File:  [NetBSD Developer Wiki] / wikisrc / ports / evbarm / raspberry_pi.mdwn
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Thu Oct 15 19:44:53 2020 UTC (11 months, 1 week ago) by gdt
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RPI: Drop mentions of NetBSD 7 other than history

    1: [[!meta title="NetBSD/evbarm on Raspberry Pi"]]
    3: This page describes the NetBSD/evbarm port on [Raspberry Pi]( hardware.  All [board variants]( earlier than the RPI4 are believed supported, and specific boards known to work are listed.  We use e.g. "RPI2" to refer to "Raspberry Pi 2" to save precious bytes on this page.  This web page is still 32-bit (aarch32) centric, even though as of mid-2020 aarch64 is also a normal approach.
    5: Initial, limited, Raspberry Pi support was introduced in NetBSD 6.0.  NetBSD 7.0 added complete support for the board, along with introducing support for the quad-core Raspberry Pi 2 board.  Raspberry Pi 3 support was added for NetBSD 8.  NetBSD 9 supports aarch64, meaning using the newer processors in 64-bit mode (via -current in mid 2018).
    7: Overall, this page takes the view that NetBSD 7 and earlier are obsolete; aside from history, it is written as if those versions don't exist.
    9: The HOWTO is written for what works on formal releases, release branches (e.g. netbsd-9) and NetBSD-current.  It purposefully does not contain instructions about how to get things to work by installing code that is still being tested and not yet in -current.
   11: [[images/raspberrypi.jpg]]
   13: [[!toc levels=2]]
   15: <small>([Raspberry Pi image]( by Christopher Lee used under CC-By-2.0 license)</small>
   17: # What works (and what doesn't yet)
   19: "Works" is primarily relative to the earmv6hf-el and earmv7hf-el CPU targets (32-bit).
   21: ## NetBSD 8
   23:  - RPI1, RPI2, RPI2-1.2, RPI3, RPI3+ (except RPI3 builtin WiFi and bluetooth)
   24:  - RPI0 and RPI0W are expected to work (without WiFi, and one needs fdt files \todo where from?)
   25:  - multiple processors on RPI2/RPI3
   26:  - boots normally to multiuser, with FAT32 boot partition on uSD
   27:  - root filesystem can be uSD or USB-attached mass storage
   28:  - serial or graphics console (with EDID query / parsing)
   29:  - X11 via HDMI
   30:  - GPU (VCHIQ) - 3D and video decode. man page missing.
   31:  - USB host controller - dwctwo(4) and most devices work
   32:  - USB Ethernet - usmsc(4)
   33:  - DMA controller driver and sdhc(4) support
   34:  - RNG
   35:  - Audio: works. man page missing.
   36:  - GPIO
   37:  - I²C: works, could use enhancements, man page
   38:  - SPI: could use enhancements, man page
   40: ## NetBSD 9
   42:  - aarch64 support (RPI3, and should work on all supported systems with 64-bit CPUs)
   43:  - RPI3 new SD host controller driver
   45: ## NetBSD current
   47:  - RPI3 builtin bluetooth
   49: ## (maybe) NetBSD current, with manual steps
   51:    These items do not work in the sense that they simply function after a standard install.  Being listed here implies only that there has been list traffic that implies that after taking a bunch of steps (e.g. new firmware, new dtbs, enabling drivers, applying patches), one can end up with the feature working.  The HOWTO explicitly refrains from describing these steps because they are ephemeral.  However, the fact that list traffic indicates success is possible is a clue that proper support is on the horizon, and that is notable.
   53:  - RPI3 and RPI0W builtin WiFi
   55: ## What needs documenting if it works
   57:  - CM1
   58:  - CM3
   59:  - CM3lite
   61: ## What needs work
   63:  - RPI4 (as of 2020-01, still does not work in current)
   64:  - USB (host); isochronous transfers.
   65:  - RPI0W Bluetooth Low Energy (probably)
   67: # CPU types
   69:  - RPI1 uses "earmv6hf".
   70:  - RPI0 uses "earmv6hf".
   71:  - RPI0W uses "earmv6hf".
   72:  - RPI2 uses "earmv7hf".
   73:  - RPI2-1.2 uses "earmv7hf" or "aarch64" (armv8 CPU hardware)
   74:  - RPI3 uses "earmv7hf" or "aarch64" (armv8 CPU hardware)
   75:  - RPI4 \todo
   77: Note that one can run a build of earmv6hf on the 2 and 3.  There will still be a kernel7, built to use the 2/3 hardware, but with the armv6 instruction set.
   79: In theory the code compiled for earmv7hf will be faster, but anecdotal experience is that it doesn't matter that much.  \todo Post a link to a quality benchmark.
   81: While the evbarm port has "eb" variants (for big-endian mode), the RPI systems do not support eb and these variants will not work.  Systems built for older CPU architectures (earm, earmv4, earmv5) are not expected to work on RPI.
   83: The RPI2-1.2 and RPI3 have an armv8 CPU that supports aarch64 (64-bit
   84: mode) in addition to aarch32 (regular 32-bit ARM).  This is supported,
   85: from 9 onwards, by the "aarch64" MACHINE_ARCH of evbarm, also
   86: available in via the alias evbarm64.  This is also
   87: referred to as [[NetBSD/aarch64|aarch64]].
   89: # Installation
   91: ## SD card structure
   93: The Raspberry Pi looks for firmware and kernel.img on the first FAT32 MBR partition of the uSD card.  A separate kernel (kernel7.img) is used on RPI2 and RPI3.
   94: The NetBSD kernel will then find NetBSD MBR partition and within that the root disklabel partition, and use that FFS partition as the root filesystem.
   96: A 2 GB card is the smallest workable size that the installation image will fit on.  After the first boot, the system resizes the NetBSD root partition to fill the card.  Note that swap is after /boot and before /, and not contained in the NetBSD fdisk partition.  However, if you don't try to change the partition structure, this should not cause you any trouble.
   98: Note that SD cards generally have limited write tolerance, so you may wish to disable atime updates via the noatime option, as is done by the default installation.
  100: ## Choosing a version
  102: First, decide if you want to install a formal release (8.0 or 9.0), a stable branch build (netbsd-8, netbsd-9), or NetBSD-current.  For people who don't know how to choose among those, a recent build of netbsd-9 is probably best, with 9.0 the choice for those who value being at exactly a formal release.
  104: See also "ebijun's image", below, which is NetBSD-current and includes packages.
  106: ## Getting bits to install
  108: You can either build a release yourself with, or get a release from the NetBSD HTTPS/FTP servers.  The bits from both sources should match, except for things like  timestamps, or because the sources are from slightly different points along branches.
  110: ### Building yourself
  112: Getting sources and building a release with is not special for evbarm.  However, the evbarm port has a very large number of CPU types, compared to i386 and amd64 which have one each.  The standard approach is to use -m to define MACHINE and -a to define MACHINE_ARCH. supports aliases that can be passed as a MACHINE value, but denote both MACHINE and a MACHINE_ARCH.   The third line uses an alias and is equal to the second, for RPI2/3.  Note that the aliases start with "evb" while the MACHINE_ARCH values do not, and that aliases have "-el" or "-eb", while the MACHINE_ARCH values have no suffix or "eb".
  114:  - ./ -m evbarm -a earmv6hf -u release
  115:  - ./ -m evbarm -a earmv7hf -u release
  116:  - ./ -m evbearmv7hf-el -u release
  118: Consider setting RELEASEMACHINEDIR if you wish to build multiple MACHINE_ARCH values for a MACHINE; see  Use something like "evbarm-earmv7hf", so that 1) earvm6 and earmv7 don't collide and 2) anita will recognize it as a type of evbarm.
  120: ### NetBSD autobuild HTTPS/FTP servers
  122: NetBSD provides nightly builds on [](  The next directory level is the branch being built (netbsd-8, netbsd-9, HEAD, and more), plus optionally things like compiler type.  It is followed by date/time, e.g. "HEAD/201811051650Z"; once a build is complete the symlink "latest" is adjusted to point to it.  The next level is "${MACHINE}-${MACHINE_ARCH}", e.g. "evbarm-earmv7hf", and multiple combinations are provided.
  124: An example URL, arguably the standard approach for first-time NetBSD/RPI users, is <>
  126: ### release layout
  128: Once you get to the releasedir, self-built and autobuild releases have the same structure.
  130:  - The 'evbarm-earmv6hf/binary/gzimg/' directory contains an rpi.img file that will run on any of the RPI boards.
  131:  - The 'evbarm-earmv7hf/binary/gzimg/' directory contains an armv7.img file that uses the armv7 instruction set, and thus can run only on the RPI2 and RPI3 (and perhaps the CM3).  It also supports systems other than the RPI family.
  133: \todo Explain why there is no armv7_inst.gz.
  135: ## Preparing a uSD card
  137: Once you have rpi.img.gz (or rpi_inst for earmv6 boards), put it on a uSD card using gunzip and dd, for example:
  139:  - gunzip rpi.img.gz
  140:  - dd if=rpi.img of=/dev/disk1
  142: ## Console approaches
  144: The standard approach is to use a USB keyboard and an HDMI monitor for installation.
  146: ### Serial Console
  148: By default the rpi.img is set to use the HDMI output.  If you wish to use a serial console, mount the FAT32 partition on another system and edit cmdline.txt and remove '"console=fb"'.
  150:  - Most (all?) USB-to-TTL serial adapters have wires for TX, RX and ground, and not RTS/CTS or other flow control lines.   Thus, your terminal program (or terminal) must be configured to not require flow control; a symptom of misconfiguration is that you see console output, but cannot type anything.  If so, adjust your serial console application's flow control settings to "none".   The serial port is at 115200 baud.
  152:    - In Kermit, the commands are "set flow none", "set carrier-watch off", "set baud 115200", and, often on NetBSD, "set line /dev/dtyU0".
  153:    - In minicom, run "minicom -s" and set hardware flow control to "no".
  155: ### Enabling ssh for installation without any console
  157: If you want to enable ssh with the standard image, so that you can log in over the net without either a serial or HDMI console, you can edit the configuration of a uSD card before booting.   On another computer, mount the ffs partition, place /root/.ssh/authorized_keys, uncomment PermitRootLogin in /etc/ssh/sshd_config, and comment out the rc_configure=NO in /etc/rc.conf.  Besides having to find the IP address (e.g. from DHCP server logs), you will have to wait for the partition resizing and reboot.
  159: ### Installation with sshramdisk image
  161: (and hence the FTP site) also creates an image 'rpi_inst.img.gz' specifically for installation without HDMI or a serial console, when built for earmv6hf.  Note that this image is much smaller and that you will need to fetch the sets over the network.  To use this method, write that image to a uSD card as above, and then:
  163:  - Connect an Ethernet cable from the RPI to a LAN with a DHCP server, and another host you can use for ssh.
  164:  - Power on the RPI, and wait.  Watch the logs on the DHCP server, and find the IP address assigned to the RPI.
  165:  - Use ssh to log in to the address you found with user "sysinst", and password "netbsd".
  166:  - When installing, ensure that you enable DHCP and ssh, so that you can log in again after the system is installed.
  168: The rpi_inst.img.gz image will only work for systems that use earmv6hf kernels (so not RPI2/3).  See [this port-arm message]( for details.
  170: ## Installation via ebijun's image
  172: As an alternative to the standard installation images, Jun Ebihara
  173: provides an install image for Raspberry Pi that includes packages.  It
  174: is based on NetBSD-current and is built for earmv6hf, and thus will
  175: work on Raspberry Pi 1, 2 and 3.  This image is typically updated
  176: every few weeks.
  178:  - <>
  180: ## Configuring 802.11
  182: After installation, the Ethernet will function as on any other NetBSD system; simply enable dhcpcd or configure a static address.  USB WiFi devices will also function as on any other NetBSD system; in addition to dhcpcd or static, configure and enable wpa_supplicant.
  184: Note that the built-in WiFi in the RPI3 is not yet supported.   USB WiFi interfaces (that work on NetBSD in general) should all work.  In particular, the following are known to work:
  186:  - urtwn0: Realtek (0xbda) 802.11n WLAN Adapter (0x8176), rev 2.00/2.00, addr 5, MAC/BB RTL8188CUS, RF 6052 1T1R
  188: ## Links
  190: The following pages have been published by NetBSD community members.  (Note that some of them are old.)
  192:  - <>
  194: # Maintaining a system
  196: ## Booting single user
  198: \todo Describe how to boot single user via the serial console and via the fb console.
  200: ## vcgencmd
  202: The program vcgencmd, referenced in the boot section,  can be found in pkgsrc/misc/raspberrypi-userland.
  204: ## Updating the kernel
  206:  - Run uname -a to determine the name of the config of your current kernel.  For NetBSD <= 8, one ran RPI or RPI2.  For NetBSD >=9, one uses GENERIC.
  207:  - Build a new kernel, e.g. using Ideally, run " release" and look in releasedir/binary/kernels.  If building just a kernel, it will tell you where the ELF version of the kernel is, e.g.
  208:          ...
  209:          Kernels built from GENERIC:
  210:           /Users/feyrer/work/NetBSD/cvs/src-current/obj.evbarm-Darwin-XXX/sys/arch/evbarm/compile/GENERIC/netbsd
  211:          ...
  212:  - There are multiple kernel formats produced by a release build, for use with different boot loader schemes..  For GENERIC:
  213:    - netbsd-GENERIC: A normal kernel in ELF format.
  214:    - netbsd-GENERIC.img: In NetBSD >= 9, formatted for the RPI bootloader.
  215:    - netbsd-GENERIC.bin: In NetBSD <= 8, formatted for the RPI bootloader.  In NetBSD >= 9, ??????  In NetBSD 9, this kernel WILL NOT boot.
  216:    - netbsd-GENERIC.ub: A kernel in uboot format.
  217:  - Depending on your hardware version, copy this either to /boot/kernel.img (First generation Pi, Pi Zero hardware) or to /boot/kernel7.img (Pi 2, Pi 3 hardware)
  218:  - reboot
  220: \todo Explain if updating firmware is necessary when e.g. moving from 8 to 9, or 9 to current.
  222: ## Updating dtb files
  224: (This is harder than it should be.)
  225: Build a release.  gunzip the armv7.img, vnconfig it, and mount the MSDOS partition (e) e.g. on /mnt.  Copy the dtb files from /mnt/*.dtb to /boot, and from /mnt/dtb/*.dtb to /mnt/dtb.
  227: It seems that some systems, including RPI, require dtb files in /boot, and some expect  them in /boot/dtb.
  229: \todo Explain how one is supposed to be able to update these from the dtb files in releasedir/binary/kernel, or fix it to have the same structure.
  231: ## Updating the firmware
  233: It is highly likely that running NetBSD from a given branch X with firmware from a branch Y < X will not go well.  It is unclear if firmware from a branch Y > X will work.   It is standard practice to use firmware from the right branch.
  235: A section below describes the process of updating NetBSD's copy of the firmware from upstream, with testing, by NetBSD developers.  This section is about updating a system's firmware from the firmware in a version of NetBSD.
  237: (Updating the firmware is harder than it should be.)
  238: Build a release.  gunzip the armv7.img, vnconfig it, and mount the MSDOS partition (e) e.g. on /mnt.  Copy files from that to /boot that have changes, carefully.
  240: Relevant files include bootcode.bin, start.elf and start_cd.elf.
  242: Compare cmdline.txt, but beware that just overwriting it will lose customizations like using the serial console instead of the framebuffer.
  244: \todo Explain where the firmware is in the source tree, and note that it is not in the installed system image (such as /usr/mdec).  Explain how to update a system (presumably /boot) from either an installed system's new firmware files, or the source tree.  Explain any particular cautions.
  246: \todo Explain if using updated firmware from one branch (e.g. netbsd-current) on a system using a different branch (e.g. netbsd-8) is safe.  Explain if pullups are done to release branches with new firmware.
  248: ## Booting
  250: The device boots by finding a file "bootcode.bin".   The primary location is a FAT32 partition on the uSD card, and an additional location is on a USB drive.  See the [upstream documentation on booting]( and read all the subpages.
  252: The standard approach is to use a uSD card, with a fdisk partition table containing a FAT32 partition marked active, and a NetBSD partition.  The NetBSD partition will then contain a disklabel, pointing to an FFS partition (a), a swap partition (b) and the FAT32 boot partition mounted as /boot (e).  The file /boot/cmdline.txt has a line to set the root partition.
  254: One wrinkle in the standard approach is that the disk layout is "boot swap /", but the NetBSD fdisk partition starts at the location of /, so the swap partition is not within the NetBSD fdisk partition.  The / partition can hold a disklabel, while swap cannot.   It is normal to have swap after / (and thus within the fdisk partition), but the arrangement used permits growing / on first boot, for the typical case where a larger uSD is used, compared to the minimum image size.
  256: An alternate approach is to have the boot FAT32 partition as above, but to have the entire system including root on an external disk.  This is configured by changing root=ld0a to root=sd0a or root=dk0 (depending on disklabel/GPT).  Besides greater space, part of the point is to avoid writing to the uSD card.
  258: A third approach, workable on the Pi 3 only, is to configure USB host booting (already enabled on the 3+; see the upstream documentation) and have the boot partition also on the external device.  In this case the external device must have an MBR because the hardware's first-stage boot does not have GPT support. In theory the [procedure to program USB host boot mode]( will function on a NetBSD system because the programming is done by bootcode.bin.
  259: \todo Confirm that putting program_usb_boot_mode=1 in config.txt and booting works to program the OTP bit.  Confirm that one can then boot NetBSD from external USB.
  261: There is no well-defined USB enumeration order, so the preferred approach if one has multiple USB mass storage devices is to use named wedges in both fstab and cmdline.txt.
  263: ## Split-mode aarch32/aarch64
  265: \todo Verify this, and add any necessary cautions about boot code.
  267: The aarch64 kernel can run aarch32 binaries, so one can boot an aarch64 kernel on a system with an aarch32 userland.
  269: # X11 and GPU
  271: ## Video playback
  273: Accelerated video playback is supported with the [OMXPlayer]( application and through GStreamer with the [omx]( plugin.
  275: ## OpenGL ES
  277: Accelerated OpenGL ES is supported.  The GL ES client libraries are included with the [misc/raspberrypi-userland]( package.
  279: ## Quake 3
  281: A Raspberry Pi optimized build of *ioquake3* is available in the [games/ioquake3-raspberrypi]( package. To use it, the following additional resources are required:
  283:  - pak0.pk3 from Quake 3 CD
  284:  - additional pak files from the [games/ioquake3-pk3]( package
  285:  - read/write permissions on /dev/vchiq and /dev/wsmouse
  287: Place the pak0.pk3 file in the /usr/pkg/lib/ioquake3/baseq3 directory.
  289: ## RetroArch / Libretro
  291: Using [emulators/retroarch]( it is possible to run many emulators at full speed the Raspberry Pi. Emulator cores for various gaming consoles are available in the [emulators/libretro-*]( packages. To begin using retroarch:
  293:  - Install [emulators/retroarch](
  294:  - Install the libretro core for the system you would like to emulate (lets take [emulators/libretro-gambatte](, a GameBoy Color emulator, as an example).
  295:  - Make sure your user has read and write permissions on `/dev/vchiq`.
  296:  - Plug in a USB HID compatible Gamepad, such as the Logitech F710 in "DirectInput" mode (set "D/X" switch to "D"). Note that since the framebuffer GL driver will not allow for keyboard input in RetroArch, you will have to copy your joypad configuration from another system.
  297:  - Configure retroarch by editing $HOME/.config/retroarch/retroarch.cfg:
  298: 	video_driver = "gl"
  299: 	input_driver = "null"
  300: 	joypad_driver = "sdl2"
  301: 	menu_driver = "rgui"
  303: # Developer notes
  305: These notes are for people working on improvements to RPI support in NetBSD.
  307: ## Updating the firmware version in the NetBSD sources
  309: (Note that trying new firmware may result in a non-bootable system, so
  310: be prepared to recover the bootable media with another system.)
  312: Upstream firmware releases are
  313: [on GitHub](
  314: Copy all files except `kernel*.img` into `/boot` and reboot.
  316: New firmware should pass all of the following tests before being committed to NetBSD.
  318: - Audio
  319: - OMXPlayer (and [[!template id=man name="vchiq"]])
  320: - Serial/framebuffer console
  321: - CPU frequency scaling
  323: Tests should be run on all of `rpi[0123]`.
  325: ## Testing with anita and qemu
  327: See the anita section in the evbarm page.
  329: It is not currently known how to emulate a RPI in qemu, and therefore anita does not yet have support for this.  \todo Add a command-line example to run qemu emulating some RPI model.
  331: # Misc notes
  333: Miscellaneous notes about Raspberry PI.
  335: ## Power supply needed (or: why there is a little rainbow square in the top-right corner?)
  337: Raspberry Pi devices are powered by 5V micro USB and a 2.5A (2500mA)
  338: power supply is recommended.  For more information please read:
  340:  <>
  342: Power glitches can also manifest in other ways, e.g. with an USB
  343: disk plugged:
  345: [[!template id=programlisting text="""
  346: sd0(umass0:0:0:0): generic HBA error
  347: sd0: cache synchronization failed
  348: """]]
  350: Using a recommended power supply avoid such issues.
  352: ## Xenon death flash (Raspberry Pi 2 is camera-shy)
  354: When using laser pointers or xenon flashes in cameras (or other
  355: flashes of high-intensity long-wave light) against a Raspberry Pi
  356: 2 the Pi can power itself off.
  357: For more information please read:
  359:  <>

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