Hello everybody,

Is this the correct place to be asking technical questions related to barebox?
If not, could anybody guide me to the correct community?

Best regards,

Can someone publish a Docker image for Barebox? Would be helpful to use this tiny distro as an embedded container for lean deployments!

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Today's MoPeT (1): fastboot with barebox.

Fastboot is a protocol that can be used to transfer images (i. e. kernels) into an embedded device. When configured correctly, barebox opens a fastboot gadget device and the user can directly upload files into barebox partitions from a development host. The feature is especially helpful on boards which don't have ethernet. As one can also transfer shell commands, sophisticated sequences can be remotely controlled.

More docs are supposed to be in the manual, but a short look shows that, well, we need a volunteer to send a few patches :-) However, here is where it should be: http://barebox.org/doc/latest/user/usb.html?#android-fastboot-support

(1) Monthly Pengutronix Tech Hour
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I'm using barebox's shell, and has a string variable var="hello", how to get the second character 'e' in $var? In other words, how to implement 'substring' function?

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Barebox in Space!
Phytec Modul im Weltall – phyCORE-AM3359 übernimmt Steuerungsaufgaben auf der ISS

Die Sojus-Kapsel mit dem Joystick „Kontur-2“ des Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), in dem das phyCORE-AM3359 Modul verbaut ist, ist kürzlich auf der Internationalen Raumstation ISS eingetroffen.
Mit diesem Joystick soll ab Mitte August der Roboter ROKVISS im Labor des DLR-Instituts für Robotik und Mechatronik ferngesteuert werden.
Der Kosmonaut wird dabei genau spüren, was der Roboter in über 400 Kilometern Entfernung auf dem Erdboden berührt. Der Kontur-2 Joystick meldet ihm nämlich zurück, ob und wie stark er beispielsweise mit einem Objekt kollidiert.
Die kraftreflektierende Technologie soll es zukünftig Astronauten ermöglichen, Roboter im Orbit oder auf Oberflächen von Himmelskörpern – beispielsweise auf Mond oder Mars - für Montage- und Reparaturaufgaben zu steuern, ohne die Raumstation zu verlassen.

Phytec module phyCORE-AM3359 in space

The Soyuz capsule with the Joystick "Kontur-2" of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), in which the phyCORE-AM3359 is installed, has recently arrived on the ISS.
This joystick moves the robot ROKVISS in the laboratory of the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics to be controlled remotely from mid-August.
The cosmonaut will feel precisely what the robot touches in more than 400 kilometers away on the ground.
The Kontur-2 joystick reports back to him, whether and how much it collides with an object, for example.
In the future the force reflective technology should enable astronauts to control robots in the orbit or on surfaces of celestial bodies - for example, on the Moon or Mars - for assembly and repair tasks without leaving the space station.
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Running barebox on a current Broadwell ThinkPad X250. It is actually able to boot the kernel from disk.

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I built mainline Barebox (2015.03) and Linux (4.0) for Terasic's SoCKit. It was really gratifying to see it boot up successfully into Arch Linux ARM. Now it's time to write some hardware descriptions for the on-die FPGA!

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New SoC variant supported in barebox
My colleague +Sascha Hauer added support for the MX6 SoloX to the #barebox bootloader today, you can find his patch series here:


The MX6sx is pretty interesting, mainly because it contains a separate Cortex-M4 coprocessor, so you can use it for example for any kind of realtime task, while the main CPU is still running a normal Linux.

I'm looking forward to how the first project tasks will look like - there are quite some interesting industrial challenges out there which can be made much easier with a dedicated controller (i.e. handling fieldbus protocols). However, I really don't like Freescale's official advise to use some commercial RTOS on the M4: the real challenge will be to make it possible to integrate the M4 seamlessly with the standard kernel. We already have frameworks like remoteproc and rpmsg in the kernel, which should be used for communication.

As all upcoming i.MX CPUs (and probably many other ARM cores as well) will have Cortex-M coprocessors in the future, having generic coprocessor code for this kind of devices in the kernel could be a good way to get rid of a lot of crappy industrial communication code out there.

Another option will be to run uCLinux on the M4: Stefan Agner told me recently at ELCE in Düsseldorf that he made successful attempts to run the uCLinux port (contributed to mainline by my colleague Uwe Kleine-König some ime ago) on Vybrid, so this should also be possible on SoloX. Maybe this can be a valuable usecase for the Cortex-M port - much more valuable than running uCLinux on an mmuless standalone processor.
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