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

Visit the product page of one of the following products and download the firmware nanopi2-ubuntucore-with-qt-embedded-sd4g.img.zip:

  • NanoPi2, NanoPi M2, NanoPi T2: Download

Visit the product page and download the firmware nanopi-m1-ubuntu-core-qte-sd4g.img.zip:

Extract the zip file and make an installation SD card with either "dd" under Linux or win32image under Windows.

Ubuntu-Core's 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

Applications under UbuntuCore

Run UbuntuCore

  • If you want system's output to a monitor you need to connect a USB mouse and a keyboard to your board
  • If you want to do kernel development you need to use a serial communication board, ie a PSU-ONECOM board, which will allow you to operate the board via a serial terminal.
  • Ubuntu-Core's User Accounts:

Regular 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

Visit the product page of one of the following products and download the target-ate-4.8.6-to-hostpc.tgz file:

  • NanoPi2, NanoPi M2, NanoPi T2: Download

Enter the root directory and uncompress the file:

cd /
tar xvzf  ~/target-ate-4.8.6-to-hostpc.tgz

After it is done verify it by using the following command:

/usr/local/Trolltech/QtEmbedded-4.8.6-arm/bin/qmake -v

If you install it successfully you will get the following information:
QMake version 2.01a
Using Qt version 4.8.6 in /usr/local/Trolltech/QtEmbedded-4.8.6-arm/lib

Install Cross Compiler on Host PC (arm-linux-gcc 4.9.3)

Download and uncompress the compiler:

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

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

Run "~/.bashrc" to make your setting effective. Attention: there is a space after ".":

. ~/.bashrc

This compiler is a 64-bit one therefore it cannot be run on a 32-bit Linux machine. After the compiler is installed 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)

Your "Hello world"

Create a "helloqt" directory and a main.cpp file on your host PC:

cd ~
mkdir helloqt
vi main.cpp

Here is a main.cpp sample:

#include <QApplication>
#include <QPushButton>
int main(int argc, char **argv)
{
        QApplication app (argc, argv);
        QPushButton button ("Hello world !");
        button.show();
        return app.exec();
}

Exit vi and run the following commands to compile the program:

cd ~/helloqt
/usr/local/Trolltech/QtEmbedded-4.8.6-arm/bin/qmake -project 
/usr/local/Trolltech/QtEmbedded-4.8.6-arm/bin/qmake
make

If compilation is successful you will get a helloqt bin file. Copy the bin file to your board and run it from a terminal:

. setqt4env
helloqt -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 &".

Open Source Qt Program

The GUI you will see after you boot our UbuntuCore is developed by FriendlyARM. We replaced its original Qt Demo with this GUI. This GUI is open source and its source code is under "/opt". After this program starts it will list various system information including CPU's temperature, RAM and etc. It also includes some basic Qt utilities: qmake, uic and etc which make it much easier for users to compile and generate Qt executables.

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