NameLast modifiedSizeLicense

Parent Directory Parent Directory
other MANIFEST 12-Jan-2018 07:17 265 open
other MD5SUMS 12-Jan-2018 07:17 147 open
application/x-tar boot.tar.bz2 26-Feb-2018 16:14 9.6M open
other kernel_config 12-Jan-2018 07:17 56.3K open
other lava-job-info 12-Jan-2018 07:17 74 open
application/x-sh 12-Jan-2018 07:17 7.1K open
application/x-sh 12-Jan-2018 07:17 1.8K open
text pinned-manifest.xml 12-Jan-2018 07:17 51.4K open
text source-manifest.xml 12-Jan-2018 07:17 64.0K open
application/x-tar system.tar.bz2 26-Feb-2018 16:14 164.9M open
application/x-tar userdata.tar.bz2 12-Jan-2018 07:17 663.7K open
other vexpress.img.bz2 26-Feb-2018 16:14 175.4M open

Linaro releases monthly binary images for the ARM Versatile Express including support for A9, A5, A15 (TC1), TC2 (big.LITTLE) CoreTiles and RTSM.

For support matters related to ARM hardware or firmware images downloaded from ARM sites, please contact ARM support

This release includes Linaro Android Jelly Bean and Ubuntu Raring for Versatile Express and Real-Time System Model (RTSM). The images are able to boot A5 (using U-Boot), A9 (ATAGS), TC1 and TC2 using UEFI. Sources are also made available so you can build your own images.

About the TC2 Evaluation Build

This release is based on the Linux v3.10 kernel. As a consequence, almost all of the patches in the ARM Landing Team tree have been rebased and refactored to account for the latest upstream content.

The TC2 CoreTile is the first example of a big.LITTLE system shipped by ARM and serves as a platform for development and test of big.LITTLE software. TC2 contains a tri-core Cortex-A7 cluster and a dual-core Cortex-A15 cluster linked using the CCI–400 coherent interconnect.

The release integrates big.LITTLE development work which can be traced in the big.LITTLE MP working group git repo . Note: This repository has the following tree: big-LITTLE-MP-master-v17 that has been used for the 13.05 evaluation build. This tree includes the following patches that have been developed and qualified for correctness to enable the ARM Versatile Express V2P-CA15_A7 CoreTile (TC2) to run in full MP mode. This new functionality has been optimised for energy usage at near Cortex-A15 (big) performance. These patches are not currently ready to be submitted to the Linux mainline for integration (upstreaming), since they do not yet work seamlessly with the load-balancer. Work is ongoing to make the load-balancer more big.LITTLE aware, making the changes suitable for integration into the Linux mainline.

This release contains optional configurable kernel support for an example implementation of ARM’s Power State Co-ordination Interface (PSCI). This support is disabled by default. Using PSCI support requires the use of secure firmware that is currently available to ARM licensees upon request to ARM. Please contact with the subject line “Access to PSCI” to get access to the firmware code.

Scheduler modifications to support big.LITTLE

  • sched: Basic global balancing support for HMP: This patch introduces an extra-check at task up-migration to prevent overloading the cpus in the faster hmp_domain while the slower hmp_domain is not fully utilized. The patch also introduces a periodic balance check that can down-migrate tasks if the faster domain is oversubscribed and the slower is under-utilized.

  • per-task-load-average-v3-merged: Paul Turner’s patches enabling the calculation of load on a per-task basis.
  • task-placement-v2: Morten Rasmussen’s patches using the per-task load to schedule threads on the big or LITTLE cores as appropriate. The patches take into account multiple domains when making decisions on task migration, with ftrace events added for tracking these migrations. New Basic global balancing support for HMP – improves performance for cases where multiple ‘big’ threads are running but allowing the use of LITTLE cores.

  • Experimental patches for making load values invariant to frequency settings. This helps reduce the chance of unnecessary up migrations to big cores.
  • A patch from Thomas Gliexner which supports a IRQ affinity mask being specified in the command line. This can be used to reduce unnecessary IRQ wakeups on Cortex-A15. For instructions see the irqaffinity entry in Documentation/kernel-parameters.txt
  • arm-multi_pmu_v2 – enables the use of multiple PMU types or sources, for example profiling across both Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 clusters and getting results for CCI.
  • scheduler-misc-v1 – miscellaneous scheduler patches complementing the MP work

Platform Support. In addition to the big.LITTLE MP work the TC2 platform support includes:

  • TC2: reset CPUs spuriously woken up on cluster power up
  • vexpress: add shim layer for psci backend on TC2
  • vexpress: allow native pm ops backends to probe for psci suppport
  • psci: add cmdline option to enable use of psci
  • psci: add probe function to discover presence of a psci implementation
  • psci: convert psci ‘-EALREADYON’ error code to linux ‘-EAGAIN
  • vexpress: add psci support in TC2 device tree
  • psci: add constants to specify affinity levels
  • TC2: replace hard coded cluster and cpu values with constants
  • TC2: use generic accessors to extract cpu and cluster ids

  • CPUidle & CPUfreq support
  • hwmon driver allowing, amongst other things, TC2’s power, current and energy measurements to be read through standard sysfs interfaces
  • Common clocks implementation
  • Regulator driver
  • Drivers for previously hard-coded configuration interfaces
  • Support self-hosted debugging through idle
  • In addition to the CPU PMUs the perf framework supports the CCI-400 PMUs

Where To Find More Information

More information on Linaro can be found on our website.

Feedback and Support

Subscribe to the important Linaro mailing lists and join our IRC channels to stay on top of Linaro development.

  • Linaro Android Development mailing list
  • Linaro Android IRC channel on at #linaro-android

  • Bug reports should be filed in Launchpad against the individual packages that are affected. If a suitable package cannot be identified, feel free to assign them to Linaro Android project.
  • Questions? ask Linaro.
  • Interested in commercial support? inquire at Linaro support

Fixed in this release

None listed.

Known Issues

  • ARM-29 Unplgging and reconnecting HDMI cable hangs vexpress Android
  • ARM-28 Kernel crashes observed with 13.05 LEB release candidate
  • ARM-24 LP:1172350 – Audio playback under Android JellyBean stops sporadically on TC2 with release 13.03
  • ARM-21 LP:1180778 – vexpress: A9: Reboot fails with lockup or crashes
  • ARM-18 LP:1131208 – arm64: create config fragments and work with other teams to use them
  • ARM-17 LP:1110634 – BLS-460: Perf group counting requires ‘cpu_cycles’ event as the first event in the event list specified to the perf tool.
  • ARM-16 LP:1097309 – serial console doesn’t received characters on TC2
  • ARM-15 LP:1068595 – Enabling function tracer kills the system on TC2
  • LP: #873283 Taking device screenshot using ddms tool fails
  • LP: #880859 U-Boot boot script doesn’t work on Versatile Express
  • LP: #912595 l-m-c fails on vexpress due to a change in u-boot name
  • LP: #987155 vexpress: Angrybirds display severely trucated
  • LP: #987172 vexpress: android: YouTube video playback fails
  • LP: #1042755 TC2: powertop doesn’t show correct frequency stats
  • LP: #1083175 vexpress: Android: Recorded message is just a harsh loud noise
  • LP: #1086599 SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark doesn’t work on vexpress with Linaro Android
  • LP: #1091279 All text missing in Ethernet settings menu
  • LP: #1092492 No boot instruction for ARM Versatile Express A9 Android Jelly Bean.
  • LP: #1112449 Android Gallery app disappears on first boot
  • LP: #1183781 Enabling IKS after boot crashes Android

Linaro provides two methods for installing Linaro binary builds:

  1. Using a pre-built image, which you can download
  2. Assembling your own image using provided components

Pre-Installation Steps

Before any installation begins, it is important that you ensure your Versatile Express board has the latest firmware and boot loader installed. Please check the “Firmware Update” tab on this page for the latest updates and installation instructions.

Using pre-built image


  • Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit or newer on your desktop PC, which you can download from
  • 4GB SD card or larger
  • Latest firmware installed onto the Versatile Express. Please see “Firmware Update” tab
  • This release pre-built image (vexpress.img.bz2), which you can downloaded from the above list of artifacts or just click here

Installation Steps

  • Unzip the downloaded pre-built image
  • Insert SD card into your PC and note the assigned '/dev/sdX'
SDCARD=/dev/sdX # sdcard found from dmesg above
bzcat vexpress.img.bz2 | sudo dd bs=64k of=$SDCARD

When the image is created, skip down to the section “Booting the image”.

Note: Windows users may use the Image Writer for Windows

Building a custom image using pre-built components.

Sometimes, you may wish to build your own custom image for a Versatile Express. Perhaps you wish to use a more recent snapshot of the hardware pack for Ubuntu or take the latest Android build. Whatever the reason, you will want to use the Linaro Image Tools to create a custom image.

Using components to generate the image will yield the same functionality found in the pre-built image of the same release.


  • Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit or newer on your desktop PC, which you can download from
  • Download Artifacts from above or use the following command in your terminal

  • Method 1: Install them from the Linaro Image Tools PPA

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linaro-maintainers/tools
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install linaro-image-tools

  • Method 2: Building from source

  • Insert SD card and note the assigned '/dev/sdX' or '/dev/mmcblk0'
dmesg | less

Look for a line that looks like the following at the end of the log

[288582.790722] sdc: sdc1 sdc2 sdc3 sdc4 <sdc5 sdc6 >

Or, if your machine uses '/dev/mmcblkX', you may see a line line this:

[10770.938042] mmcblk0: p1 p2 p3 p4 < p5 p6 >

WARNING: In the next step, make sure you use /dev/"whatever you see above". You can erase your hard drive with the wrong parameter.

  • Create media
linaro-android-media-create --mmc /dev/sdX --dev vexpress --boot boot.tar.bz2 --system system.tar.bz2 --userdata userdata.tar.bz2

Booting the image

After the media create tool has finished executing, remove the SD card from your PC and insert it into the Versatile Express board.

Before you can boot the image you will need to install the UEFI boot loader into NOR flash and update the Versatile MMC card configuration files. The instructions on the Firmware Update tab provide information on how to do this and how to configure UEFI to specify the SD card as a boot device.

Advanced Setup for Benchmarking

Advanced users of Versatile Express may wish to perform benchmarking tests on the board.

Booting with the root filesystem on a USB mass storage device is more efficient both in terms of electrical power and processing speed. Unfortunately, UEFI does not support booting the kernel from USB. In order to achieve this, we recommend that you install the kernel onto SD card and the root filesystem to USB mass storage.

The instructions below will create two identical images: one on SD card and one on USB mass storage. The user is able to choose which device the kernel uses for the root filesystem by adding a command line parameter. By default, the android kernel will expect the root filesystem to be read from the SD card. Adding the parameter “androidboot.hardware=arm-versatileexpress-usb” to the command line will over-ride this behaviour and instruct the kernel to read the root filesystem from USB.

Before following these instructions, ensure that you have both an SD card and a USB mass storage device of at least 4GB inserted into your Linux machine.

Using a pre-built image

Follow the instructions above for creating an image on an SD card. Then repeat the instructions using the device path for your USB device. For example:

SDCARD=/dev/sdX # sdcard found from dmesg above
USBMS=/dev/sdY # USB device found from dmesg above
bzcat vexpress.img.bz2 | sudo dd bs=64k of=$SDCARD
bzcat vexpress.img.bz2 | sudo dd bs=64k of=$USBMS

Using linaro-android-media-create

First the user should run linaro-android-media-create as described above. Then run it again with a USB mass storage device. This will create two release images: one on the SD card and the other on the USB device.

For example:

SDCARD=/dev/sdX # sdcard found from dmesg above
USBMS=/dev/sdY # USB device found from dmesg above
linaro-android-media-create --mmc $SDCARD --dev vexpress --boot boot.tar.bz2 --system system.tar.bz2 --userdata userdata.tar.bz2
linaro-android-media-create --mmc $USBMS  --dev vexpress --boot boot.tar.bz2 --system system.tar.bz2 --userdata userdata.tar.bz2

Booting your system with the advanced setup

Insert the SD card into the card slot on the Versatile Express board and insert the USB device into one of the USB device slots on the board. The USB slots are located below the ethernet port on the rear panel.

Boot the board using the standard UEFI firmware setup as described in the Firmware Update tab.

When UEFI starts, you will need to interrupt the boot countdown and edit the configuration to add the following text to the end of the kernel commandline:


Instructions for updating the UEFI configuration can be found on the UEFI wiki

Accessing Source Code

Linaro Android JB Source Code

Run the, it will download the entire source code for both Android JB and the kernel and attempt to build it.

The pinned and source manifests can be found here:

Kernel Source Code

Obtain the exact kernel source code for this cycle by using the script to download the source and build it. You can get the kernel configuration from here (listed above)

Compiling Linaro Android RootFS+Kernel

The following simple steps download, install and compile a complete Linaro Android distribution

  • Download and install Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit or newer (download)
  • Install the following packages:
sudo apt-get install zip curl flex bison build-essential git-core gnupg gperf zlib1g-dev libx11-dev x11proto-core-dev \
gcc-multilib g++-multilib libc6-dev-i386 ia32-libs lib32z-dev gcc-4.5 g++-4.5 cpp-4.5 gcc-4.5-multilib g++-4.5-multilib \
uboot-mkimage uuid-dev openjdk-6-jdk ant lib32ncurses5-dev xsltproc
  • Download the Android building script for this release from here or from the list of artifacts listed above.
  • Run the script
chmod a+x

Installing Android JB on your board

  • Insert SD card and note the assigned '/dev/sdX' or '/dev/mmcblk0'
dmesg | less

Look for a line that looks like the following at the end of the log

[288582.790722] sdc: sdc1 sdc2 sdc3 sdc4 <sdc5 sdc6 >

Or, if your machine uses ‘/dev/mmcblkX’, you may see a line line this:

[10770.938042] mmcblk0: p1 p2 p3 p4 < p5 p6 >

WARNING: In the next step, make sure you use /dev/“whatever you see above”. You can erase your hard drive with the wrong parameter.

  • Create media
cd android/out/target/product/
sudo linaro-android-media-create --mmc /dev/sdX --dev vexpress --boot boot.tar.bz2 --system system.tar.bz2 --userdata userdata.tar.bz2
  • Insert the SD card into your Versatile Express board and reboot it

If UEFI is already configured to boot a Linaro Android image, it will boot from the SD card. If not, follow the instructions in the section: Configure UEFI found on the Linaro wiki.

Compiling and installing your Kernel


  • Download and install Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit or newer (download)
  • Install the following packages by typing:
sudo apt-get install gcc-arm-linux-gnueabi curl git u-boot-tools libncurses5-dev
  • Create a working subdirectory
  • Download the auto build script for this release from the list of artifacts above (the kernel configuration will be automatically downloaded).
  • Run the build script
chmod a+x

Note: When you run menuconfig, make sure you go to System Type -> Versatile Express platform type and make sure that both options are enabled.

[*] Versatile Express Cortex-A9x4 tile
[*] Device Tree support for Versatile Express platforms

This will mean that the same kernel will run on A5, A9, A15-TC1, A15-TC2 and various RTSM models.

Installing your kernel

This section is common for both Android and Ubuntu

  • Create the Device Tree blob if you don’t have one in your Linaro image (note, the A9 Core Tile boots using an ATAGS kernel):
make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabi- dtbs
  • Insert the SD card containing the Linaro disk image
  • Copy the kernel onto the memory card
cp arch/arm/boot/uImage /media/boot/
  • Copy the device tree blob
    • For A9 CoreTile: no device tree blob is needed
    • For A5 CoreTile: cp arch/arm/boot/vexpress-v2p-ca5s.dtb /media/boot/v2p-ca5s.dtb
    • For A15 CoreTile (TC1): cp arch/arm/boot/vexpress-v2p-ca15-tc1.dtb /media/boot/v2p-ca15-tc1.dtb
    • For A15_A7 CoreTile: (TC2): cp arch/arm/boot/vexpress-v2p-ca15_a7.dtb /media/boot/v2p-ca15-tc2.dtb
  • Eject the memory card eject /media/boot
  • Insert the memory card into the Versatile Express board and power it on

Ensure that you update your Versatile Express board firmware to the latest version. To update your VE board firmware, please follow the instructions below:

  • Connect and mount your Versatile Express motherboard USB mass storage device to your PC
  • Install the Recovery firmware from the v5.0 VE DVD onto your board.
  • Download ARM’s CPU Migration patch for version 5.0 from
    • Unzip the firmware zip to the root of the motherboard mounted drive
    • Please contact for any issues related this firmware update
  • Unmount the Versatile Express motherboard
  • Reboot the Versatile Express board
  • At the “Cmd> “ prompt, type the following commands:
    Cmd> flash
    Cmd> eraseall
    Cmd> exit
    Cmd> reboot
    • You may need to configure UEFI to boot from the image that you’ve created. See the UEFI page on the Linaro Wiki for more details on configuring UEFI.

You may want to set /media/VEMSD/config.txt AUTORUN to TRUE to be make the CoreTile boot from power on.

For TC2, you should set the DIP swich closest to the black reset button is down so that the Boot Monitor runs the boot script on power on.

This release was boot tested on RTSM A15×4 and A15×4-A7×4 models. No rigorous testing was carried out. This build is expected to run on other RTSM models.


  • Install the RTSM model(s) you wish to run. You must have a valid license and the environment set up to run models
  • Install Linaro image tools

Install Linaro Image Tools

Linaro Image Tools contain scripts that allow you to combine multiple components into a single Android image. The components are:

  • boot.tar.bz2 – contains the kernel and boot loaders
  • system.tar.bz2 – contains the entire system files and general OS
  • userdata.tar.bz2 – contains sample data and tests

There are multiple ways you can get the latest Linaro Image Tools:

  • Method 1: Install them from the Linaro Image Tools PPA

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linaro-maintainers/tools
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install linaro-image-tools

  • Method 2: Build from source


Create a 2GB image file

RTSM will only deal with file systems up to 2GB in size, however the Linaro pre-built image for Android requires a 4GB filesystem. Therefore, we will build our own image using the pre-built artifacts (displayed above)

The following command downloads all the Android OS components necessary to make up a complete Android image.


Using the linaro-android-media-create, which is part of the linaro-image-tools, you can combine all the components into a single image.

linaro-android-media-create --image-file linaro.img --image-size 2000M --dev vexpress --boot boot.tar.bz2 --system system.tar.bz2 --userdata userdata.tar.bz2
tar jxvf boot.tar.bz2

Run A15×4 model

This example shows how to run the Linaro kernel on a quad core A15 RTSM model:

RTSM_CMDLINE=" console=tty0 console=ttyAMA0,38400n8 rootwait ro init=/init androidboot.console=ttyAMA0"
-C motherboard.smsc_91c111.enabled=1 \
-C motherboard.hostbridge.userNetworking=1 \
-C motherboard.mmc.p_mmc_file="$RTSM_MMC" \
-C cluster.cpu0.semihosting-cmd_line="--kernel $RTSM_KERNEL --dtb $RTSM_DTB --initrd $RTSM_INITRD -- $RTSM_CMDLINE"

Run A15×4-A7×4 model

This example shows how to run the Linaro kernel on a big.LITTLE RTSM model:

RTSM_CMDLINE=" console=tty0 console=ttyAMA0,38400n8 rootwait ro init=/init androidboot.console=ttyAMA0"
-a coretile.cluster0.*=$RTSM_BOOTWRAPPER \
-a coretile.cluster1.*=$RTSM_BOOTWRAPPER \
-C motherboard.smsc_91c111.enabled=1 \
-C motherboard.hostbridge.userNetworking=1 \
-C motherboard.mmc.p_mmc_file=$RTSM_MMC \
-C coretile.dualclustersystemconfigurationblock.CFG_ACTIVECLUSTER=0x3 \
-C coretile.cluster0.cpu0.semihosting-enable=1 \
-C coretile.cluster0.cpu0.semihosting-cmd_line="--kernel $RTSM_KERNEL --dtb $RTSM_DTB --initrd $RTSM_INITRD -- $RTSM_CMDLINE"