Poky manual

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Revision as of 15:25, 26 January 2022 by Andrey.filippov (talk | contribs) (Setup)
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Build the firmware for Elphel 10393 series camera systems from scratch.

Prebuilt releases can be found here.

Use cases

  • Update Linux Kernel when developing a driver
  • Include application to the default firmware package
  • Update Elphel's PHP extension
  • C/C++ applications if developed on PC require a cross-compiler and require Yocto installation or some other alternative.

Other projects written in Python, PHP, Javascript, HTML, C/C++ (gcc is installed on the system board) can be developed on the camera. Installing the framework is not required but it can simplify the development process.


  • Building embedded Linux image for Zynq ARMv7 platform - Elphel 10393 board
  • Yocto Poky revision = 2.7.1 (Warrior) - builds in Kubuntu 20.04. Older OSes are not supported. Roll back to get built in 16.04.
  • Yocto Poky revision = 2.4 (Rocko) - builds in Kubuntu 16.04. Won't build in 18.04 or 20.04.
  • Yocto Poky revision = 2.0 (Jethro)


  • Once everything is built it supports updating software projects (files and binaries) on the target system
    • access is set up in yocto's local.conf (see setup.py output) + ssh-copy-id
    • bitbake some-app -c target_scp from the command line or Eclipse IDE - see examples in elphel-apps-... at Git


  • Kubuntu 20.04 x64
  • Kubuntu 18.04 x64 (as of Dec 2018) - Poky: 2.7.1 Warrior (not tested but might build w/o problems)
  • Kubuntu 16.04 x64 (as of Dec 2018) - Poky: 2.4 Rocko, 2.7.1 Warrior

Output files

The names are listed as they appear in the u-boot configuration header file - actual output files have different names:

File(s) Build Command Description
boot.bin bitbake u-boot u-boot as the first stage bootloader = Secondary Program Loader (SPL) that boots u-boot-dtb.img
u-boot-dtb.img bitbake u-boot full size u-boot with a stripped device tree (cat u-boot.img some_stripped_devicetree.dtb > u-boot-dtb.img)
devicetree.dtb bitbake device-tree device tree with listed interfaces, zynq registers, interrupts and drivers
  • elphel393/bootable-images/mmc/devicetree.dtb - mount rootfs from mmc partition
  • elphel393/bootable-images/nand/devicetree.dtb - mount rootfs from NAND flash
uImage bitbake linux-xlnx kernel, drivers
rootfs.ubifs, rootfs.ubi, rootfs.tar.gz bitbake core-image-elphel393 rootfs in different formats - *.ubi* for NAND, *.tar.gz for mmc

The file are located at elphel393/bootable-images/, which is a link to poky's deploy directory elphel393/poky/build/tmp/deploy/images/elphel393/

  • complete set of files for rootfs in NAND Flash: elphel393/bootable-images/nand/
  • complete set of files for rootfs on MMC (micro SD card): elphel393/bootable-images/mmc/

Write files to media and boot

Boot from micro SD card

  • Use recovery or regular μSD card
  • EXT4 partition mounted as /

Detailed instructions

Boot from NAND flash

  • The default boot option - power on.
  • A UBIFS image is written to /dev/mtd4 - is mounted as /

Detailed instructions



  • Before building

Installing some dependencies:

sudo apt install git build-essential chrpath diffstat gawk makeinfo zlib1g-dev python3-numpy

Installing old python2.7 (bitbake snapshot that we used has problem with python3.8):

sudo apt install python2.7
sudo ln -s python2.7 python2
sudo ln -s python2.7 python
  • Poky 2.7.1 Warrior (Kubuntu 20.04)

git clone -b warrior https://git.elphel.com/Elphel/elphel393.git
cd elphel393
cd poky
. ./oe-init-build-env
bitbake u-boot device-tree linux-xlnx core-image-elphel393

  • Poky 2.4 Rocko (Kubuntu 16.04)

git clone -b rocko https://git.elphel.com/Elphel/elphel393.git
cd elphel393
cd poky
. ./oe-init-build-env
bitbake u-boot device-tree linux-xlnx core-image-elphel393

  • Notes (required actions already listed above): When trying to run bitbake on a new install got problems with older bitbake version (current build uses specific snapshot) and python3.8. So I install old python2.7 and linked it:
sudo apt install python2.7
sudo ln -s python2.7 python2
sudo ln -s python2.7 python

After this bitbake just complained about missing tools (git, build-essential were already installed):

sudo apt install chrpath diffstat gawk makeinfo

Program test_mcntrl.py that builds x393.h header files from FPGA code that runs during ./setup.py requires numpy and results in error output if missing Still setup.py continues, you need to look through its output few lines after

* x393
git host: git.elphel.com
Clone and checkout: x393

You may install numpy with

sudo apt install python3-numpy

If you did not notice missing numpy, then during bitbake you will get error "build No rule to make target 'drivers/elphel/x393.o', needed by 'drivers/elphel/built-in.a'. Stop." in that case you need to install numpy, re-run setup.py (make sure numpy error is gone) then re-create linux kernel links during next build by erasing old ones:

bitbake linux-xlnx -c clean

and re-running

bitbake linux-xlnx device-tree core-image-elphel393

When building php: configure: error: zip support requires ZLIB. Use --with-zlib-dir=<DIR> to specify prefix where ZLIB include and library are located

sudo apt install zlib1g-dev

Compare built vs deployed software versions

cd elphel393
./check_versions.py root@

check_versions.py output in terminal (web-393 revision on PC is ahead of the one installed on the camera)

Details for development

Development for 10393