New Yocto Release fsimx6ul-Y2020.03.1

  • F&S i.MX6UL Linux Release Y2020.03.1 (Yocto 2.4 Rocko)

    This is a major release for fsimx6ul. fsimx6ul is the software for all boards from F&S that are based on the i.MX6-UltraLite and i.MX6ULL CPUs from NXP (or i.MX6UL and i.MX6ULL for short). Currently these are the modules efusA7UL, PicoCOM1.2, PicoCoreMX6UL and PicoCoreMX6UL100. Further boards may be added to this family in the future. All these boards can work with software that is created from this release package.

    The release consists of two files:


    This is the main release itself containing all sources, the binary images, the documentation, examples and the toolchain.


    If you copy the contents of this archive to an SD card, you can install our precompiled standard system in a very straightforward and comfortable way on the board. The SD card archive is meant for people who just want to try a release first without having to download the quite large main archive. Its content is also contained in the main release archive, so if you want to download the main archive anyway, you don't need to bother with the SD card archive.

    These tar archives are compressed with bzip2. So to see the files, you first have to unpack the archives Code

    1. tar xvf fsimx6ul-Y2020.03.1.tar.bz2

    This will create a directory fsimx6ul-Y2020.03.1 that contains all the files of the release.

    Please read the file


    It describes the first steps when working with the board and gives references to further reading.

    Release Notes for fsimx6ul-Y2020.03.1

    This release brings new versions to all parts of the software stack. Here are some highlights of this release.

    1. New version numbering

    We have changed the way how we name versions. In the past we had a version number made up of a major part m and a minor part n. Then we used Vm.n for Buildroot releases and Ym.n for Yocto releases. Release versions were counted individually for each CPU architecture. But then a "new" CPU type unfortunately had a smaller version number than an "old" CPU, even if the code was coming from the same sources or was even newer. This caused some irritations and misunderstandings of what release is actually the newest.

    So from now on we will use the year and month of the release instead, preceeded by a 'B' for Buildroot releases and a 'Y' for Yocto releases. For example the "B2019.11" of this release indicates a Buildroot based release from November 2019.

    2. Support for new board PicoCoreMX6UL100

    This is the first regular release that supports PicoCoreMX6UL100. The PicoCore is only 40mm x 35mm but is a very powerful System-on-Module with many I/Os.

    3. New U-Boot 2018.03

    We have a considerably newer U-Boot now. One of the main new features is display support, so basically U-Boot can now be used to show a splash screen.

    U-Boot will also show more information about the CPU type now, for example temperature range, possible speed, etc. The command "clocks" will show much more information about internal clock rates. And USB storage devices are detected faster and more reliably than before.

    U-Boot has experienced quite a lot of internal restructuring. For example it now also supports configuration via a Kconfig menu, similar to Linux kernel and Buildroot. After configuration with

    1. make fsimx6ul_defconfig

    simply call

    1. make menuconfig

    to show the menu. There you can select and de-select entries or move to sub-menus.

    Moving all configuration options from the previous header file to this menu is a long-term and still on-going process. So not all features are available in the menu, yet.

    U-Boot is now compiled and running in THUMB mode. This saves space that is needed for all the display code.

    4. New Linux kernel 4.9.88

    The Linux kernel is now based on 4.9.88. By default, we are using the zImage format of the kernel now, not the uImage format as before. Here are some of the new features since the previous kernel 4.1.15.

    • Improvements and optimizations in memory management, for example better heap and page management (tmpfs, shmem), better protection against attacks by implementing stack, heap and memory randomization.
    • Performance optimizations for the network stack, like faster TCP connections, quick killing of hanging network links, more features for the packet filter (firewall), smaller latencies on WLAN.
    • Optimizations in block layer, for example better Device Mapper for LVM, improved parallel access to directories, more efficient access to SSDs, parallel access for NFS, kernel support for file copy, server-side copy for CIFS, NFS, XFS, support for hard discs with host-managed SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording).
    • Optimizations on file systems (NTRFS, EXT4, F2FS, NFS, XFS, Overlayfs, Ceph), new cluster filesystem Orangefs
    • Many improvements in graphics stack, like DRM (Direct Rendering Manager), new open source graphics driver etnaviv for Vivante graphics on i.MX CPUs (etnaviv = vivante backwards)
    • Better load balancing of processes to CPU cores, new cgroups v2, improved power and frequency handling, new cpufreq governor schedutil.
    • New GPIO infrastructure not using sysfs, supposed to be faster.
    • Support for USB SuperSpeedPlus (USB 3.1).
    • Many many new and improved drivers for WLAN chips, touch controllers, audio codecs, cameras, MMC/SD cards, etc.

    Of course there are also many changes for other CPU types (like x86) and other graphics cores (like AMD, Nvidia, Intel) but these are not of interest here.

    4. Yocto 2.4 (Rocko)

    With this release systemd will be the default init system for the example-fus-images.

    Systemd is a init system and service manager for Linux operating systems. It provides a system and service manager that runs as PID 1 and starts the rest of the system. systemd provides aggressive parallelization capabilities, uses socket and D-Bus activation for starting services, offers on-demand starting of daemons, keeps track of processes using Linux control groups, maintains mount and automount points, and implements an elaborate transactional dependency-based service control logic. It is configured via the systemclt application.

    Also the root file system will now be mounted as read-write by default. This can be changed to read-only when setting up the build enviroment via the script. See LinuxOnFSBoards_eng.pdf for a detailed description.

    5. Default LVDS display replaced

    The ChiMei LVDS display that F&S used to ship with some Starter Kits is not available anymore. We will ship a different display from now on. Therefore we also changed the default settings for LVDS in the Linux device trees so that upcoming customers will have a working display.

    If you still need the previous settings, simply remove the two comment slashes at the beginning of the following line in the device tree and re-build the device tree. Then the old settings will be active again.


    6. New driver for Silex WLAN

    In the past, the Silex WLAN driver was only available as a binary package. Now, for Linux 4.9.88, the driver is an open-source version that is built as part of Buildroot. This means you are more flexible with changes of the networking stack or specific configurations of the driver. A second package provides the firmware files. Please use exactly these, they contain modifications that are specifically adapted to our boards.

    Unfortunately we did not get patches for a newer bluez version in time. So Bluetooth is still based on bluez-5.39. Maybe we can improve this with a patch later.

    7. Documentation

    In the past, the documentation that was included in the release package itself was often superseded by newer versions on our website. But people continued to use the outdated version of the release, causing unnecessary complications.

    To avoid this, from now on only the software related documentation is directly included in the release and we have added a chapter to FSiMX6UL_FirstSteps_eng.pdf that contains direct links to the

    appropriate resources on our website. There you can download the newest versions of hardware documentations, schematics, layout files, certificates, accessories, add-ons, adapters and similar things.

    The software documentation is completely reworked. The FSiMX6UL_FirstSteps_eng.pdf document now really only shows a basic introduction to the work with boards of the fsimx6ul architecture. And there is a new document LinuxOnFSBoards_eng.pdf that shows a more in-depth view of a Linux system in general and of the F&S versions of NBoot, U-Boot, Linux and Buildroot in particular. This is still work in progress, some chapters are not fully done yet and will be revised in the future. Check our website from time to time to see if there is a newer version of this document.


    The following list shows the most noticable changes in this release in more detail since our last regular i.MX6UL release (not counting the intermediate release for PicoCoremX6UL). Please note that the source code is also used for other platforms. This is why you will also find references to other CPU types and F&S boards here in the changelog.

    nbootimx6_48.bin (VN48) (07.02.2022)

    Supported Boards: efusA9, armStoneA9, armStoneA9r2, PicoMODA9, NetDCUA9, QBlissA9, QBlissA9r2

    NBoot for i.MX6 shares the source code with other i.MX6 CPU variants like i.MX6UL and i.MX6SX, therefore versions are counted consecutively.


    - 0004288: [NBoot] add support for eMMC

    - 0004289: [NBoot] add support for customer specific board VAND3


    - 0004399: [NBoot] add eMMC MBR and FAT support

    - 0004400: [NBoot] improve dosfs and fix known bugs

    - 0004401: [NBoot] add support for boardconfig in eMMC boot partition

    - 0004402: [NBoot] add eMMC access from USB MSD

    - 0004398: [NBoot] add eMMC booting from fat in user partition

    - 0004403: [NBoot] warn user if wrong nboot for boot device is downloaded


    - 0004625: [NBoot] Add support for new board GAR3


    - 0004735: [NBoot] change version naming for super secure variant

    - 0004734: [NBoot] use built-in randomizer

    - 0004732: [NBoot] correct DDR3 detection routine


    - 0004803: [NBoot] Improve eMMC boot support

    - 0004802: [NBoot] Add support for new board UL100


    - 0005164: [NBoot] Add support for new board efusA9r2


    - 0005263: [NBoot] nboot for eMMC does not start on PicoCoreMX6UL when fuses not set and SD card is inserted

    u-boot-2018.03-fsimx6ul-Y2020.03.1 (15.03.2022)

    Supported boards: efusA7UL, PicoCOM1.2, PicoCoreMX6UL, PicoCoreMX6UL100, PicoCOMA7

    - Add support for picocoremx6ul100

    - Add support for command fsimage

    - Change DACR to client access control to fix cache errors

    linux-4.9.88-fsimx6ul-Y2020.03.1 (15.03.2022)

    Supported boards: efusA7UL, PicoCOM1.2, PicoCoreMX6UL, PicoCoreMX6UL100, PicoCOMA7

    - Add support for RTC PCF85263

    - Improve support for imx6ul-touchscreen controller

    - Add driver for lontium-lt9211 RGB2LVDS converter

    - Add full device-tree support for PicoCOMA7

    - Improve support for picocoremx6ul revision 1.20

    - Add support for picocoremx6ul100 on architecture fsimx6ul

    - Add support for TSC2004 on fsimx6ul

    - Fix i2c frequency entry in device trees

    yocto-2.4-fsimx6ul-Y2020.03.1 (15.03.2022)

    Supported boards: efusA7UL, PicoCOM1.2, PicoCoreMX6UL, PicoCoreMX6UL100, PicoCOMA7

    - Fix download for meta-mono layer

    - Add updated device trees to fsimx6ul.conf

    - Fix core-image-minimal build

    - Add support to build install.scr

    - Add firmware for sd8997

    - Fix passing of ethaddr for Silex WLAN module


    (no changes)


    - Update to version 2.4 of FSiMX6UL_FirstSteps_eng.pdf

    - Add new version 0.12 of LinuxOnFSBoards_eng.pdf

    Please download the hardware documentation directly from our website.

    Then you always have the newest version.

  • fs-support_KM

    Changed the title of the thread from “F&S i.MX6UL Linux Release Y2020.03.1 (Yocto 2.4 Rocko)” to “New Yocto Release fsimx6ul-Y2020.03.1”.