JetPack 3.1 is the most recent production release…this will install L4T R28.1 during a flash. JetPack 3.2 pre-release is out…I think this installs L4T R28.2 pre-release. Both run Ubuntu 16.04 (L4T R28.1 and R28.2 are Ubuntu 16.04 with NVIDIA hardware accelerated drivers on top).
If you don’t need to test something you may want to start with JetPack3.1…but yes, flashing should be one of the first steps since the original L4T R27.0.1 which a TX2 ships with has had a lot of fixes since then.
JetPack was designed to run on Ubuntu 14.04 x86_64, but mostly runs on on 16.04 (I think a demo package might not work in 16.04). It is highly unlikely it will run correctly in 17.04…at least not without effort, and I’m not sure what effort would be required.
If you just want to flash you can use command line via the combination of the driver package and sample rootfs…JetPack is a front end to this plus package installs. Any Linux x86_64 desktop PC works for command line flash.
Note that if you flash the Jetson and later on wish to use JetPack to install packages there is no problem. JetPack can have steps to flash unchecked, and software added or removed at any time…JetPack just has a default to flash via a checkbox. Using command line flash and then JetPack works without issue.
Flashing does not require a monitor. Some software you might wish to run would require either a physical monitor or a virtual desktop, but most of what a Jetson does will not care about this. When you get to some GPU-based applications you will probably want to install a virtual desktop to give the GPU a rendering context (this includes CUDA…even if it isn’t a monitor the software interface is through the video driver and the buffer behind it takes on display terminology even though there isn’t really a display there).
If you want to use JetPack you probably have to downgrade. If you use command line flash there is no such requirement.
This is correct…command line flash does not require any specific Linux…just a common 64-bit PC Linux.
JetPack is what installs tools to host PC. JetPack also downloads and installs tools and libraries to the Jetson itself…this is a separate step from flash. This separate step can occur by itself at any later time and works even if command line is the method of previous flash. These tools and libraries are the reason an Ubuntu 14.04 or 16.04 host is good to have.