Friday, July 21, 2017

Build U-Boot for BeagleCore

BeagleCore is a variant of the BeagleBone Black. It consists of 2 modules : BCM1 and BCS2:
* BCM1 is the System-On-Module that contains most of the BeagleBone Black design
* BCS2 is a mainboard with the form factor of the original BeagleBone Black. The BCM1 is soldered on BCS2 and the pair is an equivalence of the BBB.

Recently, I needed to run U-Boot on a custom board built with a BCM1. I followed some tutorials on the internet and the result was that U-Boot never started. After some investigations, I found out that the EEPROM that contains BBB identification is not present on BCM1, but is on BCS2 instead. The consequence is that U-Boot cannot identify the board and the initialization procedure fails.
In this post, I will detail every step to make U-Boot run on BCM1.

Note: All of these steps were performed on Windows 10 with bash (ubuntu terminal).

Install tools

sudo apt-get install gcc-arm-linux-gnueab

Create an alias to simply following commands

alias armmake='make -j8 ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabi- '

Grab U-Boot

git clone
git:// u-boot
cd u-boot

Edit the code

Usually, we do a patch for these type of things. I'll try to post it later.
We will modify some parts of the code to stub the EEPROM so that U-Boot behaves exactly like it was a BBB board.

Open board_detect.c and add the following right after the #include statements:
static struct ti_common_eeprom stub_eeprom = 
    {{0x11,0x22,0x33,0x44,0x55}, // Dummy Mac addresses

Replace the content of the function 'eeprom_am_set' with
    return 0;

Do the same with 'eeprom_am_get'.

Open board_detect.h.

Replace TI_EEPROM_DATA definition with:
 #define TI_EEPROM_DATA ((struct ti_common_eeprom *)\

Config & Compile

armmake  distclean
armmake am335x_boneblack_defconfig

Copy to an SD Card

Format an SD card to FAT32 (boot flag ON).
Go to your U-Boot directory and copy MLO to SD Card first.
Then copy u-boot.img to SD-Card.

And there you go ! U-Boot shall start normally.
Here is an example of my uEnv.txt :
mmcroot=/dev/mmcblk0p2 ro
mmcrootfstype=ext4 rootwait
loadbootenv=load mmc ${mmcdev} ${loadaddr} ${bootenv}
loadfdt=load mmc ${bootpart} ${fdtaddr} ${bootdir}/${fdtfile}
uenvcmd=load mmc 0 ${loadaddr} ${bootfile};run loadfdt;setenv bootargs console=${console} ${optargs};bootm ${loadaddr} - ${fdtaddr}


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