Does Tx1 support flash kernel through Over The Air (OTA)


To support remote flash TX1 kernel function for our customers, we like to know if Tx1 supports flash image through OTA or not? Is there any document or suggestion?


hello linuxsky,

may i confirm your question, are you going to flash the whole device or only replace the kernel image?

if you’re going to replace kernel only,
you should replace the /boot/Image with your own and doing warm reboot to refresh it.

hello Jerry,

Sorry for the confused description.
My question is to flash the whole device over the air?


I believe a full flash requires the Jetson be in recovery mode…which in turn means only the USB port acting as a device works and requires the flash executable to interact with the USB device port (recovery mode is a custom device requiring custom software to use). Linux isn’t running in recovery mode so there is no networking available.

However, I sometimes wonder if U-Boot has an ability from command line to overwrite the rootfs partition on eMMC (U-Boot could possibly be used with a USB ethernet to download data for writing prior to loading the Linux kernel).The integrated network device would require U-Boot to be modified before it would work, but some USB network devices will already be supported in U-Boot without modification. Note that if U-Boot were used to overwrite the rootfs (and I still don’t know if that is possible) then an interrupted partition overwrite would leave the system unbootable until an actual flash occurs. There isn’t enough RAM in the Jetson to download a full root partition image prior to starting a rootfs overwrite…interrupting this kind of update would be “a bad thing”.

Do you really need to flash the whole device (including hidden partitions), or would update of the root partition be enough?

hello linuxsky,

could you share more details about WHY you need to flash the whole device over the air?
update libraries or images partially cannot meet your requirement?

Thanks linuxdev and Jerry.

The main requirement is providing a way for end customers to flash Tx1 boot loader and kernel through ota.
Due to we might modify Tx1 image from time to time after tx1 products are shipped.
It’s hard to tell how much the boot loader or kernel will be modified in the future.
Is there a way to know what kind of modified of the boot loader or kernel will need to flash the whole device or not?
By the way, we will try to replace the /boot/Image first.


Boot loader configuration can be modified to some extent via “/boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf”. If this is enough config control, then flash is not needed (there is a separation of boot loader binary from other configuration which did not exist back when fastboot was used). The base kernel also no longer requires flash to replace…it’s just copied into “/boot” and is picked by the extlinux.conf config line. For that case you will never need recovery mode, nor any special flash software. What part of the boot loader do you need control of…configuration or binary executable?

FYI, in R24.2 you may require edits of the initrd image as well (this depends on what changes you are making and whether those changes need to be reflected before the kernel takes control of the root file system or after control goes to the root file system).