Development with Zynq – Part 4 – Boot Linaro from SD Card

This blog series describe the selection, set-up and usage of a development environment for Zynq.

Prepare SD Card

I work with a 1GB and 4GB SD card. Both work. The SD card which was part of the zedboard package did not work for me.

Two partitions are needed on the SD Card. The first partition with the boot files formated with FAT32 and the second partition with the Linux distribution formated with ext4. The boot partition have a size from 64 MB

A adapted the script from The mksdcard package include my script and  .desktop file for start. Extract mksdcard in a folder. Make a new subfolder Boot with all files for boot partition.

  • devicetree.dtb
  • uImage

In mksdcard.desktop the SD card location have to be defined. Currently it is set to /dev/sdb. Start the script and wait until it is finished. At the latest after replug.

Copy linaro to SD Card

Download Linaro ALIP from We use Version 13.07 from Normally Linaro Nano is the better choice. It is small and missing package can installed afterwards with apt-get. But with Linaro Nano the ethernet device from zedboard  is not working and so we have to install missing package offline. Offline installation is complicated and time-consuming because there is no easy resolution of dependencies.

Extract the download package to your SD card with following command. The Linux distribution is in a subfolder. The top foldername have to be removed with strip-components=1.

Running linux

Plug your SD card in the zedboard and boot from it. If your system does not boot, you can use this  Bootfiles to find the failure source.

For next steps the USB UART from zedboard have to be connected to your PC. Open a terminal to your zedboard with putty or a other tool. A tutorial can be found in the Getting Started Guide under

With the connected terminal we can run commands on zedboard. First we need a Internet connection. I use my PC as DHCP server (see Part 2). Problem is that the DNS nameserver have to been set manually.

A simple file editor can be opened with command
nano /etc/resolv.conf
Insert your nameserver and save the file. Example line

On my system Internet is working with this changes. Update the system with.

Next is to install important tools. The ssh package install a ssh and sftp server so we can connect to zedboard over ethernet.

Linaro comes without password. Some tools only work with password. Use the command

to set the password to „root“.

For remote debugging we need a gdb server on the target. Install it with

Optional I uninstall unnecessary tools with. The „apt-get install“ line is very import to be sure that Ethernet/Internet will still work after restart.


to get a list of installed packages.

Connect to the target with SSH

For the SSH connection I write two desktop scripts SetZedIP and SSHConnect which are described in Part 2. If you get problems with SSHConnect copy ans start the command in terminal.
If you change between Linux distributions with different host key you get a spoofing warning. Use the command

on development system to resolve the warning.


It is time for a backup. I write desktop scripts to backup/restore the second partition of SD card. You can download them under rootfs_Backup_Restore. Maybe you have to adjust the used directories to your environment.

On windows systems win32diskimager is a good backup and restore tool.


Diskutiere über "Development with Zynq – Part 4 – Boot Linaro from SD Card"

  1. Hischam sagt:


    can you please list the the url of the page you downloaded Linaro ALIP from?

    you mentioned the following site:

    but I need the exact webpage ..

    Thank you

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