Boundary Devices - Nitrogen8m


Board description

The Nitrogen8M is an ARM based single board computer (SBC) designed to leverage the full capabilities of NXP’s i.MX 8M Quad processor. The Nitrogen8M is designed for mass production use with a guaranteed 10 year life span, FCC Pre-scan results, and a stable supply chain. Industrial temperature and conformal coating options are available. It can be modified by de-populating unused components or fully customized for cost reduction.


Test results

The Yocto Project releases in the table below have been tested by the Mender community. Please update it if you have tested this integration on other Yocto Project releases:

Yocto Project Build Runtime
thud (2.6) :test_works: :test_works:

Build Means that the Yocto Project build using this Mender integration completes without errors and outputs images.

Runtime Means that Mender has been verified to work on the board. For U-Boot-based boards, the integration checklist has been verified.

Getting started


  • A supported Linux distribution and dependencies installed on your workstation/laptop as described in the Yocto Mega Manual

    • NOTE. Instructions depend on which Yocto version you intend to use.
  • Google repo tool installed and in your PATH.

Configuring the build

Setup Yocto environment

Set the Yocto Project branch you are building for:

# set to your branch, make sure it is supported (see table above)
export BRANCH="thud"

Create a directory for your mender-nxp setup to live in and clone the

meta information.

mkdir mender-nxp && cd mender-nxp

Initialize repo manifest:

repo init -u \
           -m meta-mender-nxp/scripts/manifest-nxp.xml \
           -b ${BRANCH}

Fetch layers in manifest:

repo sync

Setup build environment

Initialize the build environment:

source setup-environment nxp

NOTE! You need to accept the Freescale EULA at ‘…/sources/meta-freescale/EULA’. Please read it and in case you accept it, add:


in your local.conf.

Configure Mender server URL (optional)

This section is not required for a successful build but images that are generated by default are only suitable for usage with the Mender client in Standalone deployments, due to lack of server configuration.

You can edit the conf/local.conf file to provide your Mender server configuration, ensuring the generated images and Mender Artifacts are connecting to the Mender server that you are using. There should already be a commented section in the generated conf/local.conf file and you can simply uncomment the relevant configuration options and assign appropriate values to them.

Build for Hosted Mender:

# To get your tenant token: 
# - log in to 
# - click your email at the top right and then "My organization" 
# - press the "COPY TO CLIPBOARD" 
# - assign content of clipboard to MENDER_TENANT_TOKEN 
MENDER_TENANT_TOKEN = "<copy token here>" 

Build for Mender demo server:

# Update IP address to match the machine running the Mender demo server 

Building the image

You can now proceed with building an image:

MACHINE=nitrogen8m bitbake core-image-base

Replace core-image-base with your desired image target.

Using the build output

After a successful build, the images and build artifacts are placed in tmp/deploy/images/nitrogen8m/.

  • tmp/deploy/images/nitrogen8m/core-image-base-nitrogen8m.sdimg

  • tmp/deploy/images/nitrogen8m/core-image-base-nitrogen8m.mender

The disk image (with .sdimg suffix) is used to provision the device storage for devices without Mender running already. Please proceed to the official documentation on provisioning a new device for steps to do this.

On the other hand, if you already have Mender running on your device and want to deploy a rootfs update using this build, you should use the Mender Artifact files, which have .mender suffix. You can either deploy this Artifact in managed mode with the Mender server as described in Deploy to physical devices or by using the Mender client only in Standalone deployments.

Flash instructions

  • NOTE. You have to connect a USB cable between the OTG Nitrogen8M port (J67 - USB 3.0 OTG (micro-B SS)) and the host PC.

From U-Boot side (Using U-Boot USB Mass Storage Gadget):

=> ums 0 mmc 0

From Host side:

sudo dd if=core-image-base-nitrogen8m.sdimg of=/dev/sdX bs=1M && sudo sync

That is it, you can now power-cycle or reset the device and halt it in U-Boot on the first boot. You should see:

Hit any key to stop autoboot:  0                                                                                                            

run the commands below (via the serial terminal).

=> run upgradeu
timeout irqstat=18000
timeout irqstat=18000
switch to partitions #0, OK
mmc0(part 0) is current device
Scanning mmc 0:1...
Found U-Boot script /upgrade.scr
5286 bytes read in 6 ms (860.4 KiB/s)
## Executing script at 40480000
1101432 bytes read in 16 ms (65.6 MiB/s)
timeout irqstat=18000
timeout irqstat=18000
switch to partitions #0, OK
mmc0(part 0) is current device

MMC read: dev # 0, block # 66, count 2152 ... 2152 blocks read: OK
byte at 0x0000000042000400 (0xd1) != byte at 0x0000000042400400 (0x0)
Total of 0 byte(s) were the same
Need U-Boot upgrade
Program in 5 seconds

MMC write: dev # 0, block # 66, count 2152 ... 2152 blocks written: OK
timeout irqstat=18000
timeout irqstat=18000
switch to partitions #0, OK
mmc0(part 0) is current device
---- U-Boot upgraded. Please reset the board

Takes around 5 seconds to complete, and you will be prompted to reset the board once it is complete.

Also remember to run the following once after you have performed the U-Boot upgrade:

=> env default -a
=> saveenv

This will make sure that the correct U-Boot environment is used.


  • The official Mender documentation explains how Mender works. This is simply a board-specific complement to the official documentation.