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Rock/flash the image

This page describes how to install an image to the nand flash of Radxa Rock, ie, how to flash the board. You can choose to either flash the whole nand image (ie, update.img) to the board or just flash the selected partitions. You can download the prebuilt images from our server or build your own images.

Before you start

Keep in mind that:

   You can always flash the rock, it never bricks (as the name :)) unless some hardware damage occurs.

What you will need to flash the board is:

  • Firmware image, check hardware revision. there are Pro and Full/Lite, firmware is different
  • Radxa Rock or Rock Pro or Rock2 Square board
  • a PC running Windows (XP 32/64bit, Windows 7 32/64 bit) or Linux (32/64bit)
  • a micro USB cable with one side plugged in to the OTG port of the board and the other side plugged into the USB port on PC.


The Windows tool for flashing the image is provided by Rockchip. To flash the update.img(you'd better click this link and read this page,it's very Important for the radxa beginner), you need to use the RKBatchTool and to flash the partitions, you will need to use RKDevelopTool. Both RKBatchTool and RKDevelopTool rely on the RK USB driver so you will need to install it first as below:

Install driver

  1. install using RKDriverAssistant tools - the easy way(Just for winXp, Vista, Win7,not support Win8)
  2. install manually (WinXp,Vista,Win7,Win8)

If you have already installed the USB driver please skip this step.

a. Install using RK Driver Assistant tools

Note:The method just support WinXp,Vista,Win7, NOT SUPPORT Win8

There’s no need to connect your Rockchip device during this procedure just download and extract Then double click on DriverInstall.exe in the RKDriverAssistant directory to start the utility. If you've previously tried to install the Rockchip USB drivers for any Rockchip devices make sure you click “Uninstall Driver” first.

RK Driver Assistant Install Uninstall.jpg

Then click “Install Driver” and when the driver has finish installing then shut down radxa board and connect the Radxa Rock board to your computer and let the board go to loader mode, then your computer will detect the board and you will see it within device manager.

RK Driver Assistant Install Usb driver.png

Now the driver should have been installed successfully!

b. Install Manually

Download driver file first. For WinXp,Vista,Win7,Download the file ( from here . For Win8 Download the file( from here. shut down the Radxa Rock board then connect the Radxa Rock board to the computer and let the board go to loader mode. After your computer should detect the board and you will see an unknown device within device manager.

Flash image 1.jpg

Select the Unknown device then right click and select "Update Driver Software".

Flash image 2.jpg

Select "Browse the computer for driver software".

Flash image 2.5.jpg

Find the file unzipped file you downloaded earlier ( and select either the 32/64bit folder then click "OK" to install.

Flash image 3.jpg

When the driver is installed successful you will then see a Rockusb Device in the device manager window.

Flash image 6.jpg

Now the driver is installed successfully.

Flash Image

Download the tool first

There are two methods to flash an image.

  1. Flash the whole firmware only, it will erase everything.
  2. Flash firmware by partitions, it's very convenient when debugging part function such as kernel

Flash the whole firmware

Power down the Radxa Rock board and connect the Radxa Rock board to the computer then let the board go to loader mode after the program should detect the device.

you can see “Found One MASKROM device “ at the bottom of the tool when you first flash the board or just unbrick the board

Or “Found One Loader Device” at the bottom of the tool when you flashed image not first time

Then Select an image (rockdev/update.img). For information on how to make nand image see update.img

After that, Click "Upgrade " to begin flashing

Flash whole firmware 1.png

Flash whole firmware 2.png

Flash firmware by partitions

Power down the Radxa Rock board and connect the Radxa Rock board to the computer then let the board go to loader mode after the program should detect the device.

you can see “Found One MASKROM device “ at the bottom of the tool when you first flash the board or just unbrick the board

Or “Found One Loader Device” at the bottom of the tool when you flashed image not first time.

Then select the partitions you need update, and select the right image which you can find under rockdev or kernel directory. finally click "Run " to flash

Note: if your address of the partitions doesn't the same as the pic below, you can modify the address by click the address item.

Flash whole firmware 3.png

Here is the video you can refer


FlashTool can not recognize the board

This often happened by the follow reasons:

1) Not enter the loader mode (refer to [rock loader mode] [rock2 square loader mode])


In general, When you connect to PC with radxa( in loader mode), the PC can recongize radxa as Rockusb Device(windows)

2) the used usb port of pc is usb3.0 (please change usb2.0 port)

3) the OS of PC is windows 8 (if windows 8,please use

4) bad quality usb cable, you can change a short and good quality one to try again

If the problem still exists, you can refer to the topics in, create a new topic on it or send email to

Flashing failed

For rock pro

After flashing, the uart print

   DDR Version 1.04 20130517 In DDR3 300MHz Bus Width=32 Col=10 Bank=8 Row=15 CS=2 Die Bus-Width=16 Size=2048MB Memory OK OUT BUILD=====6 SdmmcInit=0 20 F:32 1061 0 0 40 FlashReadRetry error!!,row = fff000 FlashReadRetry error!!,row = fff000

and not boot.

If flashing failed, try to format the nand flash before flashing it.

  • AndroidTool V2.3 -> Upgrade firmware - click "Erease Flash" button to format the nand flash
  • AndroidTool V2.3 -> Download Image - click "LowerFormat" to format the nand flash

For rock2 square

you can press reset key and reflash , if still failed ,you can refer to or send mail to

Preparing IDB failed

This happens at upgrading bootloader, if you need to upgrade the bootloader or the update.img contains a new bootloader, you probably will meet this. The rock is "bricked". Follow this unbrick instructions to unbrick it.

Win8.1 and USB 3.0

If you have problem with Win8.1 and USB 3.0, please check:


Rockchip has provided tools for upgrading within Linux (closed source) since Android 4.4. It's called upgrade_tool. It supports update.img, parameter, bootloader and other partitions, and it's command line based.

rkflashkit is an open source GUI version flashing tool for rockchip devices. It can not flash bootloader or parameter, only supports kernel and other partitions, but it supports backup the partitions.

For developers: The initial RE work of the Rockchip bootloader updating protocol is by naobsd and has been improved by some in rkflashtool. linuxerwang has made a GUI version of the rkflashtool called rkflashkit. Please note: both rkflashtool and rkflashkit can not flash the rock/update.img and can only flash within rock/bootloader mode and not rock/mask rom mode because the rock/mask rom updating protocol is not RE yet. If you are interested in the RE protocol ping naobsd at #radxa on IRC. Since the rock/bootloader has remained unchanged for a long time it's enough for normal usage. If you don't know what this means, just ignore it.

Upgrade_tool from Rockchip

Download the Rockchip linux upgrade tool here. Unzip it and you will get a file called upgrade_tool which is a binary executable file under Linux.

Note: there are two ways to flash the android image.

1> Just flash one image file. refer to the "Flash update.img" ,The image you can download here prebuilt_image . or you can build the image by yourself refer to Android_Build

2>Flash image by partitions,this methods you need flash serveral images depends on the partitions and your requirement. refer to "Flash parameter ", "Flash bootloader ","Flash the kernel(boot.img)"

Flash all-in-one nand/emmc image file(Recommended)

Let the board go to loader mode [Rock Loader mode], [Rock2 Square Loader mode] and run the following command to flash the update.img:

   sudo ./upgrade_tool uf  /path/to/update.img          #(UF Upgrade Flash)

If you have an error with upgrading you can low level format the nand flash first with the following command:

   sudo ./upgrade_tool lf       #(LF Lowlevel Format) This will erase everything on nand

Flash by partitions

The whole files you should flash are"parameter","bootloader","boot.img","recovery.img""system.img" , all the file you can find under the rockdev/ after you build the android successful.

How to flash the file and images.

Flash bootloader
   sudo ./upgrade_tool ul /path/to/bootloader          #(UL Upgrade Loader)

Other partitions can be flashed by di command. You can use upgrade_tool di partition_name image_name to flash the image to the partition. There are some shortcuts for certain image name.

partition name short name
parameter -p
boot -b
system -s
recovery -r
misc -m
Flash parameter
   sudo ./upgrade_tool di parameter /path/to/parameter

or for short

   sudo ./upgrade_tool di -p /path/to/parameter        #(DI Download Image)

Flash the kernel(boot.img)
   sudo ./upgrade_tool di boot /path/to/boot.img

or for short

   sudo ./upgrade_tool di -b /path/to/boot.img   

Flash the rootfs
   sudo ./upgrade_tool di linuxroot /path/to/rootfs.img   


There are other commands in the upgrade_tool, such as:

   EF: erease the nand flash


1) why I must flash this file?

The android image is constructed by this files.

2)what's the paration info?

The partations info you can get from the paramteter file under the rockdev/ which in the android source code.

CMDLINE:console=ttyFIQ0 androidboot.console=ttyFIQ0
init=/init initrd=0x62000000,0x00800000

3) why other parations do have image to flash?

Other parations are used to store data.

4) why not flash the kernel.img ?

The kernel.img is packed into boot.img . more info you can refer to Android_Build

5) Other questions

Post on the or send email to

Flash with rkflashtool(Advanced)

rkflashtool is an open source tool to write nand flash via the loader mode for rockchip platform.

To install rkflashtool:

sudo apt-get install build-essential libusb-1.0-0-dev
git clone
cd rkflashtool
sudo cp rkflashtool rkcrc rkunpack rkunsign /usr/local/bin

To read/write parameter:

rkflashtool p > param
rkflashtool P < param

To read/write partitions:

rkflashtool r boot > boot.img
rkflashtool w boot < boot.img
rkflashtool r linuxroot > linuxroot.ext4
rkflashtool w linuxroot < linuxroot.ext4

Rkflashkit with GUI

You can download the pre-built rkflashkit here or build it yourself with the following command:

   git clone 
   cd rkflashkit 
   ./waf debian 

And install it with the following command

   sudo apt-get install python-gtk2 
   sudo dpkg -i rkflashkit_0.1.1_all.deb

Run it with the following command

   sudo rkflashkit

You can see the interface looks like this:


Connect the Radxa Rock board to the computer and let the board go into loader mode you will then see the the program detect the board in loader mode.

  1. Click the Nand partition and you will see the partitions of the board listed then choose the one you want to flash.
  2. Choose the location of the image you want to flash to that partition.
  3. Click the "Flash image" button and it will start flashing
  4. After it's finished click "Reboot Device" button to reboot the board.

Rkflashkit2.png Rkflashkit3.png


Creating Comm Object failed!

that's udev issues… You can solve this by creating a new file in /etc/udev/rules.d/ with the rule for the rock.

To do that, copy and paste these commands:

echo 'SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="2207", MODE="0666", GROUP="plugdev"' | sudo tee /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules

Finally, just remove and reinsert the USB cable.

What's verision of My board and Which Image should I flash!

refer to update.img

Install the image on RR without PC

If you want to write the image on RR without any other host PC, you can download the image and write with dd:

    sudo dd if=XXX.img of=/dev/block/mtd/by-name/XXX bs=16384 conv=sync,fsync

Videos tutorial

External Reference