Which laptop requirements to flash on the field?

Hi all,

I would like to set up a light and robust laptop to flash devices on the field. They have a Jetson Xavier inside, and are currently bootstrapped with Jetpack 4.5.1

I was wondering what would be the minimal configuration required ?

  • RAM, CPU, SSD (a raw image is 30Gb for us) ?
  • Is an nvidia GPU required ?
  • anything else ?

I will replace Windows with Ubuntu in any case, and I would then choose according to weight and battery life-time.

Thanks for your input, ideas,

There is no Windows BSP, also no flash tool for Windows.
You can’t use it to flash devices on the field.

Thanks for your answer, and confirmation :
I wrote I will replace Windows with Ubuntu, which means I do not plan to use Windows ;)
Any advice hardware wise ?

Have a large enough hard drive…it always takes more space than you might think. I suggest that you then double this amount, and install using only half of the space. If you do this, then when it goes to Ubuntu 20.04 you will have the space set aside to dual boot both 18.04 and 20.04.

You don’t need an NVIDIA GPU if you are just flashing a Jetson. You do need this if you are going to run CUDA or other specific software on the host itself. Also, if you plan to remote display from the Jetson to the laptop via X forwarding, then you’d need to be sure your X hardware has all of the features for forwarding…which will be mostly taken care of if you use an NVIDIA GPU, but this is optional and you might not care (just flashing a Jetson has no host PC GPU requirement).

Thanks a lot @linuxdev ,

I was thinking on 552Go SSD, I will check up to 1To following your advice ;)

Your remark on X forwarding is very interesting. We had not thought on it and were limited with what available screen we found at the clients’ I will look into that. You said it would be simpler with a NVidia GPU. Could be anyone ? Or would there be better targets for a Xavier ?

No specific needs regarding RAM and CPU speed ? What would be the minimum to keep on the safe side?

Sometimes I forward X in order to get a larger screen. For example, if I have a small monitor on one Linux system, but am working from a Linux system having a larger monitor, then I simply use “ssh -Y”. This requires an X server, and if the app uses the GPU (e.g., CUDA or OpeGL), then the laptop would require the use of hardware capable of this (e.g., an NVIDIA video card). But if you don’t do this, then you wouldn’t need an NVIDIA GPU. Flashing is an example of where the host PC does not require such a GPU.

I think anything with 8GB will be good to go, though 16GB might be all you would ever need even if compiling kernels. You don’t need to build kernels for flash and install, although there might be times when it is useful for adding a driver which wasn’t there. If you compile using 4 cores it takes far less RAM than if you compile with 16 cores. If you were training models, maybe you’d want 64GB and a very fast GPU, but mostly for what you are talking about 16GB would be all you’d ever need for years, and 8 GB would not be much of a sacrifice.

There really isn’t much need for a fast CPU or lots of cores on a machine used for flash. More cores can build kernels faster, but unless you work on kernels, then it won’t matter. Even if you do work on kernels, then it usually isn’t that hard to wait for 6 cores to finish and not that urgent to run 16 cores.

Hard drive space will by far be the one spec you have to have enough of.

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