January 16, 2018

i.MX Linux kernel 4.9 for Nitrogen platforms

We’re glad to release a new i.MX Linux kernel 4.9.x based on imx_4.9.11_1.0.0_ga branch for all our platforms:

Tux Linux

What’s new?

This Linux kernel 4.9.x contains the same features as the previous 4.1.15 kernel, the rest of the new features can be found on NXP Release Notes:

  • GPU driver upgraded to Vivante v6.2.2.p0
  • Updated drivers (connectivity + multimedia)

Each kernel update implies that it takes advantage of the latest drivers, frameworks and security updates listed here:

Most importantly, following the lead of the community-base linux-fslc, we will now merge all the stable security updates to the tree.

Why? Well it is the best way to provide the most secure and safe kernel to customers.

For those unfamiliar with the kernel stable releases, we strongly recommend looking at this presentation:

That is why our branch is called 4.9.x, as of this writing the branch includes the security patches from kernel 4.9.74.

Finally, this release has gone under a lot of testing in order to make sure all our patches from 4.1.15_2.0.0 branch have been ported successfully.

Build instructions

Here is a summary of the commands to build the kernel and its modules:

~/$ git clone https://github.com/boundarydevices/linux-imx6.git
~/$ cd linux-imx6
~/linux-imx6$ export ARCH=arm
~/linux-imx6$ export CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabihf-
~/linux-imx6$ git checkout boundary-imx_4.9.x_1.0.0_ga
~/linux-imx6$ make boundary_defconfig
~/linux-imx6$ make zImage modules dtbs -j8
If you wish to use this build of the kernel on Ubuntu/Debian images, please make sure to read the following article:

OS releases

Yocto

The meta-freescale-3rdparty layer master branch has been updated.

The new 4.9 kernel and graphics v6.x are intended to be released in next Yocto Sumo release (April 2018).

Debian

Latest Stretch release has new images that includes this new kernel and all the latest NXP packages:

Ubuntu

Only next release of Ubuntu (18.04, next spring) will include this 4.9 kernel. 

Buildroot

Our Nitrogen configurations have been updated on Buildroot and will be included in the 2018.02 release.

Also note that our Buildroot external layer is also ready to build 4.9 images with latest graphics:

New pre-built images will be created when 2018.02 version is officially released.

 

As always, let us know your experiences (both good and bad) when you test out this kernel.