Flashing Jetson Nano 2GB with VM


Not sure if this is the place for this post, but I have seen a lot of posts that try to Flash jetson boards using VMs and sdkmanager but couldn’t find any complete guide. I did this for the 2GB Nano when the etcher method failed for me and I did not have access to a serial device. And after a lot of trial and failure, the process is quite straightforward.

I was never able to successfully flash using Oracle VM VirualBox and it worked first try on VMware. I have linked the community version of VMWare, the one I used for the flash.

  1. Download and Install VMWare
  2. Create an Ubuntu 18.04 VM
  3. Start the VM and in the ‘Player’ dropdown at the top left, go to removable devices.
    3.1 If the devices under ‘Removable Devices’ are greyed out
    → Find where the vmx file for your machine is located. You can check this by looking at the ‘Player/Manage/Virtual Machine Settings/Hard Disk’. The vmx file should be in the same folder as the vmdk file.
    → In the vmx file, locate the line, usb.restrictions.defaultAllow = "FALSE"and delete it - reference. Then restart the virtual machine and you should see the removable devices.
    3.2 If the devices under ‘Removable Devices’ are not greyed out, you can move to the next step.
  4. Install sdkmanager and follow the steps there.
  5. When you connect the board to your machine, ensure that you have followed the steps in the sdkmanager and also that there is a tick alongside your device in Player/Removable Devices/<Your Device>
  6. You can also confirm the device is detected by using lsusb command.

The following steps should be able to help flash the device. Any comments or improvements welcome.


Thanks for your sharing to the community!

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