linux-fslc on the Wandboard

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linux-fslc on the Wandboard

Postby CruX » Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:36 pm

Hi everyone,

while the forums are pretty quiet these days, I'm still using my Wandboard a lot for Kodi and as a general purpose 24/7 Linux device.
Roughly a year ago I created a post which presented a forked 3.14 kernel modified by the guys from SolidRun.

I'm very happy to say that they did it again and now maintain a modified version of 3.14 based on linux-fslc (the freescale community linux kernel).
Because their devices (Cubox-i and Hummingboard) are so similar to the Wandboard, I was able to adapt this kernel to run on the Wandboard. You can find my fork here (newest branch wandboard-pr is updated to Jon's main branch).

I got the following features working on my Wandboard Quad (Rev B1):
  • HDMI, SATA, USB, HDMI audio, SPDIF audio, analog audio
  • GPU
  • WiFi client
  • WiFi AP mode
  • Bluetooth
  • Proper reset for WiFi and Bluetooth on each reboot
  • CAAM via cryptodev
  • Stable gigabit ethernet (with known limitations)

Some notes:
  • I do not own a Rev C1 Wandboard, all testing was done on Rev B.
  • I'm using Archlinux ARM which (as of Oct. 2015) uses GCC 5.2.0. I tend to have mostly working PKGBUILDs here.
  • The kernel config I used is this, it's based on imx_v7_cbi_hb_defconfig.
  • GPU/VPU/IPU functionality was tested with Kodi. To use the GPU, you will have to use the userspace libraries imx-gpu-viv in version 5.0.11.p4.5-hfp, found here. I used the most recent version of firmware-imx (5.2).
  • I rewrote the rfkill driver to properly reset the brcm4329 chip on (soft-)reboot, I have not tested in on the brcm4330 (used in the Rev C1) but I hope it works there, too.
  • The most reliable firmware for WiFi client mode is the one provided by linux-firmware (brcmfmac4329-sdio.{txt,bin} for Rev B1, brcmfmac4330-sdio.{txt,bin} for Rev C1}). This will not work in AP mode.
  • For AP mode, I used the one provided by John Weber's wandboard-ap yocto layer. When I used this firmware in client mode, the kernel crashed reproducibly.
  • To use Bluetooth, you must have the SDMA firmware loaded, the kernel config I mentioned should do that correctly. You have to use brcm_patchram_plus to load the bluetooth firmware at runtime, see the Archlinux package firmware-brcm43xx. It should be something like
    Code: Select all
    /usr/bin/brcm_patchram_plus --patchram /lib/firmware/brcm/bcm4329.hcd --baudrate 3000000 --use_baudrate_for_download /dev/ttymxc2 --scopcm=1,4,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0 --bd_addr 43:29:B1:89:XX:XX
    , I'm not sure whether the scopcm parameter is needed.
  • The kernel config I linked will build cryptodev as a module. You will have to rebuild (and possibly patch) OpenSSL/GnuTLS to take advantage of cryptodev in other applications. You can alternatively include cryptodev in your own applications, it's pretty doable. CAAM does ~35MB/s AES-256-CTR on the Wandboard Quad. SHA256 is ~90MB/s.
  • Using previous kernels, I had to fix the ethernet port to 100MBit or my connection would constantly connect/disconnect ('flapping'), IIRC this depends on the switch on the other side of the cable. This does not happen with this kernel. You can set 'ar803x_smarteee=1' in kernel parameters to save some power while using GBit.
  • I am running this fork of irqbalance.
  • For HDMI audio you will need the SDMA firmware (see above).

For me, this is the best and most feature-complete kernel existing for the Wandboard at the moment.
I'd like to merge this back to SolidRun's tree as soon as possible.
It would certainly help me to have some feedback whether this kernel also works well on the Rev C1 Wandboard and other editions (dual, single...).

Big thanks go out to the guys from SolidRun plus their various contributors (especially Jon Nettleton and Russel 'rmk' King) for their continuous improvements of kernels for the i.MX6 platform!

I'd be happy to hear about your experiences with this kernel, you can also visit #wandboard on freenode if you want to wake us up there :)

Best regards,
Last edited by CruX on Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: linux-fslc on the Wandboard

Postby pcglue » Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:50 am

I'd like to try it, but when I look at the instructions to compile a kernel for wandboard at, it says to do a 'make wandboard_defconfig'. But I can't find wandboard_defconfig in your repo, Freescale/linux-fslc or even wandboard-org/linux. Where would I find this file? I gather it should be under /arch/arm/configs, though I can't find it in any of the linux repos that could be used for wandboard. Are the instructions on that wiki page still accurate?
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Re: linux-fslc on the Wandboard

Postby madisox » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:07 pm

I've been experimenting with using the 3.14-1.0.x-mx6 branch of Freescale/linux-fslc with good results on my rev C1 Wandboard-Quad. I forked it, ported over the patches for Wandboard support from the 3.14.28 branch in linux-wandboard, and have thrown in a few other patches to address some issues I was seeing.

There are some interesting additional patches in the SR fork, though. I'll give it a try.
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Re: linux-fslc on the Wandboard

Postby selex » Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:14 pm


I have looking for something like this, since oficial archlinuxarm PKGBUILDs removed linux-wandboard from its tree. Thank your! I'll tell you if everything goes well or I break something up.
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Re: linux-fslc on the Wandboard

Postby thunders » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:32 pm

Hi CruX,

Thank you for all your hard work. I ll try to test this on Yocto Jethro. I ll let you know if everything runs properly.
Just a quick question regarding the userspace libraries imx-gpu-viv. Do we have to use version 5.0.11.p4.5-hfp or a newer version will work aswell ?
I m asking that because Jethro provides imx-gpu-viv_5.0.11.p7.1-hfp...


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Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:50 am

Re: linux-fslc on the Wandboard

Postby CruX » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:33 am

Glad you're using it! I'd love to hear about your experiences, either here or on #wandboard.

I just checked with Jon Nettleton and it seems like the version posted in OP (5.0.11.p4.5) is still the way to go. He has patches available for p7 but those are not merged yet.
I don't know the changelog for these gpu drivers so I've no idea whether it's worth the effort....

I'm using 5.0.11.p4.5 and it seems to work well. Sometimes, it seems like I'm able to somehow crash the VPU/GPU using Kodi but that happens very rarely. In my opinion, this is still the most stable kernel out there.

Best regards,
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Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:29 pm

Re: linux-fslc on the Wandboard

Postby delphi » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:01 am

Hello. Please provide the community with fully working even debian8 with this new kernel (img to download). It will be very usefull for IoT. The new kernel has a lot of drivers for sensors. You made a big work.
Posts: 3
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Re: linux-fslc on the Wandboard

Postby Wig » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:20 am

So is it okay for terminal version? it's easier to porting without desktop.
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Re: linux-fslc on the Wandboard

Postby CruX » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:42 am

Please make sure to use the newest branch wandboard-pr. This one is updated to include the newest changes from SolidRun as well as 3.14.60 (at the time of this post).
I will try to keep this up to date with Jon.

Best regards,

Edit: Because I only own one Wandboard, I probably won't create anything for distributions other than arch.
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