CuBox Installer

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Warning The instructions on this page only apply to the CuBox based on the Marvell Armada 510 chip. For the newer CuBox-i, based on the i.MX6 chip, please refer to the CuBox-i wiki

CuBox installer is a his handy bit of software that is designed to grab all of the available distros which have a CuBox port, bundling them all together in an easy way for you to install.

Current version of the CuBox installer is version 0.4.

At present there are multiple recipes contained in the installer, but we are already planning to add more. Can you help? The CuBox Installer Developer Page will explain how to adapt any CuBox distribution port to make it ready for the installer.

The installer itself uses three files, using the buildroot framework.

  1. boot.scr - This is a boot script which determines whether to flash a new u-boot version, and boots uImage
  2. uImage - The heart of the installer, containing a kernel and initramfs
  3. u-boot.bin - Version 5.4.4 NQ SR1 of the CuBox u-boot, installed by boot.scr

Once all of that is where it should be, the installer will download the remaining files for your chosen distro.


How to Use

Upgrading U-Boot

This installer can install the newest version of U-Boot. This newer version is recommended for most users, because it helps to make more memory available for the installer. Currently, the installer does not include this upgrade by default. If you want to upgrade, download the latest SPI version from the download server. Save the file as u-boot.bin place it inside the boot folder of the installer. The new version will be flashed when starting the installer.


  1. A CuBox! (complete with power cable)
  2. A micro SD memory card
  3. A USB stick, formatted with FAT32
  4. An ethernet cable, connected to the internet
  5. A USB to Micro USB/Serial cable
  6. Access to a computer or serial terminal
  7. A pre-built image file, which you can find on the SolidRun mirror

Notice that version 0.2 and later supports installation via HDMI port on 1080p60 resolution.

Due to that if you wish to install via HDMI then micro USB serial port connection is not required.


  1. Download and unzip the prebuilt image above on a USB stick (while keeping the /boot/ directory)
  2. While CuBox is powered off, insert the USB stick on the upper USB port of CuBox
  3. Connect a USB to micro-USB cable and get a terminal up and running as described in CuBox serial port. Putty is recommended since the installer uses colors
  4. Power-on CuBox

The installation process

old u-boot booting
  • After power up u-boot will run and you should get the following messages on the serial console.
    Notice in red the old u-boot version (5.4.4) and the count down. If your u-boot has been already flashed with the new one then the first 3 steps will not occur and instead kernel will be booted directly.

new u-boot being flashed
  • u-boot is running boot.scr from the usb stick
  • boot.scr detected an old u-boot version, and it's reading the newer u-boot version from the usb stick
  • newer u-boot version is being flashed to the internal SPI flash (message in red rectangle)

new u-boot is booting
  • boot.scr issued reset and new u-boot is booting (red circle shows version 5.4.4 NQ SR1)

uImage is loaded and ran
  • u-boot is running boot.scr again from the usb stick
  • boot.scr detected a new version of u-boot, so it went ahead by reading the uImage file from the usb stick
  • boot.scr is booting the uImage. Notice a successful uImage load by the message 'Loading Kernel Image ...' and finished with the 'OK' message

obtain IP address
  • First dialog shown on the installer (notice the upper red rectangle claiming that no IP address is allocated).
  • The user must first obtain IP address by choosing the first option (bottom red rectangle)

start the installer
  • IP address has been obtained (notice the upper red rectangle has an IP address)
  • Choose second option to start the installation. This will download a file called dist.list that contains the list of distros that the installer is capable of installing.

choose destination
  • Choose destination mass storage device to install to. For now only micro-SD is support (/dev/mmcblk0).

Choosing distribution to install
  • Choose distribution to install

Updating clock via ntp
  • Choose if ntp update is required. This will update the real time clock in CuBox

Confirm partition deletion
  • This dialog will be shown if the destination mass storage device is already partitioned.
    Choosing yes will wipe out all content from the destination device.

Partitioning, downloading and installing
  • Destination device is partitioned, and the tarball of the distribution is download and untarred on the fly on the destination device.

Back to main menu
  • Once returned to the main menu, the installation process should be done. Unplug the USB stick and power cycle CuBox

Feedback, notes what to improve, wishlist and other is welcomed on the forums forum thread.

Trouble shooting

Kernel doesn't boot

If the kernel does not boot and you get on the serial console a message like the following -

 Load Address: 00008000
 Entry Point: 00008000
 Verifying Checksum ... OK
 Loading Kernel Image ...

But the 'OK' word after 'Loading Kernel Image ...' does not appear; then probably you are running and old version of U-boot that doesn't have the memory runtime address shifted to 0x03600000.

In order to make sure that you are running the 'SR1' version, power on CuBox while connected to the serial port and check the version on u-boot prompt and match it with the image below (notice the red circle around 'SR1')

alt text
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