Flashing the Neo FreeRunner

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As Openmoko development continues, Openmoko regularly releases updated versions of the Openmoko root filesystem, the kernel, and the [[Bootloader| U-Boot]]. These may be programmed into the Flash memory of Neo FreeRunner. You can use the USB cable and Openmoko provided tool to flash Neo FreeRunner.
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{{Languages|Flashing_the_Neo_FreeRunner}}
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Most of the software on the Neo FreeRunner can be updated or changed. The root filesystem, the [[kernel]], and the [[Bootloader]] can be modified with the program [[dfu-util]] from a computer. This page does not describe flashing the [[NOR Flash]] which requires a [[debug board]]. See [[Flashing NOR]] for this procedure.  
  
{{note|The Openmoko software team builds images daily. If you want to use the latest images, you can download the image from the daily build, but we recommend you download the most stable image from http://downloads.openmoko.org/releases/Freerunner/. Images here have been tested by the test team.
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The [[NAND Flash]] is divided into 3 partitions for the bootloader, kernel, and root filesystem. Each component can be flashed separately.  
  
See [[Latest Images]] for more information about the different images available.}}
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The '''bootloader''' is a small program that runs first and starts everything else when the FreeRunner is powered on. The bootloader is independent of the distribution you use.
{{note|If you have a working image that you're happy with but want to try something different, you should probably do a [[Pre-Flash Backup]], although it looks like the method on that page may not entirely work.}}
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The '''kernel''' and the '''root filesystem''' are provided by the distribution.  
  
== Overview ==
+
'''Before you start: Erasing the root filesystem or flashing the bootloader are radical measures. Take the time to ponder the necessity. Sometimes problems can be fixed by only updating the kernel.'''
  
All the components of the software in the FreeRunner are bundled together into binary images.
+
== Image files to flash into FreeRunner memory ==
  
The '''bootloader''' is a small program that runs first when the FreeRunner is powered on or reset.
+
There are separate image files for all 3 software components. In most cases you will need to install a Kernel (uImage) and a Root Filesystem (rootfs). In rare cases, when there is a bug you need fixed, you will also install a new bootloader.
The '''kernel''' is the central component in the Linux operating system.
+
The '''root filesystem''' contains all the files that make up the commands and applications that you can run.
+
  
On a desktop computer when you want to replace the operating system, you would boot it from a CD-ROM drive, then copy files from the CD to the internal hard drive.  
+
Please read [[Distributions]] for choosing the distribution which fits your needs, and then see [[Download]] for downloading.
  
The FreeRunner does not have a CD-ROM drive but it does have two kinds of internal program storage: NOR flash and NAND flash. The NOR flash is small and stores only a special boot program used when you need to re-write the contents of the NAND flash.
+
== Do a backup ==
  
The steps are
+
If you have a working image that you're happy with but want to try something different, you should probably do a [[Backup]].
 
+
# Erasing the root filesystem or flashing the uboot are radical measures. Take the time to ponder their necessity, sometimes problems can be fixed by updating only the kernel.
+
# First collect everything you need together on your desktop computer. This includes the dfu-util program and the images you will load into the FreeRunner and a USB cable.
+
# Boot the FreeRunner from NOR Flash.
+
# Connect the FreeRunner to the desktop computer via the USB cable.
+
# Use the dfu-util program to copy the images from the desktop into the FreeRunner.
+
# Boot the FreeRunner from NAND Flash to use the new image(s).
+
 
+
== Collect the things you need ==
+
 
+
=== Download the DFU-util program ===
+
 
+
There are versions of dfu-util for both Linux and Windows. It works the same way on both platforms.
+
 
+
=== Download the image files that you will need ===
+
 
+
== Boot the FreeRunner from NOR Flash ==
+
 
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[[Image:menu15.jpg|thumb|Booting from NOR Flash]]
+
 
+
The Neo FreeRunner needs to be at the NOR uBoot menu for flashing. For more information on booting, see [[Booting the Neo FreeRunner| booting the Neo Freerunner]] (in short: press and hold aux down and then press power button).
+
 
+
Log into the NOR uBoot menu and just stay there, do not select or enter any item in menu. Now you will be able to flash, make backups of your Freerunner or query the Freerunner with dfu-util.
+
 
+
'''Then''', connect your Neo to the GNU/Linux or Windows host via USB cable.
+
 
+
'''Linux'''
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You can download the flashing tool for a GNU/Linux host from:
+
http://downloads.openmoko.org/releases/Freerunner/dfu-util
+
 
+
Make sure it is executable by setting the permissions:
+
 
+
chmod a+x dfu-util
+
 
+
'''Windows'''
+
You can download the flashing tool for a Windows host from:
+
[http://projects.openmoko.org/frs/?group_id=166&release_id=162 http://projects.openmoko.org/frs/?group_id=166&release_id=162]
+
 
+
See additional installation instructions for Windows at [[Dfu-util-windows]]
+
  
 
== Using dfu-util ==
 
== Using dfu-util ==
  
On Linux, you run dfu-util from a command shell prompt. If you have not put it somewhere on your command path you probably need to prefix it with a "./" like this ./dfu-util.
+
[[Dfu-util]] is a command-line tool to flash the FreeRunner. It is available for Linux, MacOS X, and Windows. DFU-util allows you to connect to the FreeRunner through the USB cable and control its bootloader. That connection uses a special protocol which addresses the bootloader's interface, and differs from USB networking. For more details, see the separate [[dfu-util]] page.
 
+
On Windows, you need to open a command window and run from a command line.
+
 
+
Dfu-util will be used like this, to write an image file to a (predefined) "partition name" (referred to as ''Altsetting'' in dfu-util help/manual) :
+
 
+
./dfu-util -a (partion name) -R -D (download image file name)
+
 
+
{{note| The meaning of the parameters you specified:
+
-a  --alt alt : Specify the Altsetting of the DFU interface by name or by number<br>
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-R  --reset : Issue USB Reset signalling once we're finished<br>
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-D  --download file : Write firmware from<file> into device <br>
+
}}
+
 
+
== Flashing the Kernel ==
+
 
+
You can download the kernel from
+
http://downloads.openmoko.org/releases/Freerunner/
+
 
+
=== GNU/Linux hosts ===
+
  
Type in the following command in the terminal on a GNU/Linux host. On some systems you need to be root before this will work and on Ubuntu you must preface the command with "sudo" or you will get the following error: "Cannot claim interface: could not claim interface 2: Operation not permitted"
+
See [[Manuals/Dfu-util]]
  
sudo ./dfu-util -a kernel -R -D uImage-2.6.24+git20080424-om-gta02.bin
+
=== NeoTool (GUI) ===
  
=== Windows hosts ===
+
Instead of the command-line-based DFU-util, you can use NeoTool, a graphical tool for flashing the FreeRunner: see the [[NeoTool]] page.
  
Type in the following command in the console on a Windows host:
+
=== DFUScript - A command line script to simplify dfu-util ===
  
dfu-util -a kernel -R -D uImage-2.6.24+git20080424-om-gta02.bin
+
DFUScript was developed to assist users who have multiple devices in using dfu-util via the command line. Information on where to download and use DFUScript can be found on [[DFUScript]].
  
Press Enter to execute the command.
+
== Alternative: using nandwrite ==
  
When flashing succeeds the following will be shown:
+
This approach involves writing the '''rootfs''' into nand directly on the phone from a system already running on it, not necessarily via usb from a computer.
  
status(0) = No error condition is present
+
If you have a system running from a different partition that you intend to flash (for example sd card), you can use nandwrite to do the work, which is much faster (it takes about 30s to write a 59MB jffs2 image).
Done!
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</div>
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|}
+
  
== Flashing the Root Filesystem ==
+
See [[Nandwrite]] for more information.
You can download the root filesystem from:
+
http://downloads.openmoko.org/releases/Freerunner/
+
  
 +
== Optional: Verifying boot-loader version ==
  
=== from GNU/Linux ===
+
<!-- The following should probably be moved to [[Bootloader_versions]], IMHO -->
  
Type the following command in the terminal of a GNU/Linux host. On some systems you will need to be root.
+
<!-- Taken from posts by Mikael Berthe <mikael.berthe@lilotux.net> and Torfinn Ingolfsen <tingox@gmail.com> to Support list, subject: Re: Upgrading u-boot needed ? -->
 +
(Optional) After an upgrade, you may wish to check that the u-boot version matches the one you have just flashed. You can use 'grep  Bootloader /dev/mtdblock1' from a shell on the FreeRunner (and possibly the 1973 as well) to get the '''NAND''' u-boot version, like this:
 +
  root@om-gta02:~# grep Bootloader /dev/mtdblock1
 +
  Neo1973 Bootloader U-Boot 1.3.2+gitr18+64eb10cab8055084ae25ea4e73b66dd03cc1a0cb
  
./dfu-util -a rootfs -R -D openmoko-devel-image-fic-gta02.jffs2
+
You can grep for the same string in /dev/mtdblock0 to retrieve the '''NOR''' u-boot version:
 +
  root@om-gta02:~# grep  Bootloader /dev/mtdblock0
 +
  Neo1973 Bootloader U-Boot 1.3.2-moko12
 +
<!-- ENDS ... subject: Re: Upgrading u-boot needed ? -->
  
=== from Windows ===
+
== Troubleshooting ==
  
Type the following command in the console of a Windows host.
+
Okay, so you just reflashed. The splash screen pops up, but uBoot fail to load the kernel, and return to boot menu. WTF?
  
dfu-util -a rootfs -R -D openmoko-devel-image-fic-gta02.jffs2
+
* It is likely that the wrong bits went to the wrong place. Try reflashing just the kernel, double checking that you select the uImage.bin kernel file, not the u-boot.bin bootloader file.
 +
* Try redownloading and reflashing the kernel, checking file integrity with the MD5 hash sums.
  
When flashing succeeds the following will be shown:
+
== Quick Step-By-Step Summary ==
  
status(0) = No error condition is present
+
# Press AUX button first, hold it and press Power button. Wait until NOR flash U-Boot menu appears. You recognize it from the orange Openmoko logo. On the top it should usually say "U-Boot 1.3.2-moko12 (May 9 2008 - 10:28:48)".
Done!
+
# Attach USB cable
 +
# Type the following commands, before the Neo automatically powers down
  
== Flashing u-boot ==
+
  # Flash u-boot
 +
  dfu-util -a u-boot -R -D /path/to/u-boot_image
 +
  # Flash the kernel
 +
  dfu-util -a kernel -R -D /path/to/uImage.bin
 +
  # Flash the rootfs
 +
  dfu-util -a rootfs -R -D /path/to/rootfs.jffs2
  
dfu-util -a u-boot -R -D uboot-gta02v5-latest.bin
+
If needed, specify extra device specifying parameter -d [[USB Product IDs|0x1d50:0x5119]] to the dfu-util.
  
 
[[Category:Flashing Openmoko| ]]
 
[[Category:Flashing Openmoko| ]]

Latest revision as of 07:51, 10 February 2012

Most of the software on the Neo FreeRunner can be updated or changed. The root filesystem, the kernel, and the Bootloader can be modified with the program dfu-util from a computer. This page does not describe flashing the NOR Flash which requires a debug board. See Flashing NOR for this procedure.

The NAND Flash is divided into 3 partitions for the bootloader, kernel, and root filesystem. Each component can be flashed separately.

The bootloader is a small program that runs first and starts everything else when the FreeRunner is powered on. The bootloader is independent of the distribution you use. The kernel and the root filesystem are provided by the distribution.

Before you start: Erasing the root filesystem or flashing the bootloader are radical measures. Take the time to ponder the necessity. Sometimes problems can be fixed by only updating the kernel.

Contents

[edit] Image files to flash into FreeRunner memory

There are separate image files for all 3 software components. In most cases you will need to install a Kernel (uImage) and a Root Filesystem (rootfs). In rare cases, when there is a bug you need fixed, you will also install a new bootloader.

Please read Distributions for choosing the distribution which fits your needs, and then see Download for downloading.

[edit] Do a backup

If you have a working image that you're happy with but want to try something different, you should probably do a Backup.

[edit] Using dfu-util

Dfu-util is a command-line tool to flash the FreeRunner. It is available for Linux, MacOS X, and Windows. DFU-util allows you to connect to the FreeRunner through the USB cable and control its bootloader. That connection uses a special protocol which addresses the bootloader's interface, and differs from USB networking. For more details, see the separate dfu-util page.

See Manuals/Dfu-util

[edit] NeoTool (GUI)

Instead of the command-line-based DFU-util, you can use NeoTool, a graphical tool for flashing the FreeRunner: see the NeoTool page.

[edit] DFUScript - A command line script to simplify dfu-util

DFUScript was developed to assist users who have multiple devices in using dfu-util via the command line. Information on where to download and use DFUScript can be found on DFUScript.

[edit] Alternative: using nandwrite

This approach involves writing the rootfs into nand directly on the phone from a system already running on it, not necessarily via usb from a computer.

If you have a system running from a different partition that you intend to flash (for example sd card), you can use nandwrite to do the work, which is much faster (it takes about 30s to write a 59MB jffs2 image).

See Nandwrite for more information.

[edit] Optional: Verifying boot-loader version

(Optional) After an upgrade, you may wish to check that the u-boot version matches the one you have just flashed. You can use 'grep Bootloader /dev/mtdblock1' from a shell on the FreeRunner (and possibly the 1973 as well) to get the NAND u-boot version, like this:

  root@om-gta02:~# grep Bootloader /dev/mtdblock1
  Neo1973 Bootloader U-Boot 1.3.2+gitr18+64eb10cab8055084ae25ea4e73b66dd03cc1a0cb

You can grep for the same string in /dev/mtdblock0 to retrieve the NOR u-boot version:

  root@om-gta02:~# grep  Bootloader /dev/mtdblock0
  Neo1973 Bootloader U-Boot 1.3.2-moko12

[edit] Troubleshooting

Okay, so you just reflashed. The splash screen pops up, but uBoot fail to load the kernel, and return to boot menu. WTF?

  • It is likely that the wrong bits went to the wrong place. Try reflashing just the kernel, double checking that you select the uImage.bin kernel file, not the u-boot.bin bootloader file.
  • Try redownloading and reflashing the kernel, checking file integrity with the MD5 hash sums.

[edit] Quick Step-By-Step Summary

  1. Press AUX button first, hold it and press Power button. Wait until NOR flash U-Boot menu appears. You recognize it from the orange Openmoko logo. On the top it should usually say "U-Boot 1.3.2-moko12 (May 9 2008 - 10:28:48)".
  2. Attach USB cable
  3. Type the following commands, before the Neo automatically powers down
  # Flash u-boot
  dfu-util -a u-boot -R -D /path/to/u-boot_image
  # Flash the kernel
  dfu-util -a kernel -R -D /path/to/uImage.bin
  # Flash the rootfs
  dfu-util -a rootfs -R -D /path/to/rootfs.jffs2

If needed, specify extra device specifying parameter -d 0x1d50:0x5119 to the dfu-util.

Personal tools

As Openmoko development continues, Openmoko regularly releases updated versions of the Openmoko root filesystem, the kernel, and the U-Boot. These may be programmed into the Flash memory of Neo FreeRunner. You can use the USB cable and Openmoko provided tool to flash Neo FreeRunner.

NOTE: The Openmoko software team builds images daily. If you want to use the latest images, you can download the image from the daily build, but we recommend you download the most stable image from http://downloads.openmoko.org/releases/Freerunner/. Images here have been tested by the test team.

See Latest Images for more information about the different images available.


NOTE: If you have a working image that you're happy with but want to try something different, you should probably do a Pre-Flash Backup, although it looks like the method on that page may not entirely work.


Overview

All the components of the software in the FreeRunner are bundled together into binary images.

The bootloader is a small program that runs first when the FreeRunner is powered on or reset. The kernel is the central component in the Linux operating system. The root filesystem contains all the files that make up the commands and applications that you can run.

On a desktop computer when you want to replace the operating system, you would boot it from a CD-ROM drive, then copy files from the CD to the internal hard drive.

The FreeRunner does not have a CD-ROM drive but it does have two kinds of internal program storage: NOR flash and NAND flash. The NOR flash is small and stores only a special boot program used when you need to re-write the contents of the NAND flash.

The steps are

  1. Erasing the root filesystem or flashing the uboot are radical measures. Take the time to ponder their necessity, sometimes problems can be fixed by updating only the kernel.
  2. First collect everything you need together on your desktop computer. This includes the dfu-util program and the images you will load into the FreeRunner and a USB cable.
  3. Boot the FreeRunner from NOR Flash.
  4. Connect the FreeRunner to the desktop computer via the USB cable.
  5. Use the dfu-util program to copy the images from the desktop into the FreeRunner.
  6. Boot the FreeRunner from NAND Flash to use the new image(s).

Collect the things you need

Download the DFU-util program

There are versions of dfu-util for both Linux and Windows. It works the same way on both platforms.

Download the image files that you will need

Boot the FreeRunner from NOR Flash

Booting from NOR Flash

The Neo FreeRunner needs to be at the NOR uBoot menu for flashing. For more information on booting, see booting the Neo Freerunner (in short: press and hold aux down and then press power button).

Log into the NOR uBoot menu and just stay there, do not select or enter any item in menu. Now you will be able to flash, make backups of your Freerunner or query the Freerunner with dfu-util.

Then, connect your Neo to the GNU/Linux or Windows host via USB cable.

Linux You can download the flashing tool for a GNU/Linux host from: http://downloads.openmoko.org/releases/Freerunner/dfu-util

Make sure it is executable by setting the permissions:

chmod a+x dfu-util

Windows You can download the flashing tool for a Windows host from: http://projects.openmoko.org/frs/?group_id=166&release_id=162

See additional installation instructions for Windows at Dfu-util-windows

Using dfu-util

On Linux, you run dfu-util from a command shell prompt. If you have not put it somewhere on your command path you probably need to prefix it with a "./" like this ./dfu-util.

On Windows, you need to open a command window and run from a command line.

Dfu-util will be used like this, to write an image file to a (predefined) "partition name" (referred to as Altsetting in dfu-util help/manual) :

./dfu-util -a (partion name) -R -D (download image file name)
NOTE: The meaning of the parameters you specified:

-a --alt alt : Specify the Altsetting of the DFU interface by name or by number
-R --reset : Issue USB Reset signalling once we're finished
-D --download file : Write firmware from<file> into device


Flashing the Kernel

You can download the kernel from http://downloads.openmoko.org/releases/Freerunner/

GNU/Linux hosts

Type in the following command in the terminal on a GNU/Linux host. On some systems you need to be root before this will work and on Ubuntu you must preface the command with "sudo" or you will get the following error: "Cannot claim interface: could not claim interface 2: Operation not permitted"

sudo ./dfu-util -a kernel -R -D uImage-2.6.24+git20080424-om-gta02.bin

Windows hosts

Type in the following command in the console on a Windows host:

dfu-util -a kernel -R -D uImage-2.6.24+git20080424-om-gta02.bin

Press Enter to execute the command.

When flashing succeeds the following will be shown:

status(0) = No error condition is present
Done!

|}

Flashing the Root Filesystem

You can download the root filesystem from: http://downloads.openmoko.org/releases/Freerunner/


from GNU/Linux

Type the following command in the terminal of a GNU/Linux host. On some systems you will need to be root.

./dfu-util -a rootfs -R -D openmoko-devel-image-fic-gta02.jffs2

from Windows

Type the following command in the console of a Windows host.

dfu-util -a rootfs -R -D openmoko-devel-image-fic-gta02.jffs2

When flashing succeeds the following will be shown:

status(0) = No error condition is present
Done!

Flashing u-boot

dfu-util -a u-boot -R -D uboot-gta02v5-latest.bin

</div>