested drivers, a support base that is not restricted to the employees of a single software company, and the ability to modify and redistribute the source code.

Toradex provides embedded Linux BSPs (Board Support Packages) for newer module generations such as Colibri iMX6/iMX7/T20/T30/VF50/VF61 and the whole Apalis family. Those BSPs are provided by an in-house development team working side-by-side with the hardware team. This enables us to provide a high quality Linux port. When it comes to issues, the customer has not to fear to be the play ball between different hardware and a software providers.

Toradex provides and supports Embedded Linux BSPs based on Yocto Project/OpenEmbedded. We maintain our OpenEmbedded BSP layer called meta-toradex. As Distribution our layer uses the Yocto compatible Ångström distribution with the LXDE desktop environment provided by Toradex' meta-lxde layer.

Source Code

The Linux kernel and U-Boot bootloader source code as well as the Toradex OpenEmbedded layers can be cloned from our GIT server. Sources of our current Linux images are available at

Binary Images

Linux Image Downloads

Toradex provides Embedded Linux BSPs featuring the Yocto Project compatible Ångström distribution. We currently offer two image variants:

  • Compressed tarballs using Bash/U-Boot flashing scripts
  • Toradex Easy Installer images (Tezi)

The Toradex Easy Installer images need the Toradex Easy Installer to flash them to a module. The Toradex Easy Installer will be pre-installed in future products and boot on first power-up. Note that the Toradex Easy Installer allows to install the images directly via the Internet from Toradex servers, hence manual downloading is not required. This downloads are provided for offline installation, when installing multiple modules or in case direct via the Internet installation fails due to e.g. connectivity issues.

To use the legacy Bash/U-Boot flashing scripts variant over Ethernet refer to the Flashing Embedded Linux over Ethernet article.

For more information concerning changes, known issues and future releases refer to the Linux BSP Release Details.

The source code and documentation on how to recreate those pre-built images can be found in the Board Support Package category.

If you like to evaluate Qt on our modules Toradex recommends Qt for Device Creation. Qt for Device Creation comes with pre-built Boot to Qt images for Toradex modules.


Flashing Embedded Linux to iMX6 Modules

Flashing Embedded Linux to iMX7 Modules

Flashing Embedded Linux to Tegra Modules (TK1, T30, T20)

Flashing Embedded Linux to Vybrid Modules

Flashing Embedded Linux over Ethernet

Release Roadmap

The Release Roadmap contains a list of new features and bug-fixes which are planed and also known issues and limitations.

Build U-Boot and Linux Kernel

For further information about what Linux kernel and U-Boot branch is valid for which module hardware refer to the Build U-Boot and Linux Kernel from Source Code article.

Recreate and Customize BSP with OpenEmbedded (core)

For further information on how to recreate and customize our BSPs refer to the OpenEmbedded (core) article.

Sample Code

Various demos and sample code can be found in our Embedded Linux Sample Code article.

Toradex Linux Features

This tables provides an overview of Embedded Linux hardware and software features including links to the respective know-how articles.


Feature Description
ADC On-module analogue to digital converters (ADC)
Audio Audio
Backlight Enable/read and change backlight brightness
Bluetooth How to use Bluetooth on Linux
Camera How to use the analogue camera module (ACM)
CAN How to use the CAN subsystem
Capacitive Multi-Touch Capacitive (e.g. Fusion) multi-touch screen driver
Carveout Memory Carveout memory configuration (Colibri T20 only)
Cortex M4 eCos (Vybrid) Using eCos on the Cortex M4 real-time core (Colibri VF61 only)
Cortex M4 FreeRTOS (K20 on Apalis TK1) Using FreeRTOS on the Cortex M4 K20 Companion MCU (Apalis TK1 only)
Cortex M4 FreeRTOS (Vybrid) Using FreeRTOS on the Cortex M4 real-time core (Colibri VF61 only)
Cortex M4 FreeRTOS (i.MX 7) Using FreeRTOS on the Cortex M4 real-time core (Colibri iMX7 only)
CPU Frequency Read and change CPU frequency manually
CPU Hot-Plugging Automatic or manual core aka CPU hot-plugging
Display Output, Resolution and Timings Setting display parameters
Ethernet Ethernet driver details
External Memory Bus External/parallel memory bus aka GMI (Colibri iMX6/T20/T30 only)
Framebuffer Framebuffer
GPIO Use GPIOs through sysfs
I2C Detect I2C devices
One Wire One-Wire support
PWM Enable/configure PWM channels
Resistive Touch Screen Driver info and calibration for resistive touch screens
RTC Real-time clock support
SATA Serial ATA interface
SD/MMC Card SD/MMC card support
SPI SPI from user space
Suspend/Resume Low power modes (suspend) support
Temperature Sensor Internal temperature sensors
UART UARTs aka serial ports
USB Device Mode Ethernet using USB device mode
Video Encoding and Playback Accelerated video encoding and playback
Watchdog Notes about the Watchdog driver
Webcam Using a regular USB webcam and stream over HTTP
Wi-Fi Using Wi-Fi on Toradex modules
X-Server X-Server and LXDE


Feature Description
Audio/Video over RTP Audio/video over RTP
Autorun How to autorun applications/daemons
Backports How to integrate kernel driver backports
Console How to configure (e.g. disable) serial debug console
Core Dumps Enable and analyse core dumps
Device Tree How to customise device tree
Initramfs and tmpfs How to use initramfs and tmpfs
Java How to install Java
Qt Entry page for Qt
OpenCV Open source computer vision
Python How to install Python
Remote Desktop Protocol Connecting to a remote system using RDP
SMB support Microsoft share support (CIFS/SMB)
Splash Screen How to configure a splash screen
SSH How to establish an SSH connection