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Rock/Booting Linux


  • a radxa rock board (check your hardware revision)
  • a desktop/laptop running Linux(64bit preferred)
  • a micro usb cable, one side plugged in to the OTG port of radxa rock, the other side plugged in to the usb port on desktop/laptop

Prepare the build environment

Install the packages

Install packages for building kernel if you don't have them on your host.

   sudo apt-get install build-essential lzop libncurses5-dev libssl-dev 

If build on 64bit machine, also need to install:

   sudo apt-get install libc6:i386

Install the toolchain

Refer install toolchain

you can use any toolchain if you are sure it works, or you may have to fix any error introduced by toolchain.

Get the source code

   git clone -b radxa-stable-3.0
  or download here  (china)

Build the kernel

   cd linux-rockchip

if your Rock is pro(Mid 2014) or the new lite(Mid 2014), check out hardware revision

if you use the HDMI for dispaly device

   make radxa_rock_pro_linux_hdmi_defconfig

or you use the LCD for the primary display device(hdmi dual display at the same time)

   make radxa_rock_pro_linux_lvds_defconfig

if your rock is full version(2013) or engineering sample or the old lite(2013), use radxa_rock_linux_defconfig, check out hardware revision

   make radxa_rock_linux_defconfig
   make -j8 kernel.img

The kernel will be at kernel.img (image for kernel partition) and arch/arm/boot/Image (raw binary)

if you want LZO compressed kernel, specify zkernel.img

   make -j8 zkernel.img

The kernel will be at kernel.img (image for kernel partition) and arch/arm/boot/zImage (compressed binary)

Build the kernel modules

   mkdir modules
   make INSTALL_MOD_PATH=./modules modules modules_install

Now you have kernel modules in modules/lib/modules/ and firmwares for some devices in modules/lib/firmware/.

Generate the image

Generate the initramfs

   cd ..
   git clone
   make -C initrd

Generate the boot.img

Install mkbootimg

   git clone
   cd rockchip-mkbootimg
   sudo make install
   cd ..

Make boot.img

   mkbootimg --kernel linux-rockchip/arch/arm/boot/Image --ramdisk initrd.img -o boot.img

Done. Now we have the boot.img (image for boot/recovery partition) for RR.

Modify the parameter

There is a demo for parameter for sdcard you can get it or copy it to parameter file, but before you use you should modify it as the following guide


The linux rootfs can be put on the different partition or media(nand or uSD card or USB disk), so you need to tell the kernel which is the right rootfs to mount. So change the root= command line in your parameter to the rootfs you want to mount. The examples are:

   root=/dev/block/mtd/by-name/linuxroot        # rootfs in the nand partition named "linuxroot"
   root=/dev/mmcblk0p1          # rootfs in the uSD card first partition
   root=/dev/sda1                # rootfs in the U disk or the USB hard drive first partition
   root=LABEL=linuxroot         # rootfs in the partition with label "linuxroot", can be in uSD, U disk or USB hard drive.

Next step

Now you refer flash the image to flash the generated boot.img to "boot" partition parameter to "parameter" partition of your radxa rock board. And download a prebuilt rootfs or make your own rootfs. You will get linux system boot into ramdisk and then switch root to real rootfs.