Hardware drivers in Gentoo on the Pandaboard
The Pandaboard has the following hardware integrated: Graphics module, audio module, Wireless/Bluetooth
module and ethernet module.
Both ethernet and audio works out of the box, but the rest of the hardware either
needs an external driver and/or tools to initialize.
Also, all the drivers/tools we'll talk about are really tied with the kernel version. So make sure you're
using a proper kernel version. Hint: check the overlay
I've created an overlay for all the ebuilds that provide external drivers or utils to get the hardware
initialized. This document supposes you know what an overlay is and how to get it integrated in your
Gentoo installation on the Pandaboard.
The overlay is available in the official gentoo overlays repository:
The graphics drivers relay heavily on the kernel version used, and use the kernel sources to
build the drivers. For that reason i've added an
omap4-sources ebuild that will be pulled by the drivers' ebuild.
The omap4-sources ebuild will simply extract the kernel sources. However keep in mind that it will take,
unfortunately, some time to extract and install if you're using an SD card.
The kernel sources need to be configured and prepared. The way to do it is as follows:
Code Listing 3.1: Emerging and preparing the kernel sources
# emerge -v omap4-sources
# cd /usr/src/linux
# zcat /proc/config.gz > .config
# make -j2 prepare scripts
After that, we'll have our kernel ready to compile the drivers.
Warning: Bluetooth needs to be tested
The in-kernel wireless driver needs a firmware thats available on the
Code Listing 5.1: Emerging linux-firmware
# emerge -v linux-firmware
There are two graphics drivers you can use. There's xf86-video-omapfb which is an opensource X.org
driver for OMAP FrameBuffers and is available in the gentoo tree.
Another option is pvr-omap4 which is a closed source X.org driver, which should be better in terms
of performance with the opensource driver.
Code Listing 6.1: Emerging xf86-video-omapfb
# emerge -v xf86-video-omapfb
Note: This driver provides its own EGL and OpenVG libraries, unfortunately they collide with the ones provided by
x11-libs/mesa, so they are deleted before installing.
Code Listing 6.2: Emerging pvr-omap4
# emerge -v pvr-omap4
You may find more documentation about the device itself and Linux-related at
the following links:
pandaboard.org for providing me a Pandaboard to document and
support Gentoo on it
- My coworker Jordi Inglés, who gave me an 8GB SDHC for this project
- Siarhei Siamashka(ssvb) for giving helpful hints
The contents of this document, unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under the CC-BY-SA-2.5 license. The Gentoo Name and Logo Usage Guidelines apply.