From eLinux.org
< Hawkboard
Revision as of 12:54, 25 April 2010 by Alokprasad (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Hawkboard hw.jpg


Hawkboard is a open-hardware project which uses Texas Instrument's (TI) OMAP Processor(OMAPL-L138) (Which contains both DSP and ARM Processor)

  • ARM-This Normally runs Operating System Such as Linux or Android etc.ARM in OMAPL-138 ,is ARMV5/ARM926
  • DSP-This is normally used to perform Audio/Video encoding and Decoding as it is specifically designed to perform these operations faster.DSP in OMAPL-138 ,is C674x Floating Point DSP.

Mix of ARM & DSP (OMAP) gives high performance and low power computing platform,Which are normally used in embedded Devices Like Mobile etc.

A Similar kind and very popular Open-hardware platform is beagleboard that uses Faster OMAP from TI.

Command prompts in this guide

In this guide, commands are preceded by prompts that indicate the environment where the command is to be typed. For example:

  • host$
Indicates command to be typed into the shell window of the host Linux workstation.
  • Hawkboard.org>
Indicates commands to be typed into the U-Boot shell in a console window connected to the Hawkboard's serial port.
  • target$
Indicates commands to be typed into the Linux shell in the terminal window connected to the Hawkboard's serial port or TTY..

Getting Started

Things you will need

1. Hawkboard

2. 5V 1Ampere Power Supply (Higher than 1A recommended)

3. USB Hub (Hub that provides external power supply is recommended) Since in future you might want to connect multiple peripherals like Keyboard,mouse ,USB Storage devices.A USB Hub is highly recommended.

4. Cross Cable DB-9 Female at both ends See wiring diagram below how to make one.

5. SD Card or USB Pendrive (1GB Minimal)

6. Ethernet Cable

7. Ethernet HUB or Switch If you PC/laptop/Router has only one LAN Port which is already in use ,Then might consider purchasing it.

8.System Running Linux either on Real Machine or Vmware/VirtualBOX

Note: This guide assume ,that Linux is Ubuntu Jaunty (9.10)

Preparing Hawkboard

Before all first thing is to check that the board is properly working or not.

a) Connect a 5V and 1A Power supply (Inner Pin +Ve and Outer GND)

Note: mini-USB(USB OTG) port provided on board can also be used to power the device ,but since USB port of PC/Laptop doesn't provide enough current,Hawkboard will not function properly

b) Connect VGA monitor cable to Hawkboard VGA Port

c) Power on the Device ,you will see Hawkboard Logo on the monitor as below ,this is due to Bootloader (U-boot) present in the Hawkboard. Hawk vga logo.jpg

d) Further Also check whether you are receiving the Data from Hawkboard UART/Serial port to PC/Laptop Serial port. Serial port will be used to tell bootloader(u-boot) where the Kernel image & File-system (Rootfile system) is present.

For this Connect UART/serial port of Hawkboard on to PC by NULL cable which has DB-9 Female at both ends & It must be crossed i.e and 2 & 3 .

Below is Wiring Diagram


e) Once cable has been connected open following software depending on your system.

  • Hyperterminal or Teraterm -if you are using windows.
  • Cutecom or minicom -if you are using Linux

& Set following parameters to see uboot messages

Bits per Second: 115200
Data Bits: 8
Parity: None
Stop Bits: 1
Flow Control: None
Transmit delay: 0 msec/char, 10 msec/line (Optional)
  • Using Cutecom (Linux)
  host$ apt-get install cutecom
  host$ cutecom &

Set comport

  1. If comport will be /dev/ttyS0 -COM1 or /dev/ttyS1 if COM2
  2. If you are USB RS232 converter than comport will be something /dev/ttyUSB0

Cutecom ScreenShot below


  • Using Hypertermincal (Windows)

Start->Run->hypertrm or Start-All program-Accessories-Communication-Hyper terminal select appropriate Comport

As shown below screenshot of Hyperterminal settings

Hawk Serial Set.JPG

Now power on the Device you should see some text message on Serial Console (Hyperterminal or minicom etc)

Hawk uboot msg.JPG

Pressing enter will again give a new Hawkboard.org> Prompt .

This shows that serial port is working to send and receive messages to/from hawkboard

Note: If you don't see above screen There are two LEDs situated near the

serial port (one for RS232 transmit & one for RS232 receive). One of them blinks while the board boots. Showing that is transmitting data to the serial ports.

If that Led is blinking then either your cross cable should have a problem or it should be loose connection.

Introduction to uImage ,uBoot & File-system

As a normal system needs kernel and various application to be useful ,Similar and embedded devices too need a Kernel that manages/allocates resources & Schedule task & Set of Applications to perform user task.

The components here are:

  • uImage :- uImage is a Linux Kernel (2.6.x) that Bootloader(Uboot) Loads which then finally mounts the Filesytem present

can be either on SD Card / USB Drive or on Another Network PC through NFS(Network File System) Protocol.

  • RootFS :-Kernel itself is manager of resource and dose nothing ,you need a filesystem for Kernel to manage and you to work upon.

Filesystem is also known as Root Filesystem ,It basically contains all the application (ls,cat,vi etc ),directory structure /dev, /proc, /bin, /etc, /lib, /usr, /tmp & necessary scripts (rc, inittab, fstab etc) etc.

  • U-boot  :- There is third component Known as Bootloader that actually initially Loads Kernel in RAM

preloaded Bootloader in Hawkboard is U-boot.Similar to Like GRUB for Linux and NTLDR for Windows

Download Kernel & Root FS

Download the Sample uImage & Root Filesystem(RootFS) from The Link

Kernel will loaded through TFTP Server.Though u-boot can load this image from USB/SD Card but the Preloaded (Uboot) that comes with Hawkboard cant access USB/SD Card hence cant access & load uImage.Once the uImage is loaded it can then Access SD/MMC to load Root Filesystem as kernel as Driver to access them.

Filesystem will loaded through NFS or SD/USB Drive once uImage is loaded.

The Sample RootFS contains Ubuntu Jaunty Non-Graphical distribution ,which contains gcc,ssh vi editor and lot more . With gcc you can do native development on Hawkboard itself & No cross compiler needed.

For installing new packages you can also use "apt-get install <package_name>"

Installing and setting TFTPD on PC(Needed for uImage Transfer to Board)

Since TFTP Server is required on Host System to Transfer uImage to Hawkboard ,Install TFTP Server by following steps below:

1. Install tftpd and related packages.

host$ sudo apt-get install xinetd tftpd

2. Create /etc/xinetd.d/tftp and put this entry:

 service tftp
 protocol        = udp
 port            = 69
 socket_type     = dgram
 wait            = yes
 user            = nobody
 server          = /usr/sbin/in.tftpd
 server_args     = /tftpboot
 disable         = no

3. Make /tftpboot directory

host$ sudo mkdir /tftpboot
host$ sudo chmod -R 777 /tftpboot
host$ sudo chown -R nobody /tftpboot

4. Start tftpd through xinetd

host$ sudo /etc/init.d/xinetd restart

5.Place uImage_v1 in /tftpboot dir

Preparation for transferring Root Filesystem

RootFilesytem can be loaded to Hawkboard either using SD/MMC or NFS.

If you want to use SD Card or USB Pendrive for loading the RootFS ,you can skip this section and proceed to SD/USB Drive Booting section.Also in case you are facing difficulty setting up NFS Server ,Following SD/USB Drive Booting section is recommended.

Using NFS Server Method

In NFS Boot method Root Filesystem remains on host PC & is shared using NFS Server This is then mounted as root-file system by Hawkboard kernel (uImage) So files can be accessed from Hawkboard else-well as Host Machine,any changes is reflected on both.This method do not require you to Copy RootFS on SD Card/USB Drive. Development is faster since u can directly copy files from Host machine to NFS Folder and it will reflected back on Hawkboard.

Follow these steps to configure NFS Server 1. Install NFS Server

host$ sudo apt-get install portmap nfs-kernel-server

2. Share the Folder containing extracted RootFS (e.g /nfsroot contains RootFS)

Edit /etc/exports and add the shares:

/nfsroot <NETWROK_IP><SUBNET_MASK>(rw,sync,no_subtree_check,no_root_squash)

e.g, /nfsroot,sync,no_subtree_check,no_root_squash)

Assuming your network is is

NB:- no_root_squash might be necessary if you are getting sudo erros in Ubuntu Rootfs

3.After setting up /etc/exports, export the shares:

 host$ sudo exportfs -ra

restart the nfs-server if required

 host$ sudo /etc/init.d/nfs-kernel-server restart

4.cp hawktool_v1.tar.bz2 to /nfsroot and extract files using

 host$ sudo tar xvf hawktool_v1.tar.bz2

Using SD Card or USB Card Method

Follow these steps only if you are not using NFS Method. or Skip to Next Section

This requires you to transfer Root Filesystem to SD Card or USB Pendrive, Drive should have a ext2/ext3 partition and file should be copied on that system. To create ext2/ext3 partition you can use gparted.

1.Install Gparted using

apt-get install gparted

2.Now create ext2 partition using

gparted /dev/sdb&
Note:Here /dev/sdb is USB PenDrive

create aroud 2GB or more Ext2 partition


3.Copy RootFS_v1.tar.bz2 to this partition Extract using

tar xvf RootFS_v1.tar.bz2
rm -f RootFS_v1.tar.bz2

and remove the SD Card or USB Drive

Booting Linux Kernel from USB

Once TFTP Server has been setup and uImage has been placed in /tftpboot folder & Also RootFS is has been put in either NFS Folder(/nfsroot) or on SD/USB Card.

Follow this steps to load kernel and RootFS.

1.Open Cutecom or HyperTerminal

2. Enter following command to Load uimage through tftp ( as usual)

 hawkboard.org> setenv serverip <PC IP>
 hawkboard.org> setenv ipaddr <BOARD IP>
 hawkboard.org> tftp c0700000 uImage_v1
#Here PC_IP is IP address of your Host Linux
#BOARD IP is IP address if your board you want to setup(make sure its on same network)
#tftp c0700000 uImage_v1 Tells Bootloader to Load uImage from PC_IP to Hawkboard's RAM 
at location c0700000

Below Screen Shot how to enter commands in cutecom

Uboot para.jpg

2.Sent environment variable to uImage for the Location of RootFS Bootargs is the parameter/Variable that is send to uImage telling the Location of RootFS ,for it to mount. Once the uImage is executed ,it then read bootargs and load the RootFS defined in that.

Set one of the Following Bootargs depending where your RootFS is located.

a)If USB Drive

 hawkboard.org> setenv bootargs console=ttyS2,115200n8 noinitrd root=/dev/sda1 rootwait rw init=/sbin/init


  1. root=/dev/sda1 Tells that RootFS is locaed on USB Drive with first ext2 partition
  2. console=ttyS2,115200n8 tells where to put booting Message,Its basically UART3 of Hawkboard.
  3. init=/sbin/init tells which program to run first after mounting rootFS

E.g. in u-boot say something like:

setenv bootargs console=ttyS2,115200n8 console=tty1 noinitrd root=/dev/mmcblk0p1 rootwait rw

b)if SD Card

hawkboard.org> setenv bootargs console=ttyS2,115200n8 console=tty1 noinitrd root=/dev/mmcblk0p1 rootdelay = 2 rootfstype = ext2 rw

Here p1 in mmcblk0p1 says that Rootfs is present in first partition of SD Card.

c) If NFS Boot

c.1)If Board uses Static IP

hawkboard.org> setenv bootargs 'console=ttyS2,115200n8 noinitrd rw ip=<HawkboardIP>:<server-ip>:<gateway-ip>:<netmask>::eth0: root=/dev/nfs nfsroot=<NFS Server ipaddress>:/nfsroot'


 hawkboard.org> setenv bootargs 'console=ttyS2,115200n8 noinitrd rw ip= root=/dev/nfs nfsroot=<NFS Server ipaddress>:/nfsroot'

where is board IP & is gateway IP& Router IP.

c.2)if Board uses DHCP

 hawkboard.org> setenv bootargs "mem=128M console=ttyS2,115200n8 root=/dev/nfs nfsroot=<Server ipaddress>:/nfsroot ip=dhcp"

3.Run the Kernel & Mouting of Filesystem

 hawkboard.org> bootm c0700000

Tells Uboot to run image located at location c0700000 ,in this case its uImage.

Uimage load.jpg

Explaining Booting Process

After enter bootm command kernel start executing ,it reads the read the bootargs that was passed as environment variable earlier.Bootargs contains information where the root filesytem is present .Reading this information uImage mounts the RootFS and subsecult runs /sbin/init (which typically shows you a login prompt).

Sample rootFS is configured for following user and password user:hawk password:password