4.11. Freescale MXS

Freescale i.MXs or MXS are a SoC family which consists of the i.MX23 and the i.MX28. These are quite different from the regular i.MX SoCs and thus are represented by their own architecture in both the Kernel and barebox.

4.11.1. Bootlets

Traditionally These SoCs need the Freescale bootlets source and the elf2sb2 binary to build a bootable image out of the barebox binary. Since the bootlets are board specific and the source code is only hardly customisable each vendor usually has his own slightly different version of the bootlets. Booting with the Freescale bootlets is not described here, refer to the bootlet sourcecode or your vendors documentation instead.

U-Boot and barebox have a port of the bootlets integrated into their source. The barebox bootlet code is derived from the U-Boot bootlet code written by Marek Vasut.

Currently only the Karo TX28 is supported by the barebox bootlets, but we recommend that this approach should be followed for new boards and existing boards should be ported over.

4.11.2. Booting Freescale i.MXs

The Freescale MXS SoCs have a multi staged boot process which needs different images composed out of different binaries. The ROM executes a so called bootstream which contains multiple executables. The first one is executed in SRAM and the purpose of this binary is to setup the internal PMIC and the SDRAM. The second image is usually the bootloader itself. In case of barebox the bootstream is composed out of the self extracting barebox image (pblx) and the prepare stage for setting up the SDRAM.

The bootstream image itself is useful for USB boot, but for booting from SD cards or NAND a BCB header has to be prepended to the image. In case of SD boot the image has the .mxssd file extension in barebox.

Since the bootstream images are encrypted they are not suitable for 2nd stage execution. For this purpose the 2nd stage images are generated.

4.11.3. Booting from USB

barebox has the mxs-usb-loader tool (derived from the sbloader tool from the rockbox project). If the board is connected to the PC and started in USB Boot mode it should show up in lsusb:

Bus 001 Device 098: ID 15a2:004f Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. i.MX28 SystemOnChip in RecoveryMode

The bootstream images can be directly booted with:

./scripts/mxs-usb-loader 0 images/barebox-karo-tx28-bootstream.img

You might require appropriate udev rules or sudo to gain the rights to access the USB device.

4.11.4. Booting from SD cards

The SD images are suitable for booting from SD cards. SD cards need a special partitioning which can be created with the following fdisk sequence (using /dev/sdg as example):

fdisk /dev/sdg

Welcome to fdisk (util-linux 2.25.1).
Changes will remain in memory only, until you decide to write them.
Be careful before using the write command.


Command (m for help): o
Created a new DOS disklabel with disk identifier 0xd7e5d328.

Command (m for help): n
Partition type
   p   primary (0 primary, 0 extended, 4 free)
   e   extended (container for logical partitions)
Select (default p): p
Partition number (1-4, default 1): 1
First sector (2048-7829503, default 2048):
Last sector, +sectors or +size{K,M,G,T,P} (2048-7829503, default 7829503): +1M

Created a new partition 1 of type 'Linux' and of size 1 MiB.

Command (m for help): t
Selected partition 1
Hex code (type L to list all codes): 53
Changed type of partition 'Linux' to 'OnTrack DM6 Aux3'.

Command (m for help):

Command (m for help): w

After writing the new partition table the image can be written directly to the partition:

cat images/barebox-karo-tx28-sd.img > /dev/sdg1

** NOTE **

The MXS SoCs require a special partition of type 0x53 (OnTrack DM6 Aux) which contains the BCB header. For some unknown reason the BCB header is inside a partition, but contains the sector number of the raw device from which the rest of the image is read. With standard settings booting from SD card only works if the partition containing the bootloader starts at sector 2048 (the standard for fdisk). See the -p parameter to the mxsboot tool which changes this sector number in the image.

4.11.5. Booting second stage

The second stage images can be started with the barebox bootm (boot an application image) command or just jumped into using the go (start application at address or file) command.