(Not) getting Fedora 19 on the ODROID XU

Not buying the eMMC module turned out to be a mistake. You can’t buy them from regular suppliers, and I’m not even sure they come in standard sizes. So I’m using a micro SD card instead.

You can download a Fedora 19 image from the ODROID forums here, but I preferred to start with the official Fedora 19 ARM image:

$ xzcat Fedora-XFCE-armhfp-19-1-sda.raw.xz > /dev/mmcblk0

In the wonderful world of ARM there’s of course no chance that this would just work (and it doesn’t). Instead I copied the /boot files from the forum image:

$ virt-copy-out -a fedora19_armhf_odroidxu_20130927.img /boot .

To make the card bootable, it requires that the first partition is VFAT and contains the /boot files extracted from the forum image. This is pretty straightforward with guestfish:

$ guestfish -a /dev/mmcblk0
><fs> run
><fs> list-filesystems
/dev/sda1: ext3
/dev/sda2: swap
/dev/sda3: ext4
><fs> mkfs vfat /dev/sda1
><fs> mount /dev/sda1 /
><fs> copy-in /tmp/boot /
><fs> ll /
total 12868
drwxr-xr-x  3 0 0   16384 Oct 19 13:43 .
drwxr-xr-x 20 0 0    4096 Oct 19 13:42 ..
-rwxr-xr-x  1 0 0     169 Oct 19 12:14 .vmlinuz-3.10.10-200.fc19.armv7hl.hmac
-rwxr-xr-x  1 0 0     174 Oct 19 12:14 .vmlinuz-3.10.10-200.fc19.armv7hl.lpae.hmac
-rwxr-xr-x  1 0 0   88811 Oct 19 12:15 config-3.4.5
-rwxr-xr-x  1 0 0 6518534 Oct 19 12:14 initramfs-3.4.5
-rwxr-xr-x  1 0 0 6518598 Oct 19 12:14 uInitrd-3.4.5
drwxr-xr-x  2 0 0    8192 Oct 19 12:41 uboot
><fs> umount-all
><fs> exit

Note that /dev/sda1 inside libguestfs corresponds to the host /dev/mmcblk0p1, and / above is the boot partition. If you prefer you could make this clearer by using disk labels and filesystem labels.

As a general tip, the large DisplayPort is apparently useless, or at least, I couldn’t get it to do anything. (Edit: Apparently you have to edit boot.ini in a manner reminiscent of modelines from x86 circa 1995. Go ARM!)

So you have to have a micro HDMI (type D) connector and be able to plug that into a digital monitor.

The boot process is a bit complex, but explained to some degree here. I copied the bootloader from the forum image to the micro SD card I was using like this:

$ xzcat fedora19_armhf_odroidxu_20130927.img.xz |
  dd bs=512 skip=1 count=1263 of=bootloader
$ dd if=bootloader bs=512 seek=1 of=/dev/mmcblk0

Also you have to flip some seriously tiny dip switches on the motherboard in order to get it to boot from the SD card.

The result anyway is: (a) Green light (b) Fan spins around (c) No ethernet lights (d) Nothing on any display (well, of course this is ARM so what did I expect?)

4 Comments

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4 responses to “(Not) getting Fedora 19 on the ODROID XU

  1. problemchild68

    Have you got a console to USB adaptor from Hardkernel.
    If you havent got one defo get one has the boot messages will help no end I had a similar problem with an SD and standard image but was currupted by the writer

    • problemchild68

      O by the way I was getting the Green flashy light then Fan thing when I had the corrupt image. The Boot loader on the SOC can’t boot your image for whatever reason . You really need to get one of the USB to serial adaptors …Remember that the Serial is at 1.8 V so a normal TTL or even LVTTL adaptor is no good with out some level shifting in place

      • rich

        Faffing around with non-standard connectors basically counts this board out of consideration as a development platform. I also hear there’s also a problem that you can’t leave the UART plugged in while the thing is powered off.

  2. problemchild68

    Richard the Odroid seems to be absolutely packed with standard connectors. To be honest it has an absolute load of connection options.
    I think the Console is like that mainly because 90++ % do not need it and lets be honest we still develop on modern PCs even though they do not have a serial port for debug🙂
    I think that most SBCs have their serial ports of they have them shoved in the corner. Obviously many are 3.3v but wit the newer SOCs many are appearing with 1.8v . I’ve used the UART cable and unpowered the device no problem so ??
    There is a small but active community interested in Fedora on the ODROIDs are you on the hardkernel forum? If so as who?
    http://forum.odroid.com/
    Also if you go on there it would be useful to contact MDJNR as he’s very helpful on such matters and is the guy who does the Ubuntu and Fedora images!!

    Finally you can take a look at my cases I do for the Odroid family here:
    http://stores.ebay.co.uk/101blog?_trksid=p2047675.l2563
    The XU case will be ther over the next couple of days so that might be of interest🙂
    Keep up with the Odroid don’t park it after your first problem
    Good luck!!

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