Installing Linaro Image

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In this tutorial, you will install a customized version of linux on your Overo. This particular version is based on Ubuntu Linux (12.04), one of the most popular Linux distribution today. It has been optimized and modified to run on ARM based devices by Linaro. Therefore it will be referred to as the Linaro image from here on. The result of the customization is a lightweight, yet still very versatile version of linux. On top of the rock solid Linux Kernel 3.2, you will get a graphical desktop interface LXDE which comes with a file browser, media player and as well as Google’s Chromium Web Browser. It will provide a good starting point for many Gumstix Overo users who want to further develop their own applications. Another version of this guide, with more detail, for the beginners is also found here


To install

  • Computer with Ubuntu Linux 10.04 or later with internet connection
  • Micro-SD card read/writer
  • Micro-SD card size larger than 1 GB

To Use


On your host computer (ie your workstation):

  1. Install git and the Linaro Image Tools
    $ sudo apt-get install git linaro-image-tools
  2. Obtain the root file system and the hardware pack via direct downloads: hwpack rootfs or via Gumstix’s Github.
    $ git clone git://
    You can additionally check the integrity of the downloaded files by comparing the md5sum result in the README file.
  3. Insert micro-SD card to your card writer
  4. Execute the following command:
    $ linaro-media-create --rootfs ext3 --mmc </dev/mmcblk0> --dev overo --hwpack <hwpack.tar.gz> --binary <rootfs.tar.gz>
    Replace </dev/mmcblk0>, <hwpack.tar.gz> <rootfs.tar.gz> with the mount point of your micro-SD card, the location of the hardware pack, and the location of the root file system respectively.
    For example:
    $ linaro-media-create --rootfs ext3 --mmc /dev/sdd --dev overo --hwpack Gumstix-Overo-Linaro/Gumstix-Overo-Linaro-armhf-HWPack.tar.gz --binary Gumstix-Overo-Linaro/Gumstix-Overo-Linaro-Precise-ALIP-armhf-RootFS.tar.gz
  5. It will list disk devices attached on your computer, and will confirm with you the location of the micro-SD you have provided in the previous step. If correct, say yes or y.
  6. Answer yes or y to the questions when it needs to install packages
    After this operation, 20.1 MB of additional disk space will be used.
    Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y
  7. When it is finished, insert the microSD card to your Overo. It will probably take some time, as much as 20 minutes to complete.
  8. Done!

Using Linaro

To boot your Overo with the new Linaro image:

  1. Insert the micro-SD Card to the Overo COM
  2. Connect the HDMI and the Ethernet cables to the expansion board
  3. Attach peripherals through a powered USB hub
  4. Plug power into the power jack

Username:password are gumstix:gumstix
Host name is overo (overo.local if you want to reach from local area network)

List of Notable Standard Applications


  • Disk Utility
  • File Manager
  • Calculator
  • LXTerminal
  • Leafpad


  • Chromium Web Browser


  • Adobe Document Viewer
  • AbiWord

List of Hardware Pack Components

As per the manifest file which can also be found from the Gumstix GitHub:


Additional Tips

Enabling Audio

By default sound output is disabled. To enable sound, launch alsamixer through LXTerminal

$ alsamixer

And make the following changes:

Headset - This is the volume. 50 should work ok.
HeadsetL, HeadsetL, HeadsetL, HeadsetR, HeadsetR, HeadsetR shoud all be 00

Changing Screen Resolution

Getting USB Host To Work

Exception of USB flash drive, the USB host port requires a powered USB hub to be functional with peripherals such as keyboard and mouse.

Current Issues

Long network bring up time when Ethernet is not connected (Only wireless Overos)

Booting takes time without an ethernet cable plugged to the expansion board. This is because the failsafe script waits too long before giving up on acquiring an IP address. This is a poor implementation of fail safe mechanism. We are leaving it up to the upstream to decide how to deal with it.

Not all default desktop managers work

All desktop environments (Lubuntu, Lubuntu Netbook and Openbox) work. GNOME/Openbox seems to be misconfigured.

Hardware acceleration is not working for the Overos with OpenGL

Getting the driver for PowerVR/SGX to work with the Linaro image is a high priority task at the moment

Source Code

You can obtain the source code for the kernel and the root file system from the Gumstix Github.

You can also directly download the tar-balls of the kernel, hardware pack, and the root file system.