Version 1 (modified by Tim Harvey, 5 years ago) (diff)

initial page

Ubuntu on Newport

This page is dedicated details regarding running Ubuntu on an Gateworks Newport Board.

See also:

See also:

Root filesystem

A popular way to create an Ubuntu root filesystem is to use the deboostrap utility on a Debian or Ubuntu host. This tool provides a 2-stage install where the second stage is within a chroot environment using qemu.


  • Linux Ubuntu or Debian System with network connection and sudo permissions

Important notes:

  • we set and use target and distro env variables in step 2 and use those env variables in the remaining steps to make this tutorial more version-agnostic. Please be aware of this and do not deviate from the steps unless or until you completely understand what you are doing.


  1. Install pre-requisites:
    sudo apt-get install qemu-user-static debootstrap binfmt-support
  1. Perform first stage install of minimal filesystem for arm64 architecture:
    sudo debootstrap --arch=arm64 --foreign $distro $target
    # copy qemu-arm-static binary for the binfmt packages to find it and copy in resolv.conf from host
    sudo cp /usr/bin/qemu-aarch64-static $target/usr/bin
    • See for a list of current Ubuntu releases: 16.10=yakkety (latest), 16.04=xenial (latest LTS), 15.04=vivid, 14.10=utopic (LTS), 14.04=trusty (LTS), 12.04=precise (LTS), 10.04=lucid (LTS).
    • this minimal rootfs can be considered about the same as an Ubuntu-core downloaded rootfs however it is still missing some core packages and configuration before it can be booted. These steps are taken care of in a 2nd stage install within a chroot shell
    • the chroot shell below will provide network support (inherited from the host)
  1. we now have a minimal Ubuntu rootfs - chroot to it and perform the 2nd stage install:
    sudo chroot $target
    # now we are in the chroot
    export LANG=C
    # setup second stage
    /debootstrap/debootstrap --second-stage
    • this is the most minimal rootfs we would recommend
  1. (optional) add additional apt package repos:
    cat <<EOT > /etc/apt/sources.list
    deb $distro main restricted universe multiverse
    deb $distro-updates main restricted universe multiverse
    deb $distro-security main restricted universe multiverse
    • you may want to customize the above list, depending on your needs. See below for more detail on Ubuntu package feeds
  1. (optional) update package database and setup locales (do not skip this step if you are needing to install any packages for the steps below or otherwise)
    apt-get update
    apt-get -f install # fixup missing package dependencies
    apt-get install locales dialog
    dpkg-reconfigure locales
  1. set hostname:
    echo ${distro}-$(uname -m) > /etc/hostname
  1. set a root passwd so you can login
    • or consider adding a user via adduser:
      adduser myuser
      usermod -a -G tty myuser # add to tty group for tty access
      usermod -a -G dialout myuser # add to dialout group for UART access
      usermod -a -G sudo myuser # add to sudo group for root access
  1. (optional) configure networking:
    • wired ethernet with DHCP on eth0
      cat <<EOF >> /etc/network/interfaces
      allow-hotplug eth0
      auto eth0
      iface eth0 inet dhcp
    • or static IP:
      cat <<EOF >> /etc/network/interfaces
      allow-hotplug eth0
      auto eth0
      iface eth0 inet static
    • or wireless (requires ~3MB of additional packages):
      apt-get install wpasupplicant iw
      cat << EOF >> /etc/network/interfaces
      # Wireless interface
      auto wlan0
      iface wlan0 inet dhcp
              wireless_mode managed
              wireless_essid any
              wpa-driver nl80211
              wpa-conf /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
      wpa_passphrase <myssid> <mypass> >> /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
  1. (optional) install some useful packages
    apt-get install openssh-server # ssh server for remote access
    apt-get install can-utils i2c-tools usbutils pciutils # cmdline tools for various hardware support
    • Note that by default root ssh access is disabled for security. See below for info on enabling it
  1. install Gateworks pre-built kernel:
    apt-get install wget
    cd /
    tar -xvf gateworks-linux-arm64-4.14.tar.bz2
  1. exit the chroot shell and remove files we no longer need
    sudo rm $target/usr/bin/qemu-arm-static
  1. install to bootable media:
    • For a removable block storage device supported by your board such as a USB Mass Storage device, a microSD, an mSATA SSD the example below will create a single ext4 rootfs partition on a removable block storage device. Ensure you set DEVICE properly for your system. We use the 'udisks' application for mount/unmount so that the mount-point is obvious - if you know what your doing you could use standard mount/unmount as well:
      # unmount all auto-mounted partitions for this device
      sudo umount ${DEVICE}?
      # partition disk - single ext partition
      printf ",,L,,\n" | sudo sfdisk -uS ${DEVICE}
      sudo mkfs.ext4 -L rootfs ${DEVICE}1
      # mount partition (will mount to /media/rootfs/)
      sudo udisks --mount ${DEVICE}1
      # copy the root filesystem
      sudo cp -rupv $target/*  /media/rootfs/
      # unmount the disk
      sudo udisks --unmount ${DEVICE}1