Toradex Colibri iMX7 Dual 512MB / Colibri iMX7 Solo 256MB

imx7
nxp
yocto
rocko

#1

Board description

The Colibri iMX7S and Colibri iMX7D are SODIMM-sized System on Modules (SoMs) based on the NXP i.MX 7Solo and i.MX 7Dual SoCs respectively.

Arm Cortex-A7 cores are highly optimized for energy efficiency while delivering high performance. Advanced security features make the Colibri iMX7 a great choice for connected devices.

Typical applications include power-sensitive edge computing devices, IoT gateways, medical devices, industrial automation and many more. The NXP i.MX 7 uses an asymmetric, heterogeneous multicore processing system with a Cortex-M4 core that runs at up to 200MHz.

102958-colibriimx7d-top-view

URL: https://www.toradex.com/computer-on-modules/colibri-arm-family/nxp-freescale-imx7
Wiki: https://developer.toradex.com/products/colibri-imx7

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
rocko (2.4) :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

Prerequisites

  • 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="rocko" 

Create a directory for your mender-toradex setup to live in and clone the
meta information.

mkdir mender-toradex && cd mender-toradex

Initialize repo manifest:

repo init -u https://github.com/mendersoftware/meta-mender-community \
           -m meta-mender-toradex-nxp/scripts/manifest-toradex.xml \
           -b ${BRANCH}

Fetch layers in manifest:

repo sync

Setup build environment

Initialize the build environment:

source setup-environment toradex-nxp

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

ACCEPT_FSL_EULA = "1" 

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 https://hosted.mender.io
#    - 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_SERVER_URL = "https://hosted.mender.io"
MENDER_TENANT_TOKEN = "<copy token here>"

Build for Mender demo server:

# https://docs.mender.io/getting-started/create-a-test-environment
#
# Update IP address to match the machine running the Mender demo server
MENDER_DEMO_HOST_IP_ADDRESS = "192.168.0.100"

Building the image

You can now proceed with building an image:

MACHINE=colibri-imx7 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:

  • tmp/deploy/images/colibri-imx7/core-image-base-colibri-imx7.ubimg
  • tmp/deploy/images/colibri-imx7/core-image-base-colibri-imx7.mender
  • tmp/deploy/images/colibri-imx7/u-boot-nand.imx

The disk image (with .ubimg suffix) is used to provision the device storage for devices without Mender running already.

The u-boot-nand.imx file is used to provision the device with a Mender compatible U-Boot.

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

Based on the output artifacts described above we need to flash the u-boot-nand.imx and core-image-base-colibri-imx7.ubimg separately to fully provision an device and for it to work with Mender.

Prerequisites:

  • tftp server running on your PC
  • device connected on the same network as your PC with access to an DHCP server
  • serial console access

In my case the tftp server directory is setup as /srv/tftp, and this is what I will use in the examples but the location might be different on other distributions.

Copy ubiimg to tftp server directory:

cp tmp/deploy/images/colibri-imx7/core-image-base-colibri-imx7.ubimg /srv/tftp

Copy u-boot-nand.imx to tftp server directory:

cp tmp/deploy/images/colibri-imx7/u-boot-nand.imx /srv/tftp

Connect to your device serial console port using your virtual terminal application of choice and halt the device in the U-Boot prompt. You should see the following:

Colibri iMX7 #

The following commands are executed on the device U-Boot prompt.

NOTE! Replace 192.168.1.122 with the IP address of your PC where the tftp server is running.

Transfer u-boot-nand.img to RAM:

dhcp 192.168.1.122:u-boot-nand.imx

Write u-boot-nand.img to the on-board FLASH:

nand erase.part u-boot1 && nand write $loadaddr u-boot1 $filesize

Transfer core-image-base-colibri-imx7.ubimg to RAM:

dhcp 192.168.1.122:core-image-base-colibri-imx7.ubimg

Flash ubimg to on-board FLASH:

nand erase.part ubi && nand write $loadaddr ubi $filesize

References

  • The Mender integration for Toradex Colibri iMX7 Dual 512MB / Colibri iMX7 Solo 256MB can be found in meta-mender
  • The Toradex Colibri iMX7 Dual 512MB / Colibri iMX7 Solo 256MB template files can be found in meta-mender-community.
  • This was tested using a Iris Carrier board
  • The official Mender documentation explains how Mender works. This is simply a board-specific complement to the official documentation.

Known issues