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Blackfin Development Live CD

The Blackfin Development Live CD isn't really a CD image (its too big, but can fit on a DVD if you really want), but that is what we will call it for lack of a better name (for now).

It's based on Ubuntu 12.04. If you have questions about anything except the Blackfin tools - the best place to go is support for Ubuntu.

Live CDs provide a highly portable, secure, dependable and familiar environment that is easy to use on almost any machine.

However, LiveCd sessions become even more useful when a persistent image can retain data and settings (even installed programs and packages) when the machine gets switched off. All the data can be easily pocketed and kept safe, perhaps to be physically carried to another machine. The advantages over Cloud Computing are; that it does not require a working internet connection, it gives better privacy and security as it does not place your data in other peoples possession.

This persistent image can be done via a “LiveUSB” session, where the persistent image is kept on a USB-stick maximizing on the usefulness of the LiveCd session. Any USB stick over 8Gig can be used for this example. The larger the stick, the more applications you can install, but you will find most standard applications are already on the image.

Building your own USB stick

There are a few simple steps to do:

  1. download the iso (the DVD image blackfin-ubuntu-live-dvd-2012-R1.iso) from here
  2. burn it to a DVD
  3. boot the DVD
  4. use Ubuntu_Live_USB_creator to format the USB drive, and copy the iso to the USB drive (the utility needed to do this is on the live CD.

uclinux@ubuntu:~$ sudo strace usb-creator-gtk &

  1. set the iso that you want to copy from (normally /dev/sr0)
  2. set the USB partition you want to boot from (normally /dev/sdb1)
  3. set the size of the reserved space (for peristant storage)
  4. click “make startup disk”


There are some minor differences between the Blackfin Development Live CD, and the standard “Live/Install Ubuntu” CD. To get the standard version, check out the Ubuntu Download page. Out of the chroot:

  • removed the ubuntu user, and set the uclinux user to automatically log in via instructions here
    • edit:
      1. ./scripts/casper (change username to uclinux)
      2. ./etc/casper.conf (change username to uclinux)
      3. ./scripts/casper-bottom/10adduser (don't add password (if out debconf-communicate))
      4. ./scripts/casper-bottom/25configure_init (turn off virtual consoles)

In the chroot:

  • added the ”uclinux” user (password is ”uclinux”):
    • addgroup --gid 999 uclinux
    • adduser --home /home/uclinux --shell /bin/bash --ingroup uclinux --uid 999 uclinux
      • Full username is ”Live session user
      • password is uclinux
    • usermod -G admin,dialout,cdrom,floppy,audio,video,plugdev,users,games uclinux
  • add the universe and multiverse in /etc/apt/sources.list)
  • apt-get update and apt-get upgrade
  • added all necessary development packages for building the μClinux distribution and Linux kernel.
  • added a few more packages, and removed some
    • apt-get install eclipse ddd anjuta gnuplot linphone cscope liblua5.1-0-dev python-all-dev manpages-dev libsdl-image1.2-dev libsdl-mixer1.2-dev libsdl-ttf2.0-dev libsdl1.2-dev libsdl1.2debian-all libsdl-net1.2-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev gtkterm libcurl4-gnutls-dev sysstat gkrellm htop audacity
    • apt-get purge mono-runtime evolution evolution-common bogofilter-common bogofilter bogofilter-bdb
  • populated the /home/uclinux/blackfin directory with svn checkouts of the most recent release branch. (uClinux-dist, and U-Boot, and bare metal examples, blackfin wiki, blackfin hrms, anomalies, datasheets, prm)
  • added toolchain path and UCLINUX_USE_CCACHE=y to environment /etc/environment
  • added some sane defaults for minicom and kermit (8N1)
  • pointed the tftp directory to /home/uclinux/uclinux/images (in /etc/xinetd.d/tftp).
  • edit /etc/inputrc to enable history-search-backward and history-search-forward
  • remove sshd (just ”sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/ssh” to add it back, but remember to change the passwords first)
  • removed the ondemand since it causes problems on some machines (just ”sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/ondemand” to add it back)
  • changed the background images
  • change default firefox homepage, and edited default search engines, set firefox bookmarks
  • followed the directions at non_root_usb


  • add eclipse/terminal/file browser/firefox icons to desktop and toolbar