Building Ubuntu 20.04 Gnome
  • 05 May 2022
  • 4 Minutes to read
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Building Ubuntu 20.04 Gnome

  • Dark
  • PDF

Article summary


This article provides step-by-step instructions for building a Ubntu Gnome image with TechNexion's Yocto BSP, which supports the i.MX series of processors.

System Requirements

Building an image from source with Yocto requires a host with the following:

  • 8GB RAM (more is better)
  • 4 Core processor
  • 200 GB storage

If less memory is used, then some additional swap space may be needed. Inadequate memory may result slow builds and random build errors.

In addition, the host must be connected to a network and have access to the Internet so that all source code and tools may be downloaded.

Set up build environment on host PC:

The build environment is tested under Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 20.04.

Install required packages:

# First update the host package list
sudo apt-get update

# Install necessary packages
sudo apt-get install gawk wget git git-core diffstat unzip texinfo gcc-multilib build-essential \
chrpath socat cpio python python3 python3-pip python3-pexpect \
python3-git python3-jinja2 libegl1-mesa pylint3 rsync bc bison \
xz-utils debianutils iputils-ping libsdl1.2-dev xterm \
language-pack-en coreutils texi2html file docbook-utils \
python-pysqlite2 help2man desktop-file-utils \
libgl1-mesa-dev libglu1-mesa-dev mercurial autoconf automake \
groff curl lzop asciidoc u-boot-tools libreoffice-writer \
sshpass ssh-askpass zip xz-utils kpartx vim screen

Install the Repo Tool

There are many respositories required. Google's repo tool is used to manage this.

mkdir ~/bin
curl > ~/bin/repo
chmod a+x ~/bin/repo

Download the BSP source

mkdir tn_ubuntu
cd tn_ubuntu

Next, initialize the repositories based on the release you wish to build:

Ubuntu 20.04 Gnome base on Hardknott 3.3$: repo init -u -b hardknott_5.10.y-next -m imx-5.10.72-2.2.0.xml

Fetch the source code:

repo sync -j8

Create build environment

There are several options regarding the build environment that you can use.

Prepare WIFI/BT firmware

You may optionally choose to add WIFI/BT firmware to the build. To do this, add the argument "WIFI_FIRMWARE=y" in during BSP setup. Please refer to following for an explanation of other BSP initialization options.

Configurations for setup script

MACHINE is the target of build. It usually corresponds to the name of SOM or SBC.
For more information, please check the file under “sources/meta-tn-imx-bsp/conf/machine”.

DISTRO identifies the Yocto distribution and is the new way to configure for any backends.

“-b” specify the build directory.

BASEBOARD is the baseboard type.

WIFI_MODULE is to choose what kind of WLAN is on board. (qca/brcm/ath-pci)

WIFI_FIRMWARE is to choose to add WLAN firmware files in target rootfs or not. (y/all)

Build configurations for supported hardware

The following is a list of valid options for MACHINE based on the hardware.

edm-g-imx8mmCompatible with TechNexion EDM-G-IMX8MM (i.MX8M Mini)
edm-g-imx8mnCompatible with TechNexion EDM-G-IMX8MN (i.MX8M Nano)
edm-g-imx8mpCompatible with TechNexion EDM-G-IMX8MP (i.MX8M Plus)
pico-imx8mmCompatible with TechNexion PICO-IMX8MM (i.MX8M Mini)
pico-imx8mqCompatible with TechNexion PICO-IMX8M (i.MX8M Quad)

The following is a list of valid options for DISTRO.


The X11 and Framebuffer distros are only supported for i.MX 6 and i.MX 7. i.MX 8 should use xwayland only.

XWayland is the default distro for all i.MX families

imx-desktop-xwaylandGnome desktop with Wayland graphics engine


The following is a list of valid options for WIFI_MODULE. This specifies the 'wifi_module' variable in uEnv.txt).

'qca', 'brcm', 'ath-pci'Choose what kind of WLAN is on board.
The following is a list of valid options for WIFI_FIRMWARE.
'y''y' option depends on 'WIFI_MODULE'. If you specify 'WIFI_MODULE' as 'qca'. Then, it only add 'qca' firmware package in yocto build.
'all''all' option will add both 'qca', 'brcm' and 'ath-pci' firmware package in yocto build.
Please refer to section "Prepare WIFI/BT firmware" to ensure you already put firmware files in the right place.


The following is a list of valid options for DISPLAY. This parameter only works on i.MX6 and i.MX8M. This specifies the displayinfo variable in uEnv.txt.

mipi5On i.MX8M, MIPI-DSI 5 inch panel(with ILI9881 controller)
hdmiOn i.MX8M, HDMI monitor (the resolution is decided by EDID)

-b : Specify the build directory name

-b <build dir>Assign the name of build directory

Choosing Yocto target image

The following is a list of target image options:

Image nameTarget
imx-image-desktopUbuntu Gnome desktop full image

Example BSP Setup and Build Commands for Supported Targets

Build Yocto for TechNexion target platform.


Xwayland image:

WIFI_FIRMWARE=y DISTRO=imx-desktop-xwayland MACHINE=edm-g-imx8mm source -b build-desktop-edm-g-imx8mm

bitbake imx-image-full


Xwayland image:

WIFI_FIRMWARE=y DISTRO=imx-desktop-xwayland MACHINE=edm-g-imx8mn source -b build-desktop-edm-g-imx8mn

bitbake fimx-image-full


Xwayland image:

WIFI_FIRMWARE=y DISTRO=imx-desktop-xwayland MACHINE=edm-g-imx8mp source -b build-desktop-edm-g-imx8mp

bitbake imx-image-full


Xwayland image:

WIFI_FIRMWARE=y DISTRO=imx-desktop-xwayland MACHINE=pico-imx8mm source -b build-desktop-pico-imx8mm

bitbake imx-image-full


Xwayland image:

WIFI_FIRMWARE=y DISTRO=imx-desktop-xwayland MACHINE=pico-imx8mq source -b build-desktop-pico-imx8mq

bitbake imx-image-full

Image Deployment

When build completes, the generated release image is under “{MACHINE}”:

To decompress the .bz2:

bzip2 -fdk imx-image-desktop-XXX.rootfs.wic.bz2 "fsl-image-XXX.rootfs.wic"

or use bmaptool to flash fsl-image-XXX.rootfs.wic.bz2 directly.

To deploy the image to your board, please follow the instructions for loading software into the flash or microSD card of your development kit.

Tutorial Video

We have put together a video showing this process, including download the image, into a PICO-IMX8M-MINI.

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