Buildroot 2023.08 release for i.MX platforms

Published on September 25, 2023

Buildroot 2023.08 has been published and we're excited to share new images!  This release includes our latest 6.1 kernel, as well as support for our new Nitrogen8M Plus SMARC platform!Buildroot

For the impatient

You can download pre-built Buildroot 2023.08 images from here: Update 20231228 changelog:
  • Support for Nitrogen8M Mini SMARC.
In order to flash those images you can follow our video on this topic: Or for those fluent in command lines, you can simply use zcat: ~$ zcat 2023*br2023.08-nitrogen*.img.gz | sudo dd of=/dev/sdX bs=1M

What's new?

Buildroot 2023.08 release

It would be too long of a list to enumerate all the changes Buildroot went through since the last release. For recent changes, we invite you to check the last release announcement: We'll focus on the i.MX changes for this release in the next sections.

Boundary Devices layer

As usual, we provide our own Boundary Devices external layer: This includes the following custom configurations

New features

Buildroot 2022.08 includes the following versions of packages:
  • BlueZ5 5.68
  • GStreamer 1.22.2
  • GStreamer-imx v0.13.1 for i.MX6
  • GStreamer-imx v2.2.0 for i.MX8M
  • imx-codec 4.3.5
  • imx-gpu-viv 6.4.11.p1.2
  • imx-vpu-hantro 1.29.0 for i.MX8M
  • imx-vpu-hantro-vc 1.9.0 for i.MX8MP
  • imx-vpu for i.MX6
  • Linux kernel 6.1.y
  • qcacld-2.0 LEA-3.1 Wi-Fi driver
  • Qt5 5.15.10
  • Support for Nitrogen8MP SMARC added
  • Wayland 1.22.0
  • Weston 12.0.1
There are a few differences between Yocto and Buildroot releases at this stage:
  • Buildroot images use standard packages without NXP modifications
    • This applies to GStreamer, Weston, libdrm, wayland etc...
    • The main drawback is that Weston can't be used with G2D
    • The (big) advantage is that it makes the codebase much easier to maintain, being able to use all the latest packages without having to be stuck at an earlier version chosen by NXP
  • Open-source gstreamer-imx plugin is used instead of NXP forks
    • This allows us to have imx-related changes for GStreamer in 1 package only

Build procedure

Just like our Yocto image, we now use a Docker file to build our images on our Jenkins server so that everyone can use the exact same environment. This ensures reproducible builds without having to think about missing dependencies. If interested in using this approach, we invite you to read the following blog post using the following docker file: Otherwise you can follow Buildroot documentation to know the host requirements: Once your development environment is setup properly, you can
  1.  Download the source code. To ease the repo cloning process, we decided to create a manifest to match what is done for Yocto/Android:
~$ sudo apt-get install repo ~$ mkdir ~/br2023.08 && cd br2023.08 ~/br2023.08$ repo init -u -b 2023.08.x ~/br2023.08$ repo sync
  1. Create an output folder for your configuration:
~/br2023.08$ make BR2_EXTERNAL=$PWD/buildroot-external-boundary/ -C $PWD/buildroot/ O=$PWD/output nitrogen8mm_qt5_gst1_defconfig ~/br2023.08$ cd output
  1. Build the image
~/br2023.08/output$ make
  1. Your image is now ready!
~/br2023.08/output$ ls -l images/sdcard.img ~/br2023.08/output$ sudo dd if=images/sdcard.img of=/dev/sdX bs=1M

Testing the image

As usual, the login for this image is root with no password. The external repository README details many commands that can be tested on the image.
  • Once booted up, the Weston desktop should appear automatically, from there you can start a 3D test to ensure GPU acceleration
# cd /usr/share/examples/viv_samples/vdk/ # ./tutorial7 -h 720
  • You can also check the GStreamer VPU acceleration by decoding the well known Big Buck Bunny video
# wget -P /root/ # gst-launch-1.0 filesrc location=/root/trailer_1080p_h264_mp3.avi ! decodebin ! waylandsink
  • If you have our OV5640 5MP MIPI camera, you can check the GStreamer video capture
# gst-launch-1.0 v4l2src device=/dev/video0 ! video/x-raw,width=1280,height=720 ! waylandsink
  • This build fully supports the Basler daA3840 8MP camera from Basler when using our Nitrogen 8M Plus
# gst-launch-1.0 -v v4l2src device=/dev/video2 ! waylandsink ... [ 352.348796] wdr3 res: 1920 1080 [ 352.352471] enter isp_mi_start [ 357.581179] ###### 62.42 fps ###### [ 362.771924] ###### 62.42 fps ######   # gst-launch-1.0 -v v4l2src device=/dev/video2 ! waylandsink
  • This build also includes qt5 and examples can be run from "/usr/lib/qt/examples"
# cd /usr/lib/qt/examples/ # ls README network qtestlib svg bluetooth nfc quick virtualkeyboard corelib opengl quickcontrols vulkan dbus positioning quickcontrols2 wayland qml script widgets gui qmltest sensors xml location qpa serialbus multimedia qt3d serialport multimediawidgets qtconcurrent sql
  • As for Wi-Fi connectivity, the image embeds the minimum to get you started
# wpa_passphrase MYSSID MYPASSWORD >> /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf # /etc/init.d/S50wpa-supplicant stop # sleep 1 # /etc/init.d/S50wpa-supplicant start # iw wlan0 link Connected to a4:3e:51:08:54:f6 (on wlan0) SSID: MYSSID freq: 5660 RX: 47685 bytes (747 packets) TX: 2054 bytes (0 packets) signal: -58 dBm tx bitrate: 150.0 MBit/s MCS 7 40MHz short GI # udhcpc -i wlan0 udhcpc: started, v1.31.1 udhcpc: sending discover udhcpc: sending select for udhcpc: lease of obtained, lease time 86400 deleting routers adding dns # ping -I wlan0 PING ( 56 data bytes 64 bytes from seq=0 ttl=116 time=6.971 ms 64 bytes from seq=1 ttl=116 time=13.145 ms ...
  • Finally, if you want to use Bluetooth connectivity, the procedure goes as follows
# echo 1 > /sys/class/rfkill/rfkill0/state # hcitool scan Scanning ... 48:C1:AC:00:D7:DCVoyager PRO+