Can the system flash to EMMC directly without using the Host platform?

I know there are two ways to flash Xavier NX.

  1. TF card with card slot development kit
  2. EMMC version through SDK Manager.

Our customers use Xavier NX module, EMMC version.
They hope to be able to flash the system directly to EMMC with a U disk or other storage medium without using the Host platform.

Is there any way to realize their ideas? Thank you

In order to flash the Jetson must be in recovery mode. Recovery mode turns the Jetson into a custom USB device. It is the “driver package” (something which JetPack/SDKM downloads) which runs on a Linux PC and understands the custom USB device. That package is in binary format and makes use of many features of Linux during flash (including loopback and knowledge of ext4 filesystem).

So the first issue is that a binary format driver package must run on Linux. When this does run, it must run on a real Linux system with loopback capability (e.g., no Windows WSL). So it really isn’t possible to use recovery mode flash without the Linux host PC.

In the case of a system which is fully up and running, then you might have some options with “dd” or similar software, but any partition content would have to be pre-signed and prepared…which is done on a Linux PC, but you could do that remotely and then copy the pre-signed content to the Jetson to let the Jetson install this.

This latter “live” update is dangerous. The system will fail to boot and then require an actual flash if it fails, and there are a lot of ways it could fail. For example, the non-rootfs content must be valid for the rootfs, and if you generated pre-signed content using the wrong release, e.g., mixing from an SD card model to an eMMC model, then this would cause failure and the system would become non-bootable without flash.

Now if you happened to create your own “.deb” packages for content, and built your own apt repository, and you have a running Jetson, then you could probably just issue the correct “apt-get upgrade” and have the desired results. This would take a lot of knowledge and testing.