Getting Started

I’m from FIRST FRC Team 2980 and we recently received and decided to use the Jetson TX1. Nobody on our team has any experience with OpenCV or Jetson so we’d like a place to start.
1.What materials are needed other than the Jetson itself?
2. I’ve read a host computer is required that is running linux and our team does not have one. What are the minimum specs this computer should have
3.What are some good off-season practice projects we can work on to get acquainted with the system?
Thanks in advance.

The host must run on a native Linux file system, e.g., it can’t run on a thumb drive formatted for VFAT, nor under a Windows NTFS partition. Mostly this is easy to meet, but something like a live DVD won’t meet this, and if you use a USB thumb drive, then you must first guarantee it uses something like ext4 instead of the VFAT type they typically ship with.

The flash program itself requires any desktop x86_64 desktop PC. This is fairly unrestrictive if you chose command line only.

If you use JetPack (which is recommended), which is a front end to not just the flash program, but also to added components on both host and Jetson, then the Linux distribution needs to be specifically Ubuntu 14.04. Ubuntu 16.04 works as well for most purposes, but you may find some sample programs won’t install on a 16.04 host.

You need lots of disk space. After installing JetPack or command line the actual flash process creates an image the exact size as the root file system, so about 15GB. Then it creates a compressed version, a few GB more. There are miscellaneous other files in addition. Likely 25GB of spare space after JetPack is installed. And if you choose to clone as a method of backup and exploring things on the host you’ll probably want another 16GB per clone.

The flash requires a USB2 port (which a USB3 port can provide as well). Extra package install and various management functions require wired ethernet. This means either the Jetson uses a wire to a router or to the PC. Setup is more complicated when using just the PC because the PC must then be set up as a router…JetPack does this for you if you use this. Overall a real router works best.

You can use WiFi from host PC to internet, but don’t expect to use WiFi directly on the Jetson for any kind of special flash step. Do expect that the PC needs internet access.

Some people use a VM. This can be made to work, but extra work is required (nor is it officially supported). See:
https://devtalk.nvidia.com/default/topic/1002081/jetson-tx2/jetpack-3-0-install-with-a-vm/

Note that if you don’t use JetPack and choose command line install that there will be lots of other steps in order to get all of your software in place.