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Instructions to use the MultiMediaCard (MMC/SD) on your Armadeus board


You can use standard MMC/SD/miniSD/microSD cards with your Armadeus board:

All needed drivers are included in the standard Armadeus Linux image.

Card insertion

You should see something like that on the Linux console:

 # imx-mmc imx-mmc.0: card inserted
 mmc0: host does not support reading read-only switch. assuming write-enable.
 mmc0: new SD card at address 01b0
 mmcblk0: mmc0:01b0 SD512 500224KiB
  mmcblk0: p1

Mounting the MMC/SD from Linux

  • Just mount the MMC like you will do on your PC:
 # mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /media/mmc             (on all APF *except* APF6)
 # mount /dev/mmcblk1p1 /media/mmc             (on APF6)
  • Then, you can access the MMC's files from the /media/mmc directory. Filesystem should be automagically detected.
  • Of course if you have several partitions on your MMC/SD they will be named p1/p2/p3...
  • If you have problems with vfat code page, include the missing code page into the kernel.

Booting from MMC/SD

When your rootfs is too big to be put on the APF Flash, you can always use a MMC/SD like a Hard Drive and boot from it (this is possible because standard Armadeus kernel is compiled with the MMC driver built in).

Prepare your card

  • On your APF board (to avoid to crash your Host HD), create a good partition table on MMC (X is the id of the device, for example 1 on APF6):
 # /sbin/fdisk /dev/mmcblkX

 Delete all existing partion with 'd'
 Create a primary partion: 'n' then 'p' then '1' then 2x'ENTER'
 Change bootflag to Linux: 't' then '83'
 Save partition table: 'w'
 (To quit without saving: 'm')
  • If your APF has the mkfs tools, then format your MMC:
 # mkfs.ext4 -O ^64bit /dev/mmcblkXp1
  • Otherwise, on your PC, format your MMC with Ext2 or Ext3/4 filesystems (booting on FAT is bad :-) ):
 $ sudo mkfs.ext2 /dev/sdX1   (replace X with your MMC reader drive letter, if your Laptop has an integrated
                                           MMC reader then use mmcblk0p1 instead of sdX1)
  • If not automatically detected/mounted by your distribution, mount your MMC/SD on your Host filesystem (for example in /media/mmc):
 $ sudo mkdir -p /media/mmc
 $ sudo mount /dev/sdX1 /media/mmc    (replace X with your MMC reader drive letter, if your Laptop has an integrated
                                                   MMC reader then use mmcblk0p1 instead of sdX1)

Put your rootfs and Linux kernel on the MMC/SD

  • Buildroot should be configured by default to generate a tar-ed rootfs, if not (no *.tar in buildroot/output/images/) then you can activate it with:
$ make menuconfig
Filesystem images  --->
    [*] tar the root filesystem
          Compression method (no compression)  --->
    ()    other random options to pass to tar
$ make
  • Then you have to uncompress the tar-ed rootfs to the MMC/SD card (mounted as /media/mmc on your PC in the following instructions).
Note Note: The APF51 (with U-Boot version older than 2013.04) and the APF9328 do not load the kernel from the SD card but use the one in Flash instead.
$ make shell_env
$ source
$ sudo tar xvf $ARMADEUS_ROOTFS_TAR -C /media/mmc
  • You can also copy the Linux kernel to the rootfs /boot folder and dtb files for recent kernel supporting it:
$ sudo mkdir -p /media/mmc/boot/dtbs
$ sudo cp $ARMADEUS_BINARIES/$ARMADEUS_BOARD_NAME-linux.bin /media/mmc/boot/
$ sudo cp $ARMADEUS_BINARIES/*.dtb /media/mmc/boot/dtbs/
  • Then umount your MMC/SD from your PC:
$ sudo umount /media/mmc


  • Insert the MMC/SD/microSD in the corresponding slot of your Armadeus board and then under U-Boot do:
 BIOS> run mmcboot
  • if you want to automatically boot from SD at each startup, modify the bootcmd U-Boot macro:
 BIOS> setenv bootcmd run mmcboot
 BIOS> saveenv

(default bootcmd when you receive your board is run jffsboot = boot from FLASH)



VFAT Code Page

If you encounter this message (or something similar):

Unable to load NLS charset cp437
FAT: codepage cp437 not found

you have to add the charset to the supported kernel ones:

$ make linux-menuconfig
File systems  ---> 
    -*- Native language support  --->
        <*>   Codepage 437 (United States, Canada)
        <*>   NLS ISO 8859-1  (Latin 1; Western European Languages)

U-Boot usage

SD cards can also be used with U-Boot. The following commands are useful:

  • Scan the MMC:
BIOS> mmc rescan
  • List the MMC content:
BIOS> fatls mmc 0
  • Load the file xxx.bin in RAM:
BIOS> fatload mmc 0 ${loadaddr} xxx.bin

On last APF/OPOS the eMMC mounted on board have the same behavior of SD Cards, but not formatted as with fat system files. Then to read partition ext2ls and ext4ls commands can be used (example on apf6):

BIOS> ext2ls mmc 0
<DIR>       1024 .
<DIR>       1024 ..
<DIR>      12288 lost+found
         4944000 apf6-linux.bin
<DIR>       1024 dtbs
           36690 imx6q-apf6dev.dtb
           33873 imx6dl-apf6dev.dtb
# or with partition number :
BIOS> ext2ls mmc 0:1