Building for Most Intel 64-Bit Hardware Platforms

Although the reference hardware used by the AGL Project is the 64-bit Open Source MinnowBoard, you can use the information found on the “MinnowBoard wiki” to enable most 64-bit Intel Architecture (IA) platforms that use the 64-bit UEFI as the boot loader. In addition to the MinnowBoard, support for the upCore & UpSquared boards exists. MinnowBoard Max and Turbot are both 64-bit capable.

If you are interested in creating applications to run on hardware booted using an image built with the AGL Project, see the following:

UEFI has significantly evolved and you should check that your hardware’s firmware is up-to-date. You must make this check for MinnowBoard-Max platforms. You do not need to make this check for the MinnowBoard-Turbo, upCore, and UpSquared platforms:

  • Intel automotive Module Reference Board (MRB)

    NOTES: By default, these MRBs ship with an Automotive Fast Boot loader (ABL), which requires encrypted images. You can ask Intel’s “Engineering Sales support” for a special version of the MRB that does not require an encrypted image. You need this type of MRB in order to test AGL on the development board. Contact your Intel technical support representative to get the non-signed ABL firmware.

1. Making Sure Your Build Environment is Correct

The “Initializing Your Build Environment” section presented generic information for setting up your build environment using the script. If you are building for an Intel 64-bit platform, you need to specify some specific options when you run the script:

$ source meta-agl/scripts/ \
    -m intel-corei7-64 \
    agl-devel agl-demo agl-appfw-smack agl-netboot agl-pipewire

The “-m” option specifies the “intel-corei7-64” machine. If you were building for a Joule developer kit, you would use the “-m joule” option.

The list of AGL features used with script are appropriate for the AGL demo image suited for the Intel 64-bit target. The “agl-netboot” option creates the correct Initial RAM Filesystem (initramfs) image even if you do not boot from a network.

2. Using BitBake

This section shows the bitbake command used to build the AGL image. Before running BitBake to start your build, it is good to be reminded that AGL does provide pre-built images for developers that work with supported hardware. You can find these pre-built images on the AGL Download web site.

For supported Intel images, the filenames have the following form:


Start the build using the bitbake command.

NOTE: An initial build can take many hours depending on your CPU and and Internet connection speeds. The build also takes approximately 100G-bytes of free disk space.

For this example, the target is “agl-demo-platform”:

  bitbake agl-demo-platform

The build process puts the resulting image in the Build Directory:


An alternative method for building an image is to use the AGL SDK delivered in a Docker container.

There is currently no SDK dedicated to IA but the SDK provided for the Porter Board can build an IA image without changes (just needs to call for Intel).

See chapter 2 of Porter QuickStart.

3. Creating Bootable Media

Typically, you use a USB stick, SD card, or HDD/SDD to create bootable media. It is possible, however, to install the AGL image onto Embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC). eMMC provides card longevity at a low cost and is used in automotive infotainment systems, avionics displays, and industrial automation/HMI control applications to name a few.

When creating bootable media, Extended Attributes (xattrs) are required for use with Smack. This section describes using the or scripts to create bootable media. Use of either of these scripts include all required xattrs.

NOTE: You can find detailed information on Smack at

While the or scripts are recommended for creating your bootable media for Intel devices, other methods exist. If you use an alternative method (e.g. tar), be sure you take steps to copy xattrs as part of the image. See the “Including Extended Attributes” section for more information.

USB Stick, SD Card, and HDD/SDD

Depending on your target hardware, use a USB stick, an SD card, or an HDD/SDD. The creation process remains the same independently of the selected support. It does require to have access to a Linux machine with sudo or root password.

Create a bootable SD card with the script Use the “-v” option to check the available options.

NOTE: If you are using an Intel Module Reference Board (MRB), you need to use the script instead of the script.

Follow these steps to create your bootable media:

  1. Insert Media Device: Insert your removable media into the corresponding interface.

  2. Determine the Name of Your Media Device: Use the lsblk command to make sure you know the name of the device to which you will be writing.

      # You want the name of the raw device and not the name of a partition on the media.
      #(e.g. /dev/sdc or /dev/mmcblk0)
  3. Download the Script: You can find the script in the “meta-agl/scripts” folder of your AGL source files.

    Alternatively, you can download the script from the following Git repository:

  4. Create Your Bootable Media: Run the following to see usage information:

      ./ -v

    Supply the name of your actual image and device name and run the script. The following example assumes a USB device (e.g. /dev/sdb) and the image intel-corei7-64.hdd:

    $ sudo ./ intel-corei7-64.hdd /dev/sdb
    # /dev/sdX is common for USB stick where "X" is "b".
    # /dev/mmcblk0 is common for an integrated SD card reader in a notebook computer.

Embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC)

It is possible to install the AGL image directly on the internal eMMC rather than a removable device such as a USB stick or SD card. To do so, requires the following steps:

  1. Add Required Tools to Your AGL Image:

    Add a file named site.conf in your build/conf directory. Make sure the file has the following content:

    INHERIT += "rm_work"
    IMAGE_INSTALL_append = " linux-firmware-iwlwifi-7265d"
    IMAGE_INSTALL_append = " parted e2fsprogs dosfstools"
    IMAGE_INSTALL_append = " linux-firmware-i915 linux-firmware-ibt linux-firmware-iwlwifi-8000c"

    In addition to the previous statements, you need to add the Intel Wireless WiFi Link (iwlifi) driver for your own device as needed.

  2. Rebuild Your Image

    Rebuild the AGL image by following the instructions in the “Using BitBake” step of this page.

  3. Install the Rebuilt Image Onto a Removable Device

    Follow the steps previously described here to copy the new image onto a removable device such as a USB stick.

  4. Copy the Image from the USB Stick to Your Build Host’s Home Directory

    Copy the image you just temporarily installed to the removable device to your build host’s home directory. The process uses this image later for installation in the eMMC. For example, copy the image file created using the Yocto Project from the build directory to your home directory:

    $ cp build/tmp/deploy/images/intel-corei7-64/agl-demo-platform-intel-corei7-64.wic.xz ~/
  5. Boot the AGL Image from the Removable Device

    You can see how to boot the image on the target device by following the procedure in the next section.

  6. Connect to Your Device that is Running the Image

    You need to use a Serial Link or SSH to connect to the device running your image.

  7. Determine the eMMC Device Name

    Be sure you know the name of the eMMC device. Use the lsblk command.

  8. Install the Image into the eMMC

    Use the Script to install the image into the eMMC.

    cat /proc/partitions
  9. Remove the USB or SD Boot Device

    Once your image is running on the booted device, you can remove the media used to boot the hardware.

  10. Reboot Your Device

    Cycle through a reboot process and the device will boot from the eMMC.

4. Booting the Image on the Target Device

Be aware of the following when booting your device:

  • Interrupting the boot process is easier to achieve when using a USB keyboard as opposed to a serial link.

  • During the boot process, USB hubs are not supported. You need to connect any USB keyboard directly to your device’s USB socket.

  • It is recommended that you use F9 to permanently change the boot order rather than interrupt the process for each subsequent boot. Also, you must have your bootable media plugged in or connected to the target device before you can permanently change the boot order.

  • Booting from an SD card is faster as compared to booting from a USB stick. Use an SD card for better boot performance.

  • The MinnowBoard, many laptops, and NUC devices do not accept USB3 sticks during the boot process. Be sure your image is not on a USB3 stick.

Use these steps to boot your device:

  1. Insert the bootable media that contains the AGL image into the target device.

  2. Power on the device.

  3. As the device boots, access the boot option screen. You generally accomplish this with the F12 key during the power up operation.

    NOTE: When booting a MinnowBoard, you can change the default boot device by hitting F2 during initial UEFI boot.

  4. From the boot option screen, select your bootable media device.

  5. Save and exit the screen and let the device boot from your media.

    NOTE:: Depending on the speed of your removable media, the first boot might not complete. If this is the case, reboot the device a second time. It is common with USB sticks that you need to boot a couple of times.

    For Intel devices, the serial console is configured and activated at the rate of 115200 bps.

5. Miscellaneous Information

Following is information regarding serial debug ports, serial cables, and port names for connected displays.

Serial Debug Port

Serial debug port IDs vary across hardware platforms. By default, when you build an AGL image for an Intel target such as the Minnowboard, Module Reference Board (MRB), or Up board, the serial debug ports are as follows:

  • MinnowBoard uses /dev/ttyS0
  • MRB uses /dev/ttyS2
  • Up boards the /dev/ttyS0 serial port is difficult to access. Using /dev/ttyS4 is preferred, which is routed on the Arduino connector. See the Up2 Pin Specification for more information.

Depending on your particular hardware, you might need to change the configuration in your bootloader, which is located in the EFI partition.

Serial Debug Cable

On the MinnowBoard, the serial debug cable is an FTDI serial cable. You can learn more here.

Up Boards use the same FDDI 3.3V adapter as does the MinnowBoard. However, the pin out is not adjacent and requires split pins.

Port Names and Connected Displays

Port naming can change across hardware platforms and connected displays. The simplest way to determine the port name used for a connected display is to check the after the initial boot process completes. You can make this check in the systemd journal as follows:

$ journalctl | grep Output

NOTE: Output for the journalctl command generates only when a real display is connected to the connector on the board. The file holding that configuration is /etc/xdg/weston/weston.ini.

Common Display names for Intel platforms are the following:

  • HDMI-A-1
  • HDMI-A-2
  • LVDS-1