Bootlin customer project on Kickstarter!

For about 6 months, we’ve been working with Crystalfontz America on an imx28-based board, targeted at the hackers and DIYers. We’ve been working on the BSP, adding support to Linux and in Buildroot for this board. Support in the mainline Linux kernel is also in pretty good shape, and we continue to post patches to improve it.

The CFA-10036 is actually a computer-on-module with a small OLED display, and comes with two (for now) breakout boards, the CFA-10037, which adds USB and Ethernet connectivity, and an awful lot of exposed GPIOs, and the soon-to-be announced CFA-10049, which is more targeted to industrial or robotic uses, with additional ADCs, fan controller, 1-wire, LCD, rotary encoder, and so on. See more details.

The project is getting close to completion, since Crystalfontz started its funding campaign on Kickstarter.

For those who are not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s a way for creators to get funding and sense customer interest in their projects. If you find the device interesting you can either make a small pledge to show that you like the project, or make a bigger one and will receive board(s) and accessories corresponding to how much you pledged. If the project doesn’t meet its funding goals, you won’t be charged at all. I advise you to read the Kickstarter FAQ to understand Kickstarter better.

Android gdbclient command

Before you even start building Android, Google’s instructions tell you to source the build/ shell script.

This script exports a number of environment variables (that’s why you have to source it), mostly setting the PATH to your different toolchains and to your output directories.

It also defines a number of shell functions. Among them some functions are advertised, like the well-know lunch, that is used to configure to some extent the build system, or the grepping functions, but some are not, like pid, which uses adb to get the PID of a process running on the device.

Among the latter, one seems pretty useful: gdbclient. What gdbclient does is obviously gdb related but in fact it does more than that.

First, you run it by doing gdbclient <binary>:<port> <process_name>

Then it sets up adb with the forward command so that you use it as a transport layer to your device, while it appears as (in that case) opened TCP sockets both on your machine and on the device.

Then, it attaches a gdbserver to the process you gave as the third argument on the device.

Finally, it launches your cross-gdb on your workstation, loads the debugging symbols from the file passed as first argument, and sets up a remote debugging session. All of that through USB!

This is definitely useful, and I can’t say why Google doesn’t advertise it more, but hey, it’s there!