CL-SOM-iMX7: Linux: Automatic Installation

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This article provides an installation guide for Linux kernel and Debian root file system on the CompuLab CL-SOM-iMX7 System-on-Module / Computer-on-Module internal storage device, either eMMC or NAND flash.

Admolition note.png Current demo root filesystem image provided by CompuLab is NOT designed for installation onto the 128MB/1GB NAND flash and will not fit these storage options. For 128MB/1GB NAND flash the following installation procedure assumes properly sized root filesystem image.

Preparation steps

  • Obtain a PC workstation with a serial communication port.
  • Download the BSP binary package for CL-SOM-iMX7 from CompuLab website. Unzip the package to a directory on your host workstation.
  • All image files mentioned below can be found in the install subdirectory.
  • Connect the host PC to the SBC-iMX7 base-board (connector P8) via the serial cable supplied with the evaluation kit.

Preparing installation media

  • Obtain an MMC/SD card. Any commercially available MMC/SD card of 1GB (or larger) may be used.
  • Create a first partition on it. The partition can be formatted either ext2/3/4 or FAT file system.
  • For installation on eMMC storage copy all files found in the directory install from the BSP binary package for CL-SOM-iMX7 to the first partition on the installation media (MMC/SD card).
  • For installation on NAND flash, copy the following files from the package directory install to the installation SD card:
    • boot.scr
    • config
    • install.ext2
    • firmware.ext2
    • modules.ext2
    • kernel.img
    • ramdisk.img
    • rootfs.tar.bz2 - please use a properly sized root filesystem image
    • zImage
    • imx7d-sbc-imx7.dtb
Admolition note.png Please do not use multiple *.dtb files for installation on NAND flash.

Automatic Installation Procedure

  • Start terminal emulation software on your PC with the following serial port settings:
Baud Rate Data Bits Stop Bits Parity Flow Control
115200 8 1 none none
  • Plug the installation media (SD/microSD card) into the SD socket:
    • On SBC-iMX7 - SD socket P9
    • On SBC-IOT-iMX7 - micro-SD socket P18
    • On IOT-GATE-iMX7 - socket marked uSD
  • Turn on the system.
  • The system will boot from the SD card and start the automatic installation procedure.
        Kernel release : Linux 4.14.98-cl-som-imx7-6.3

===CompuLab Automatic Installation System 2.0.1 (Nov 20 2018)===
Press any key to cancel installation   0

The Automatic Installation Procedure can be terminated by pressing any key during the timeout.

  • The installation script performs all necessary steps including installing Linux images onto the on-board storage device (eMMC) and setting up the boot environment.
Admolition note.png The Automatic Installation script deletes the storage device during the installation procedure. All data stored on the eMMC will be lost.
=== Installation Target: eMMC ===
* Mounting extra images
* Loading extra modules
===Installing OS===
* Updating partitions
* Formatting partitions
* Copying kernel files
* Extracting user space rootfs.tar.bz2
 405MiB 0:06:37 [1.02MiB/s] [================================>] 100%            
* Unmounting extra images
Please remove installation SD card ...
Press any key to cancel restart   0
  • The system will reboot automatically to the newly installed Linux. Please reboot manually, if for some reason the system does not reboot automatically.
  • Please remember to remove the installation SD card.


  • Automatic installation doesn't start.

The U-Boot environment should be set to default:

  • Power on the board.
  • Press and hold Ctrl-C to get command prompt.
  • Set default U-Boot environment and boot the board:
CL-SOM-iMX7 # env default -a
CL-SOM-iMX7 # saveenv
CL-SOM-iMX7 # reset

See also