Ubuntu Core with Qt-Embedded

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Introduction

Ubuntu Core with Qt-Embedded is a light Linux system without X-windows. It uses the Qt-Embedded's GUI and is popular in industrial and enterprise applications.

Besides the regular Ubuntu core's features our Ubuntu-Core has the following additional features:

  • it supports our LCDs with both capacitive touch and resistive touch(S700, X710, HD702, S430, HD101 and S70)
  • it supports WiFi
  • it supports Ethernet
  • it supports Bluetooth and has been installed with bluez utilities
  • it supports audio playing

Download Image Files

You can download an image file for a board on the board's wiki page

Work with Ubuntu Core

Ubuntu-Core's User Accounts

  • If your board is connected to an HDMI monitor you need to use a USB mouse and keyboard.
  • If you need to do kernel development you need to connect a serial communication board to your board and access your board from a serial terminal.
  • UbuntuCore User Accounts:

Non-root User:

   User Name: pi
   Password: pi

Root:

   User Name: root
   Password: fa

The system is automatically logged in as "pi". You can do "sudo npi-config" to disable auto login.

  • Update packages
$ sudo apt-get update

Configure System with npi-config

The npi-config is a commandline utility which can be used to initialize system configurations such as user password, system language, time zone, Hostname, SSH switch , Auto login and etc. Type the following command to run this utility.

$ sudo npi-config

Here is how npi-config's GUI looks like:
npi-config

Extend TF Card's Section

When Ubuntu is loaded the TF card's section will be automatically extended.You can check the section's size by running the following command:

$ df -h

WiFi

You can use the NetworkManager utility in Ubuntu to manager its network. You can run "nmcli" in the commandline utility to start it. Here are the commands to start a WiFi connection:

  • Check device list
sudo nmcli dev

Note: if the status of a device is "unmanaged" it means that device cannot be accessed by NetworkManager. To make is accessed you need to clear the settings under "/etc/network/interfaces" and reboot your system.

  • Start WiFi
sudo nmcli r wifi on
  • Scan Surrounding WiFi Sources
sudo nmcli dev wifi
  • Connect to a WiFi Source
sudo nmcli dev wifi connect "SSID" password "PASSWORD"

The "SSID" and "PASSWORD" need to be replaced with your actual SSID and password.If you have multiple WiFi devices you need to specify the one you want to connect to a WiFi source with iface
If a connection succeeds it will be automatically setup on next system reboot.

For more details about NetworkManager refer to this link: Use NetworkManager to configure network settings

Ethernet Connection

If a board is connected to a network via Ethernet before it is powered on it will automatically obtain an IP with DHCP activated after it is powered up. If you want to set up a static IP refer to: Use NetworkManager to configure network settings

Bluetooth

If your board has an onboard bluetooth module you can search for surrounding bluetooth devices by running the following command:

hcitool scan

You can run "hciconfig" to check bluetooth's status.

Playing Audio

You can play an audio file by running the following command:

aplay -t raw -c 2 -f S16_LE -r 44100 /root/test.pcm

Run Qt Demo

Run the following command

$ sudo /opt/QtE-Demo/run.sh

Here is what you expect to observe. This is an open source Qt Demo:
K2-QtE

Setup Program to AutoRun

You can setup a program to autorun on system boot with npi-config:

sudo npi-config

Go to Boot Options -> Autologin -> Qt/Embedded, select Enable and reboot.

Work with LCD

If you connect your board to an LCD with capacitive touch panel in general that LCD's calibration is not required. However if your LCD is one with resistive touch panel you will have to do calibration which is triggered by running "/usr/bin/setqt4env" on your first system booting.

If you want to re-calibrate your LCD with resistive touch panel you need to delete the calibration file by using the following command:

rm /etc/pointercal

After you reboot your system you will enter the calibration process.

Develop Qt Application

Install Qt-Embedded on Host PC

The Ubuntu Core file system has a complete Qt-Embedded binary package. You can directly copy it to your host PC and use it.Here are the steps:

Firstly make an installation SD card with Ubuntu Core with Qt-Embedded. After this SD card is made successfully there will be a root section for Ubuntu core. You need to mount this section to a directory e.g. "/media/root/rootfs" and run the following commands:

# sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/Trolltech

If this is a 32-bit file system copy the following directory:

# sudo cp -af /media/root/rootfs/usr/local/Trolltech/QtEmbedded-5.9.1-arm /usr/local/Trolltech/

If this is a 64-bit file system copy the following directory instead:

# sudo cp -af /media/root/rootfs/usr/local/Trolltech/QtEmbedded-5.9.1-arch64 /usr/local/Trolltech/

Install Cross Compiler on Host PC

There are two compilers: one for a 32-bit OS and the other for a 64-bit OS.
You can check if your OS is a 64-bit one by running the following commands:

$ sudo uname --m
aarch64

Or you can tell that by the name of the directory for "Qt-Embedded":
QtEmbedded-5.9.1-arm: a 32-bit compiler with gcc 4.9.3 (arm-cortexa9-linux-gnueabihf-4.9.3.tar.xz);
QtEmbedded-5.9.1-arch64: a 64-bit compiler with gcc 6.4 (aarch64-cortexa53-linux-gnu-6.4.tar.xz);

32-bit Compiler(for S5P4418/S5P6818/Allwinner H3)

Download and extract compiler package:

git clone https://github.com/friendlyarm/prebuilts.git
sudo mkdir -p /opt/FriendlyARM/toolchain
sudo tar xf prebuilts/gcc-x64/arm-cortexa9-linux-gnueabihf-4.9.3.tar.xz -C /opt/FriendlyARM/toolchain/

Add compiler's directory to the "PATH" variable and append the following lines in the "~/.bashrc" file:

export PATH=/opt/FriendlyARM/toolchain/4.9.3/bin:$PATH
export GCC_COLORS=auto

Run the "~/.bashrc" script and the setting will be effective immediately. Note: there is a space after ".":

. ~/.bashrc

After the compiler is installed and setup you can verify it by running the following commands:

arm-linux-gcc -v
Using built-in specs.
COLLECT_GCC=arm-linux-gcc
COLLECT_LTO_WRAPPER=/opt/FriendlyARM/toolchain/4.9.3/libexec/gcc/arm-cortexa9-linux-gnueabihf/4.9.3/lto-wrapper
Target: arm-cortexa9-linux-gnueabihf
Configured with: /work/toolchain/build/src/gcc-4.9.3/configure --build=x86_64-build_pc-linux-gnu
--host=x86_64-build_pc-linux-gnu --target=arm-cortexa9-linux-gnueabihf --prefix=/opt/FriendlyARM/toolchain/4.9.3
--with-sysroot=/opt/FriendlyARM/toolchain/4.9.3/arm-cortexa9-linux-gnueabihf/sys-root --enable-languages=c,c++
--with-arch=armv7-a --with-tune=cortex-a9 --with-fpu=vfpv3 --with-float=hard
...
Thread model: posix
gcc version 4.9.3 (ctng-1.21.0-229g-FA)

64-bit Compiler(for Amlogic S905/S5P6818/Allwinner H5)

Download and extract compiler package:

git clone https://github.com/friendlyarm/prebuilts.git
sudo mkdir -p /opt/FriendlyARM/toolchain
sudo tar xf prebuilts/gcc-x64/aarch64-cortexa53-linux-gnu-6.4.tar.xz -C /opt/FriendlyARM/toolchain/

Add compiler's directory to the "PATH" variable and append the following lines in the "~/.bashrc" file:

export PATH=/opt/FriendlyARM/toolchain/6.4-aarch64/bin:$PATH
export GCC_COLORS=auto

Run the "~/.bashrc" script and the setting will be effective immediately. Note: there is a space after ".":

. ~/.bashrc

After the compiler is installed and setup you can verify it by running the following commands:

# aarch64-linux-gcc -v
Using built-in specs.
COLLECT_GCC=aarch64-linux-gcc
COLLECT_LTO_WRAPPER=/opt/FriendlyARM/toolchain/6.4-aarch64/libexec/gcc/aarch64-cortexa53-linux-gnu/6.4.0/lto-wrapper
Target: aarch64-cortexa53-linux-gnu
Configured with: /work/toolchain/build/aarch64-cortexa53-linux-gnu/build/src/gcc/configure --build=x86_64-build_pc-linux-gnu --host=x86_64-build_pc-linux-gnu --target=aarch64-cortexa53-linux-gnu --prefix=/opt/FriendlyARM/toolchain/6.4-aarch64 --with-sysroot=/opt/FriendlyARM/toolchain/6.4-aarch64/aarch64-cortexa53-linux-gnu/sysroot --enable-languages=c,c++ --enable-fix-cortex-a53-835769 --enable-fix-cortex-a53-843419 --with-cpu=cortex-a53 --with-pkgversion=ctng-1.23.0-150g-FA --with-bugurl=http://www.friendlyarm.com/ --enable-objc-gc --enable-__cxa_atexit --disable-libmudflap --disable-libgomp --disable-libssp --disable-libquadmath --disable-libquadmath-support --disable-libsanitizer --disable-libmpx --with-gmp=/work/toolchain/build/aarch64-cortexa53-linux-gnu/buildtools --with-mpfr=/work/toolchain/build/aarch64-cortexa53-linux-gnu/buildtools --with-mpc=/work/toolchain/build/aarch64-cortexa53-linux-gnu/buildtools --with-isl=/work/toolchain/build/aarch64-cortexa53-linux-gnu/buildtools --enable-lto --with-host-libstdcxx='-static-libgcc -Wl,-Bstatic,-lstdc++,-Bdynamic -lm' --enable-threads=posix --enable-target-optspace --disable-libstdcxx-pch --enable-clocale=gnu --enable-libstdcxx-debug --enable-libstdcxx-time=yes --enable-gnu-indirect-function --enable-gnu-unique-object --enable-linker-build-id --with-linker-hash-style=gnu --enable-plugin --enable-gold --with-libintl-prefix=/work/toolchain/build/aarch64-cortexa53-linux-gnu/buildtools --disable-multilib --with-local-prefix=/opt/FriendlyARM/toolchain/6.4-aarch64/aarch64-cortexa53-linux-gnu/sysroot --enable-long-long --enable-checking=release
Thread model: posix
gcc version 6.4.0 (ctng-1.23.0-150g-FA)

Compile & Run Your Qt Program

Download a code sample and create a "build" directory:

cd ~
git clone https://github.com/friendlyarm/QtE-Demo.git
mkdir ~/build-qte-demo
cd ~/build-qte-demo


Steps for a 32-bit OS:

/usr/local/Trolltech/QtEmbedded-5.9.1-arm/bin/qmake ~/QtE-Demo
export PATH=/opt/FriendlyARM/toolchain/4.9.3/bin/:$PATH
make


Steps for a 64-bit OS:

/usr/local/Trolltech/QtEmbedded-5.9.1-arch64/bin/qmake ~/QtE-Demo
export PATH=/opt/FriendlyARM/toolchain/6.4-aarch64/bin/:$PATH
make

After compilation succeeds a QtE-Demo binary will be generated. You can start it by running the following commands:

. setqt5env
QtE-Demo -qws&

Set Your Qt Program to Autorun

You can set your Qt program to autorun. Let's take the helloqt4 as an example. We assume it is under "/root". You need to open the "/etc/rc.local" file and delete the following two lines:

cd /usr/local/Trolltech/QtEmbedded-4.8.6-arm/demos/embedded/fluidlauncher
./fluidlauncher -qws&

You need to keep ". /usr/bin/setqt4env" and append "/root/helloqt -qws &".


Q & A

  • When I compile my Qt program I get a message complaining that linking to libraries such as libts and libz failed

Your arm-linux-gcc 4.9.3 may not include these library files. You need to try downloading the compiler again.

  • Where should I get UbuntuCore's source code

We used the bin file released by UbuntuCore's official site. You can get its source code from http://packages.ubuntu.com/.

Update Log

July-20-2016

  • Released English version

July-20-2017

  • Added sections 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3

August-23-2017

  • Updated section 4