Running Linux on CWX


As I mentioned before I managed to install a basic linux on the ChipWorkX module. For now it’s just a console version without any output whatsoever on the LCD and you should have access to COM1 (via UART<->RS232/USB) converter. You can alternatively ssh into the board but it’s still best to have console access in case something goes wrong.
If anyone else here on the forum is interested at this stage I will write a small howto (it only takes about 15 minutes to set this up, and you can revert back to the latest GHI firmware in less than 5 minutes) else I’ll wait until I have a more stable solution with graphics, ipkg and (hopefully) sd card support. I’m working on the cross compiler setup under linux right now so I can compile all the components myself and have more liberty over what drivers to add and which software to include.

If there is anyone else working on this please let me know and maybe we can work together…

Are you experienced enough to modify and compile uboot?

Thankfully u-boot works out of the box so there is no need for any modification :slight_smile:

Right now I’m using an image built for the AT91SAM9261ek board from so I just need to flash it via sam-ba and I have a running system. The only things not supported right away are the LCD and SD Card slot (and I haven’t checked for sound yet). I won’t have the experience to write drivers for that myself but I’m hoping that they already exist and it’s just a matter of customizing the kernel to include them.

I’m not planning to spend a lot of time on this though. If I run into any major problems I’ll probably just get a board “made for linux” instead. Plus that way I don’t have to flash between both systems all the time unless I can get u-boot to load TinyBooter :slight_smile: Olimex is offering a linux board based on the same at91sam9261 cpu and there are lots of other possibilities available.

My primary focus will continue to be the NETMF with the CWX board and the whole linux stuff is just an interesting side project. I’ll keep you updated on any major advancement in this project but don’t expect anything too soon.

Check out PM9261 - CPU Module with ATMEL AT91SAM9261 -
Module appears to be designed basically the same and the pinouts as far as I can tell are the same. Something to look into. I too am interested in running linux on the ChipWorkX but haven’t had the time to pursue it.

Thanks for the link. I was actually wondering if GHI is producing the module themselves or if they just buy them from an OEM manufacturer. My guess was the latter since I don’t think they are big enough to have production eqipment for these highly integrated modules (plus the CWX module doesn’t have any GHI logo on it).

I’ll write up an easy 10-15 minutes guide on how to get the basic linux flashed on the CWX within the next 2 days… and once I got my own system compiled I’ll make that available for download as well. I’ll keep you updated… at least it’s nice to know I’m not the only one interested in linux :slight_smile:

Wrong assumption :slight_smile:

Hello Gus,

I just read my last comment after waking up… I had been up for 24h and posted that right before going to sleep and just realized how disrespectful it was on your own support forum. Please accept my sincere apology. :-[ :-[

On topic, I’ll flash the ronetix binaries tonight to see how they work. I’ll let you know how that worked out. It’s definately nice of them to post full binaries and sources on their site unlike olimex who just refers to their CD. Still there might be some differences on the actual dev board (where the CWX module is connected to) that might make some adaptation necessary.

P.S. How many erase/flash cycles does the module actually support? I’m hoping I’m not destroying my board with these tests… ???

I asked this question already, are you capable of modifying and compiling linux uboot? I may have some idea for you.

Well I’m capable of compiling u-boot (just did) and had a brief look at the sources for the at91sam9261ek.

It certainly depends on the depth of the modifications… like right now I’m just trying to fix the LED part… the atmel board has three LED’s while the CWX has two on PC5 and PC6. Getting those two LEDs to work in u-boot would already be a first step… then I’d have to fix the LCD code if that’s even possible…


I checked out the ronetix binaries but the kernel refuses to run because it doesn’t find their hardware hex string… so I set up the cross compile environment, downloaded the kernel sources and started compiling. I build around 20 different kernels but didn’t get anything better than what I already had…
I also compiled u-boot from the latest git sources and looked at the LCD source code (on the 9261ek board u-boot should say hello on the lcd panel) but I’m not sure yet what actually needs to be changed to support the CWX LCD panel. I’m actually not sure right now what the differences are… if I understand that correctly the LCD is directly connected to the CPU…

Well I’m back in NETMF mode now so I’ll leave it at this until next time :slight_smile: