Debian: Getting Started with the MCIMX8M-EVK

This is a page about the NXP based i.MX 8M ; MCIMX8M-EVK i.MX 8M Evaluation Kit.

Availability

Boards:

Vendor Documentation

Notes

Jumpers 1100 (microSD)

Basic Requirements

ARM Cross Compiler: GCC

This is a pre-built (64bit) version of GCC that runs on generic linux, sorry (32bit) x86 users, it’s time to upgrade…
Download/Extract:

#user@localhost:~$
wget -c https://developer.arm.com/-/media/Files/downloads/gnu-a/8.3-2019.03/binrel/gcc-arm-8.3-2019.03-x86_64-aarch64-linux-gnu.tar.xz
tar xf gcc-arm-8.3-2019.03-x86_64-aarch64-linux-gnu.tar.xz
export CC=`pwd`/gcc-arm-8.3-2019.03-x86_64-aarch64-linux-gnu/bin/aarch64-linux-gnu-

Test Cross Compiler:

#user@localhost:~$
${CC}gcc --version
#Test Output:
aarch64-linux-gnu-gcc (GNU Toolchain for the A-profile Architecture 8.3-2019.03 (arm-rel-8.36)) 8.3.0
Copyright (C) 2018 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.  There is NO
warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Linux Kernel

This script will build the kernel, modules, device tree binaries and copy them to the deploy directory.
Download:

#user@localhost:~$
git clone https://github.com/RobertCNelson/imx8-linux-dev
cd imx8-linux-dev/

For v5.4.x (Longterm 5.4.x):

#user@localhost:~/imx8-linux-dev$
git checkout origin/v5.4.x -b tmp

Build:

#user@localhost:~/imx8-linux-dev$
./build_kernel.sh

Root File System

Debian 10

User Password
debian temppwd
root root

Download:

#user@localhost:~$
wget -c https://rcn-ee.com/rootfs/eewiki/minfs/debian-10.9-minimal-arm64-2021-04-14.tar.xz

Verify:

#user@localhost:~$
sha256sum debian-10.9-minimal-arm64-2021-04-14.tar.xz
#sha256sum output:
bad3637300734571c2a17e84ba68d47698624c4de62fce44819dfe79a684e97c  debian-10.9-minimal-arm64-2021-04-14.tar.xz

Extract:

#user@localhost:~$
tar xf debian-10.9-minimal-arm64-2021-04-14.tar.xz

Setup microSD card

We need to access the External Drive to be utilized by the target device. Run lsblk to help figure out what linux device has been reserved for your External Drive.

#Example: for DISK=/dev/sdX
lsblk
NAME   MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda      8:0    0 465.8G  0 disk
├─sda1   8:1    0   512M  0 part /boot/efi
└─sda2   8:2    0 465.3G  0 part /                <- Development Machine Root Partition
sdb      8:16   1   962M  0 disk                  <- microSD/USB Storage Device
└─sdb1   8:17   1   961M  0 part                  <- microSD/USB Storage Partition
#Thus you would use:
export DISK=/dev/sdb
#Example: for DISK=/dev/mmcblkX
lsblk
NAME      MAJ:MIN   RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda         8:0      0 465.8G  0 disk
├─sda1      8:1      0   512M  0 part /boot/efi
└─sda2      8:2      0 465.3G  0 part /                <- Development Machine Root Partition
mmcblk0     179:0    0   962M  0 disk                  <- microSD/USB Storage Device
└─mmcblk0p1 179:1    0   961M  0 part                  <- microSD/USB Storage Partition
#Thus you would use:
export DISK=/dev/mmcblk0

Erase partition table/labels on microSD card:

sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=${DISK} bs=1M count=100

Install Bootloader:

#user@localhost:~$
wget -c https://github.com/eewiki/u-boot-builds/raw/main/imx8mqevk/2021.02.x/imx8-boot-sd.bin
sudo dd if=./imx8-boot-sd.bin of=${DISK} seek=33 bs=1k

Create Partition Layout:
With util-linux v2.26, sfdisk was rewritten and is now based on libfdisk.

#Check the version of sfdisk installed on your pc
sudo sfdisk --version
#Example Output
sfdisk from util-linux 2.27.1
#sfdisk >= 2.26.x
sudo sfdisk ${DISK} <<-__EOF__
8M,64M,0xc,*
65M,,,-
__EOF__
#sfdisk <= 2.25.x
sudo sfdisk --unit M ${DISK} <<-__EOF__
8,64,0xc,*
65,,,-
__EOF__

Format Partition:

for: DISK=/dev/mmcblkX
sudo mkfs.vfat -F 16 -n BOOT ${DISK}p1
sudo mkfs.ext4 -L rootfs ${DISK}p2
 
for: DISK=/dev/sdX
sudo mkfs.vfat -F 16 -n BOOT ${DISK}1
sudo mkfs.ext4 -L rootfs ${DISK}2

Mount Partition:
On most systems these partitions may be auto-mounted…

sudo mkdir -p /media/boot/
sudo mkdir -p /media/rootfs/
 
for: DISK=/dev/mmcblkX
sudo mount ${DISK}p1 /media/boot/
sudo mount ${DISK}p2 /media/rootfs/
 
for: DISK=/dev/sdX
sudo mount ${DISK}1 /media/boot/
sudo mount ${DISK}2 /media/rootfs/

Install Kernel and Root File System

To help new users, since the kernel version can change on a daily basis. The kernel building scripts listed on this page will now give you a hint of what kernel version was built.

-----------------------------
Script Complete
eewiki.net: [user@localhost:~$ export kernel_version=5.X.Y-Z]
-----------------------------

Copy and paste that “export kernel_version=5.X.Y-Z” exactly as shown in your own build/desktop environment and hit enter to create an environment variable to be used later.

export kernel_version=5.X.Y-Z

Copy Root File System

#user@localhost:~$
sudo tar xfvp ./debian-*-*-arm64-*/arm64-rootfs-*.tar -C /media/rootfs/
sync
sudo chown root:root /media/rootfs/
sudo chmod 755 /media/rootfs/

Copy Kernel Image

Kernel Image:

#user@localhost:~$
sudo cp -v ./imx8-linux-dev/deploy/${kernel_version}.Image /media/boot/Image

Copy Kernel Device Tree Binaries

#user@localhost:~$
sudo mkdir -p /media/boot/dtbs/
sudo tar xfvo ./imx8-linux-dev/deploy/${kernel_version}-dtbs.tar.gz -C /media/boot/dtbs/
sudo cp -v /media/boot/dtbs/freescale/imx8mq-evk.dtb /media/boot/imx8mq-evk.dtb

Copy Kernel Modules

#user@localhost:~$
sudo tar xfv ./imx8-linux-dev/deploy/${kernel_version}-modules.tar.gz -C /media/rootfs/

File Systems Table (/etc/fstab)

#user@localhost:~/$
sudo sh -c "echo '/dev/mmcblk1p2  /  auto  errors=remount-ro  0  1' >> /media/rootfs/etc/fstab"
sudo sh -c "echo '/dev/mmcblk1p1  /boot/uboot  auto  defaults  0  2' >> /media/rootfs/etc/fstab"

Remove microSD/SD card

sync
sudo umount /media/boot
sudo umount /media/rootfs

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