GeeXboX for Embedded Devices – Booting on Pandaboard

November 2nd, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

To boot GeeXboX on your Pandaboard you will need to prepare a SD card. We provide a script to automate this.

Connect the SD card to your host system and note the device (we will use /dev/sdd in this document).

Method #1: Using a script (recommended).

Starting with GeeXBoX 3.1 we are using a unified script. Please follow these instructions.

Method #2: Doing it by hands (not recommended) .

Umount any partitions on the SD card

Erase SD card partition table

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdd bs=512 count=8

Partition the SD card

fdisk /dev/sdd

create (n) one small boot partition (100MB), and change its type (t) to FAT (0c)

create (n) a data partition in the remaining space

mark as active/bootable (a) the boot partition

save your changes and quit (w)

Create the filesystems

mkfs.vfat -n boot /dev/sdd1
mkfs.ext3 -L GEEXBOX /dev/sdd2

Fetch the GeeXboX for Pandaboard tarball and unpack it

Extract rootfs.tar.bz2 onto the data partition

mount /dev/sdd2 /mnt
tar xjf rootfs.tar.bz2 -C /mnt

Extract boot.tar.bz2 onto the boot partition

mkdir /mnt/boot
mount /dev/sdd1 /mnt/boot
tar xjf boot.tar.bz2 -C /mnt

Unmount the partitions

umount /mnt/boot
umount /mnt

Plug the SD card into your Pandaboard, connect power, HDMI and optionally ethernet, and enjoy!

  1. Sven.Flyfish
    November 18th, 2011 at 01:13 | #1

    I want to make sure is the “tar xjf boot.tar.bz2 -C /mnt” will be ok?
    when I use like that, I got some error message.

  2. Sven.Flyfish
    November 18th, 2011 at 03:58 | #2

    root@flyfish-laptop:/home/flyfish/NFS_Share/download.php?id=geexbox-2.0.pandaboard# tar jfx boot.tar.bz2 -C /mnt
    tar: boot/uImage:无法将所有权改为 uid 1000,gid 1000: 不允许的操作
    tar: boot/MLO:无法将所有权改为 uid 1000,gid 1000: 不允许的操作
    tar: boot/boot.ini:无法将所有权改为 uid 1000,gid 1000: 不允许的操作
    tar: boot/u-boot.bin:无法将所有权改为 uid 1000,gid 1000: 不允许的操作
    tar: boot/boot.cfg:无法将所有权改为 uid 1000,gid 1000: 不允许的操作
    tar: boot/boot.scr:无法将所有权改为 uid 1000,gid 1000: 不允许的操作
    tar: boot:无法将所有权改为 uid 1000,gid 1000: 不允许的操作
    tar: 由于前次错误,将以上次的错误状态退出

  3. AmonRaKam
    March 10th, 2014 at 02:19 | #3

    Help please! Nothing helps. The script does not work, hands does not work, if someone can make the image
    Thank you very much!

  4. wally_666
    August 7th, 2014 at 22:49 | #4

    I had pretty good results with this version on my Pandaboard ES:

    I was able to set up WiFi, play slideshows over samba and play mp4 and mpeg2 videos from an attached external USB hard drive. Audio didn’t work but I used an HDMI LCD monitor without speakers instead of an HDTV. I couldn’t get any sound out of amplified analog stereo speakers, but I suspect most people only care about the audio over HDMI function at this point, so analog out may not be available in this image.

    I didn’t bother with the script which looked fragile. I already had an 8GB SD card formated for the Pandaboard from other less than wonderful Pandaboard software trials. If you’ve ever done anything with your Pandaboard, odds are you do too.

    If you are trying to set it up on Windows I can’t help, but you can download a Ubuntu “LiveCD” and boot it to do what I did to get it working.

    1) Use whatever tools you are familiar with to set up and format your SD card for the Pandaboard:
    Partition 1 FAT32, bootable and active flags set, 64MB or greater (mine was 75 MB), label BOOT
    Partition 2 ext4, I don’t think the label matters but I used Pandaboard.

    2) On your Linux system or booted LiveCD download the geexbox*.tar..xy file linked above. On a LiveCD you may need to make your hard drive writable or insert a USB stick to have a place to store it (safest if you are not very familiar with Linux). You could also download with anything and put the file on a USB stick to use when the LiveCD is booted.

    3) Now you need to unpack the image so you can copy the files from the boot directory to the BOOT partition on the SD card. I used the Ubuntu “Extract Here” popup menu selection in the Nautilus File manager. Once its extracted, navigate to the extracted image geexbox-flat-devel-20140628-r894b43a.pandaboard/boot directory and copy all these files (there are only five files) to the SD card BOOT partition, which on Ubuntu will be at /media/BOOT I simply used the File Manager’s drag and drop.

    4) Next is the tricky part, you have to get all the files in the extracted geexbox-flat-devel-20140628-r894b43a.pandaboard directory to the Pandaboard partition on the SD card without messing up permissions or symbolic links. I opened a terminal window, did “su -i” to be root and then did cd to where the geexbox-flat-devel-20140628-r894b43a.pandaboard.tar.xy image is. Then I extracted the files again to the SD card Pandaboard partition with:
    tar xfp geexbox-devel-20140628-r894b43a.pandaboard.tar.xz -C /media/Pandaboard

    Change the /media/Pandaboard at the end of the command to where your SD card is mounted. Problem here is this creates
    /media/Pandaboard/geexbox-flat-devel-20140628-r894b43a.pandaboard/ but all the files need to be moved up one level to the root of the partition.

    I launched a “root” file manager with “gksu nautilus &” command and navigated to inside /media/Pandaboard/geexbox-flat-devel-20140628-r894b43a.pandaboard/ and set “Show Hidden Files” in the Nautilus View menu. Then used Ctrl-A to select everything, Ctrl-X to “cut” the selections and then navigated up one level to be in /media/Pandaboard/ and did Ctrl-V to “paste” the selection.

    6) When the copying is complete opposite-click the desktop icon for the SD card and “Safely Remove” it. Put it in your Pandaboard and boot.

    Hope this helps, and Good Luck!

    I’d like to see work continue on this unsupported image as its the closest to actually being useful my Pandabord has ever been. The Pandaboard has thus far been my greatest Linux disappointment. If the Pandaboard is still being made and sold, they should support this project to have some hope of moving the product as otherwise the Pandaboard seems pretty much dead.

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