Debian on Jetson TK1

Debian stretch (what will become Debian 9 next year) has support for the Jetson TK1. If you want to install unmodified Debian on your Jetson TK1, now is your chance.

The Jetson TK1 is supported in Debian’s installer and kernel upgrades are handled seamlessly.

What works:

  • U-boot image provided by Debian
  • Linux kernel with Tegra and Jetson TK1 support (version 4.6 now, with 4.7 coming soon)
  • Debian installer (either via serial console or via monitor/keyboard)
  • GUI using the framebuffer module
  • What doesn’t work:

  • nouveau graphics driver (we have the driver, firmware, kernel option but some patches are missing)
  • CUDA (requires proprietary NVIDIA kernel)
  • If you want to install Debian on your Jetson TK1, please check out the instructions:

    If you run into any problems, you can post your reports here, although you’ll get better responses on the Debian ARM mailing list:

    Does How about OpenCV and OpenGL?

    We have OpenCV and OpenGL in Debian. Are they optimized for Tegra, I guess not.


    Do you have some recent feedback on the Debian support for the TK1 ?
    I have read the wiki mentioned above but there is no information on the current status for the X patches and on the support of CUDA.

    Thanks !

    There is no support for CUDA. Debian uses the mainline kernel from and CUDA doesn’t work with that. I don’t think NVIDIA has any immediate plans to work on that.

    I’m not sure what the status of the X patches are. Alexandre Courbot who worked on this left NVIDIA and I’m not sure who (if anyone) is working on this now.


    I just installed Debian on my TK1, but it seems very slow. Also, there is no cpufreq folder under
    (or any of the other cpus), so i guess the kernel can’t control the clock and the system always runs on the lowest frequency.

    Is there anything i could do about that except going back to l4t?

    Edit: Never mind, i just had to “modprobe tegra124-cpufreq”, problem solved

    I had modprobe tegra124-cpufreq problem. I solved. Thanks for responses !