To the Pandaboard Beginner

These short notes aim to help beginners get a working Angstrom system running on the pandaboard.

How to Unpack and Boot the Demo Image

  1. Format the SD card using mkcard.txt
  2. Copy MLO and u-boot.bin from to the first partition
  3. Unpack the tarball to the root partition of your Pandaboard SD card.
    NOTE: superuser privileges are required when unpacking the image so that device nodes can be created on the SD card filesystem.
    eg. for Linux:
      $ sudo tar -xjv -C /media/rootfs -f /path/to/Angstrom-Pandaboard-demo-image*rootfs.tar.bz2
    This assumes that the SD card has the root filesystem (ext3) partition mounted as /media/rootfs.
    NOTE: unpacking can take several minutes due to the amount of data.
  4. Find the uImage-2.6.* (kernel) file in /boot of the rootfs and copy the file to the boot partition as uImage. This new kernel is required to boot the filesystem reliably. This will replace your existing validation kernel if it is present. Before doing this step, you may wish to rename the working validation kernel from uImage to something else before you copy the Angstrom uImage file.
  5. Ensure all SD card filesystem operations have completed (ie. filesystem cache has flushed to SD card) and eject the SD card from your development machine. Most operating systems have a "Safely Remove" action to perform this from the Desktop.
  6. Insert SD card into Pandaboard and power it up.

NOTE: Use external 5V supply and remove all USB connections from the Pandaboard when booting for the first time. Try USB later once you know it works.

What to Expect

Watch the serial port output. You should observe the following:

What If...

Some common problems and their fixes

What Next?

Once you have a working Angstrom system you may want to connect it to:

Time to visit the Angstrom User Guide.