Book Image

Mastering Embedded Linux Programming

By : Chris Simmonds
Book Image

Mastering Embedded Linux Programming

By: Chris Simmonds

Overview of this book

Mastering Embedded Linux Programming takes you through the product cycle and gives you an in-depth description of the components and options that are available at each stage. You will begin by learning about toolchains, bootloaders, the Linux kernel, and how to configure a root filesystem to create a basic working device. You will then learn how to use the two most commonly used build systems, Buildroot and Yocto, to speed up and simplify the development process. Building on this solid base, the next section considers how to make best use of raw NAND/NOR flash memory and managed flash eMMC chips, including mechanisms for increasing the lifetime of the devices and to perform reliable in-field updates. Next, you need to consider what techniques are best suited to writing applications for your device. We will then see how functions are split between processes and the usage of POSIX threads, which have a big impact on the responsiveness and performance of the final device The closing sections look at the techniques available to developers for profiling and tracing applications and kernel code using perf and ftrace.
Table of Contents (22 chapters)
Mastering Embedded Linux Programming
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Accessing flash memory from the bootloader

In Chapter 3, All About Bootloaders, I mentioned the need for the bootloader to load kernel binaries and other images from various flash devices and to be able to perform system maintenance tasks such as erasing and reprogramming flash memory. It follows that the bootloader must have the drivers and infrastructure to support read, erase, and write operations on the type of memory you have, whether it be NOR, NAND, or managed. I will use U-Boot in the following example; other bootloaders follow a similar pattern.

U-Boot and NOR flash

U-Boot has drivers for NOR CFI chips in drivers/mtd and has the commands erase to erase memory and cp.b to copy data byte by byte, programming the flash. Suppose that you have NOR flash memory mapped from 0x40000000 to 0x48000000, of which 4MiB starting at 0x40040000 is a kernel image, then you would load a new kernel into flash using these U-Boot commands:

U-Boot# tftpboot 100000 uImage
U-Boot# erase 40040000 403fffff...