seL4 on the BeagleBoard

This page documents booting seL4 on the Beagleboard, Omap 3530

See Tim Newsham’s post on the mailing list for one user’s experience.

Preparing your SD card


These instructions are for later versions of the Beagleboard. Before the Xm, U-Boot and MLO were held in flash.

The first stage boot loader expects to find the TI X-loader in the root of a FAT filesystem, on the first partition of the SD card with the name MLO.

MLO expects to find a file named u-boot.bin in the root directory of the SD card.

Setting up Minicom

Plug the board in. seL4 userspace currently does no power management — you will probably need a 5V power source, and not rely on powering the board over USB

If you do not have minicom installed:

sudo apt-get install minicom

If you are connecting via a USB serial adapter:

sudo minicom -s ttyUSB0

And if you were connecting via a real serial port:

sudo minicom -s ttyS0

In either case, this will take you to a configuration menu.

  1. Choose Serial Port Setup
  2. Set A: Serial Device to /dev/ttyUSB0 or /dev/ttyS0 depending on which serial device you want to use.
  3. Set F: Hardware Flow Control to No
  4. Set speed to 115200 and eight bit no parity.
  5. Save setup as ttyUSB0 or ttyS0
  6. Exit Minicom

You can now connect to the !BeagleBoard using Minicom:

minicom ttyUSB0


minicom ttyS0


If you get permissions errors you need to add yourself to the appropriate group. Find out which group on your machine has access to the serial ports (on Debian, it’s usually dialout):

$ ls -l /dev/ttyUSB0
crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 188, 0 Aug 11 09:43 /dev/ttyUSB0

Then add yourself to the right group:

sudo usermod -G dialout -a your_login_name


Now minicom should connect to what it thinks is a “modem”, and then give you a good old console to work with. You are now in the bootloader, U-Boot, of the ~BeagleBoard. You can type commands here and it’ll display the results.

Some quick useful commands:

Command Description
help display list of commands
printenv lists defined environment variables
mmc init initialise MMC (to read the the SD card)
mmcinfo display current SD card info
fatls mmc 0 display list of files on SD card 0
fatload load script/image into some RAM address to be run
run run scripts
bootelf boot into en ELF image

Running seL4test

Checkout the sel4test project using repo as per seL4Test

repo init -u
repo sync
mkdir cbuild
cd cbuild
../ -DPLATFORM=omap3 -DAARCH32=1
# The default cmake wrapper sets up a default configuration for the target platform.
# To change individual settings, run `ccmake` and change the configuration
# parameters to suit your needs.

Generated binaries can be found in the images/ directory.

Which after a few minutes should give you:

Now, the ELF image we boot into is the sel4test-driver-image-arm-omap3 file. Copy that file onto the sdcard (the boot loader will be able to load images into RAM from a FAT image: there is no need to do an image copy). If your SD card is not formatted, just format it using FAT32. Plug the SD card back into the BeagleBoard and reset the board by pressing the S2 (reset) button.

To run the image:

mmc init
fatload mmc 0 ${loadaddr} sel4test-driver-image-arm-omap3
bootelf ${loadaddr}

where loadaddr is some address, in this example defined as an environment variable.

Note: by default, the image produced is relocated to run at address 0x82000000. If you want to change the address, you need to modify the file projects/tools/elfloader-tool/ (look for the omap3 case). For the Beaglebone Black Rev A5, RAM is from address 0x80000000 - 0x9FFFFFFF.

Depending on the uBoot version present on the Beaglebone, the bootelf command might not be present. You can use the go command instead. I.e.:

mmc init
fatload mmc 0 0x82000000 sel4test-driver-image-arm-omap3
go 0x82000000

After this you should start seeing output from seL4test.

Tip: if you don’t remember the name of the images on your SD card, you can use:

fatls mmc 0

to see what is on the SD card.