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Re: Installing NetBSD on Jetson Nano

On 1/19/22 4:43 AM, Dan MacDonald wrote:
I've not been able to find any instructions or confirmation that it is
possible to install NetBSD on the Jetson Nano other than a NetBSD
mailing list post from Jared McNeil saying that I would need to use
the tegra210-p3450-0000.dtb:


I’ve tried the NetBSD 9.2 evbarm-aarch64 image and it wouldn’t boot
for me, likely because it doesn't include the tegra210-p3450-0000.dtb.

Would I need to build NetBSD 10 from source to install it on my Jetson
Nano or are there pre-built NetBSD arm64 images somewhere that do
include the required dtb and u-boot? I don't think the Jetson Nano
supports UEFI.

Recent versions of Jetpack (the reference OS for Jetson devices) and
Armbian let me boot straight from USB 3. Might this also be possible
with NetBSD or will I only be able to boot from MicroSD?



    From what I understand the boot process for ARM devices goes like this:

1) Device power on

1b) There could be a step here if there's some nvidia specific code on the SPI flash or in ROM

2) Load u-boot from SPI flash or boot device*

3) Load EFI code on the DOS partition and execute it

4) The EFI code looks for a kernel on an FFS partition and executes it.

    The questions I don't know the answer to are:

1) Does the Jetson Nano have u-boot installed in SPI flash?

2) If u-boot is present on the boot media and in SPI flash which is loaded first?

3) Where does the Jetson expect u-boot to be on the boot drive

    It looks like you're using a generic image which probably doesn't have u-boot on it. There's a package in pkgsrc (and also in pkgsrc-wip) containing u-boot for the Jetson nano (sysuttils/u-boot-jetson-nano). If you downloaded that you could copy it onto a microSD card that contained the base NetBSD ARM image (arm64.img.gz). I thought the package would print the dd command necessary to install the u-boot file, but it doesn't look like it does. I think:

    dd if=u-boot of=/dev/*disk* seek=64     is the command for other platforms.

    To boot NetBSD off of a USB device I'm nearly certain you'll need to load u-boot into the SPI flash. Maybe the Jetson will look for u-boot on a USB device , I don't know.

    My understanding of this is incomplete, but hopefully this will shed some light on the subject.


Jason M.

* u-boot lives in unallocated space between the MBR and the DOS partition starting at 0x8000 on the disk (at least on some ARM chips)

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