Step-by-step Ubuntu SD Card Setup

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Step-by-step Ubuntu SD-Card setup

These instructions are for Linux and Mac users

You will need an 8GB micro SD card and a card reader/writer.

Make sure that your card is class 10 or better, as class 2, 4 and 6 cards have a huge performance issue AND are known to make problems.

Download an image from one of the servers listed at this link:

Download Areas

Warning: do not use these instructions verbatim. You need to adjust them for your drive layout -- you could wipe your hard drive if you are not careful enough.

Plug in the SD card and then make sure it is not mounted

Make double sure you know the drive designator used for the SD card. On linux you execute this in terminal:

fdisk -l

you will see something like:

Disk /dev/mmcblk0: 15.9 GB, 15931539456 bytes
4 heads, 16 sectors/track, 486192 cylinders, total 31116288 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000dbfc6

as well as your local hard drive and the partition layouts

On Mac you execute this in terminal:

diskutil list

you will see something like:

   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *1.0 TB     disk0
   1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS Festplatte              999.9 GB   disk0s2
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *115.0 GB   disk1
   1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk1s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS SSD                     114.2 GB   disk1s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk1s3

From the size of the disk and its current layout you can see whats your sdcard (Mac example has none at this moment)

Now we know mmcblk0 (linux example) represents the new SD card, so unmount it.

sudo umount /dev/sdc1

There may be more than one partition to umount, so check the mounts:

mount | grep sdc

In this case there are no more instances of /dev/sdc*, so we are done with this step

Expand the SD card image

  1. check the md5sum against the expected one. The md5sum value is usually posted separately.
  2. It could be in a forum, on a website or contained in a separate file. The cd12a526ecdb34c12b4a737044e867e7
  3. value is the checksum that verifies the file transferred correctly.
md5sum odroidu2_20130104-linaro-ubuntu-desktop-uSDeMMC.img.xz

you will see something like:

cd12a526ecdb34c12b4a737044e867e7  odroidu2_20130104-linaro-ubuntu-desktop-uSDeMMC.img.xz

extract the xz file

xz -d odroidu2_20130104-linaro-ubuntu-desktop-uSDeMMC.img.xz

check the results


odroidu2_20130104-linaro-ubuntu-desktop-uSDeMMC.img is the extracted file.

Write the image file to the SD card

  1. Use disk duplicate to write the image to the SD card.
  2. Make sure you know the drive designator and check for typos. This step can humble
  3. even an experienced person. I speak from experience...
  4. note that the drive designator does not have a number -- we are writing the whole device contents
  5. and it contains more just two partitions. It has the bootloader, u-boot binary, u-boot environment
  6. and some proprietary code required to boot the Exynos processor
  7. sdc represents your sd card (linux example)
sudo dd if=odroidu2_20130104-linaro-ubuntu-desktop-uSDeMMC.img of=/dev/sdc bs=4M
  1. This takes at least a few minutes. This image took about ten minutes to write using my hardware.
  2. Make sure all the data is flushed

Now you can remove the SD card, insert it into the odroid device and boot it. Just plug in the power supply