jetson tegra k1 development kit


I have a macpowerbook (osx maverick). Can I successfully start developing with a jason tegra k1 development kit by connecting it to my mac.


This is an old post but all I could find on this topic. Today (jan 2015) I’ve used a MackBook Pro running Yosemite to flash a Jetson. I did this by first installing ubuntu on the Mac using VirtualBox.

(Note that I think you can use VB (VirtualBox) for commercial reasons (with limitations) without an obligation to pay a fee. You have to install it yourself and it should not be administered by someone else in your company. I’m not sure of the details about when you are expected to pay fees to uses VB. I think its when it starts to be administered in the company or distributed internally that the fee kicks in. Its in the license on the site so please read it. All I can remember is I can download and install it myself without issues relating to having to pay a fee. Even if I do this for work. )

I used the latest Ubuntu 64 bit LTS which was 14.04.1. If you are unsure what version to use, I would suggest using the latest LTS for general purpose Linux and cross compiling.

I chose to install a virtual ubuntu with 50GB of space. Used VB’s default image file format which will not use this space on the mac unless it is used on the linux system.

The Ubuntu iso can be configured to be in the DVD drive of the virtual machine. This is done as part of VB’s wizard setup of a machine or by editing the settings. (Editing the settings was not that clear, I found I had to click on the DVD disk symbol to change the path to the iso.)

The DVD boots straight into a desktop environment. I chose to move directly to installing a new Ubuntu onto the hard disk (virtual disk) erasing all the disk’s content.

I chose the LVM linux partitioning scheme in the ubuntu installer which was not a default. This is supposed to allow resizing of patrons later. As it was an isolated system this seamed a good idea.

This install takes a little time.

With Ubuntu on the MAC booted in VB I then added to “guest additions” which improve the VB experience a lot. I did this in Ubuntu using a terminal, “apt-get” etc.

The additions allow the desktop in Ubuntu to resize to the MAC window size. I think it also enables bidirectional clip board in VB is very useful. This has to be turned on in VB menus too.

Also do not be shy about googling stuff using firefox on the VB machine. This makes cut and paste easy and downloading too.

To get a terminal in vanilla ubuntu use Ctrl-Alt-T.

I then navigated to the nVidia site and down loaded the “Jetson TK1 Development Pack” 1.0 (L4T r21.2) from the embedded support area…

This ran fine in Ubuntu in VB. I installed everything, ticking all the boxes in the dialog, and it ran through OK. I did not have a Jetson when I did this the first time. It failed gracefully when trying to flash and push and carried on to the next tasks.

It install loads of stuff and also cross built lots of samples. (so command line cross building seamed to work)
It also installed the nsight development environment, BUT AT TIME OF WRITING I HAD NOT RUN THIS.

I then rummaged around for the jetson, PSU and USB cable. I did the button fiddling you have to do to get it into recovery mode when plugged into the mac. I could then see the device in VB’s list of USB devices, I think there was tegra or nvidia in the name. I selected this and then Ubuntu in VB could see the device.

I did not check Ubuntu could see the USB device correctly. I just reran the install selecting only the flash stage and the push stage. It did its stuff and spent a while flashing the Jetson.

Flashing took some time.

I connected the Jetson to the net and booted it with no screen. I looked at my router’s admin pages to get the ip address it had given the Jetson. You have to enter the ip address to complete the pushing of the examples. I did this and more stuff happened.

I could log in to the Jetson using ssh and the user password ubuntu/ubuntu. I then rummaged for HDMI and keyboard etc.

Plugging these in the Jetson functioned as linux PC.

I have yet to find all the samples on the jetson but some cuda files looked to be on the jetson. This may be a user IQ issue, ether not looking in the correct place or not running the install correctly.

On the mac I have the XQuartz 2.7 7 installed. With latest OSXs this is a separate download from
To ping the VB ubuntu from the MAC shell in XQuartz I had to set up the virtual machine to use the “bridge” rather than “NAT” method of using the network. In “bridge” mode you have to choose which network adapter to share. I was using WiFi for both mac and VB ubutu without any problem in bridge mode. They could then ping each other.

XQuartz will act as an X client for the VB ubuntu or for the jetson ubuntu. ssh from the MAC’s XQuartz terminal to the target using the “-X” option e.g…
“ssh ubuntu@ -X” into the jetson. Now you can run X apps and they appear on the Mac in separate windows. A terminal can be run using “gnome-terminal&” The X interface is slow but very useful. It will not run GPU examples, these have to be run to the HDMI. (I think you can run without a desktop on the HDMI, use the mac for GUI and the examples will can be sent to the HDMI full screen. I did not want to undo the autoboot to desk top as I prefer to use the Jetson as a Linux PC. )

Please let me and others know if there are other resources for MAC based development for the Jetson. Please add links to this thread.

Also advice on getting the examples to the Jetson not following the linear install process would be useful. I’ve not spent any time on this yet.


I am also trying to install Jetpack in VM which is running on Windows. Now, I encounter problem like When I click the jetpack installer, nothing happens. There is no GUI for Jetpack. My Host PC configured to these details: 64 bit, Windows 7. Do you guys have any idea?



JetPack is only supported on Ubuntu 12.04 or Ubuntu 14.04. There will be issue when flashing device on VM. Please install JetPack on one of the supported Ubuntu OS.