PandaBoard is an OMAP4430 platform designed to provide access to as many of the powerful features of the OMAP4430 Multimedia Processor as possible, while maintaining a low cost. This will allow the user to develop software to utilize the features of the powerful OMAP4430 processor. In addition, by providing expandability via onboard connectors, the PandaBoard supports development of additional capabilities/functionality.

The PandaBoard ES is the latest revision containing a TI OMAP4460 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz. Both the original and ES versions are supported.

OMAP4430 Processor Highlights:

  • Dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 MPCore™ with Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) at 1 GHz each. Allows for 150% performance increase over previous ARM Cortex-A8 cores.
  • Full HD (1080p) multi-standard video encode/decode
  • Imagination Technologies’ POWERVR™ SGX540 graphics core supporting all major API's including OpenGL® ES v2.0, OpenGL ES v1.1, OpenVG v1.1 and EGL v1.3 and delivering 2x sustained performance compared to the previous SGX530 core
  • Low power audio

SD Card Creation

  1. At a minimum, you need to create the first partition on an SD card to store the bootloader files. For the root filesystem you can choose to use either a second partition on the SD card or a USB drive.
  2. Use the script in the PandaBoard bootloader tarball to partition and format the SD card. This script will create and format two partitions: the first partition as FAT16, the second as ext4. If the card shows up on your computer as /dev/sdX, run:
    ./ /dev/sdX
    If it shows up as /dev/mmcblkX, run:
    ./ /dev/mmcblkX
  3. If you plan to use a USB drive for the root filesystem, create a partition on the drive of type Linux using at least 1-2GB.
    Format the partition with mkfs.ext4, for example: mkfs.ext4 -L "rootfs" /dev/sdb1
  4. Download the PandaBoard bootloader tarball and extract the files onto the first partition of the SD card. These files contain the U-Boot binary needed to load the kernel.
  5. Download the root filesystem tarball and extract it (as root, not with sudo) to the ext4 partition on either the SD card or the USB drive. It is important to do this as root, as special files need to be created as part of the filesystem that can only be created by root.
    bsdtar -xpf ArchLinuxARM-omap-smp-latest.tar.gz -C mountpoint
  6. For booting from SD, plug the SD card into the Pandaboard, connect ethernet, and apply 5V power. For USB booting, see the following section for modifying the uEnv.txt.

Modifying uEnv.txt

  1. The first partition of the SD card will have a file called uEnv.txt. Mount the partition and open the file in an editor.
  2. This file allows you to alter the boot environment, and some commonly changed defaults are provided. You can uncomment those and change their values.
  3. For booting from the first partition on a USB drive, uncomment the lines following the comment about USB booting.
  4. Save the file and safely unmount the partition. Insert the SD card into the Pandaboard, connect the USB drive with the root filesystem, connect ethernet, and apply 5V power.

Mainline Kernels

  1. Mainline kernel support (3.13+) is available now for OMAP; however, it is not the default in the installation image due to bugs still being worked out.
  2. You must be running the latest U-Boot we have in the Pandaboard bootloader above. If you have a previous installation, you will need to recreate the first partition on your SD card using the bootloader tarball. U-Boot should be at least version 2013.10, visible via the serial console at boot.
  3. Once running on the latest U-Boot, boot into Arch Linux ARM.
  4. If you have the first partition of the SD card mounting to /boot, unmount it at this time and remove the entry for it in /etc/fstab if needed.
  5. Install the new kernel:
    pacman -Syu linux-armv7
  6. Power down the system:
  7. Remove power from the system, then apply power to boot back up. This is needed to completely reset the hardware and avoid any complications.


ARMv7l Cortex-A9


TI OMAP 4430 1GHz Dual-core




Full SD






B/G/N, Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR