Build Kernel

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Before You Start

Install Dev Packages

Install dev packages:

sudo apt-get install gcc-arm-linux-gnueabihf build-essential lzop libncurses5-dev libssl-dev
# If using 64 bits Ubuntu, you need also:
sudo apt-get install libc6:i386

Install mkbootimg utility

git clone
cd rockchip-mkbootimg
make && sudo make install

Get Kernel Source and Cross Compiling Toolchain

If you have already downloaded the Firefly-RK3288 Android SDK, the kernel source and cross compiling toolchain are in SDK/kernel and SDK/prebuilts respectively. Please skip to next step.

If not, please download the kernel source code and Android's arm-eabi-4.6 cross compiling toolchain.

Download the kernel source code:

git clone

If you are using Firefly-RK3288-Reload board, please download the "lollipop" branch, and then checkout to "lollipop"

git fetch origin lollipop:lollipop
git checkout lollipop

Note: This is Linux kernel source code in separated source repository, which is extracted from Firefly-RK3288 Android SDK, for convenience of users who only want the kernel source code instead of the huge sdk.

For Android's arm-eabi-4.6 cross compiling toolchain, you may look around to see if any local Android SDK has prebuilts/gcc/linux-x86/arm/arm-eabi-4.6. If there is, you can reuse it; otherwise download from here and extract it.

Compile Kernel

Compile Image

If you are not compiling kernel in the SDK, you need to specify ARCH and CROSS_COMPILE first:

export ARCH=arm
export CROSS_COMPILE=/path/to/prebuilts/gcc/linux-x86/arm/arm-eabi-4.6/bin/arm-eabi-

In the kernel source directory, execute:

make firefly-rk3288-linux_defconfig
make -j8 firefly-rk3288-linux.img 

If you are using Firefly-RK3288-Reload board, executeː

make firefly-rk3288-reload-linux_defconfig
make -j8 firefly-rk3288-reload-linux.img

Note: if you are using the beta development board, please replace "firefly-rk3288.img" above with "firefly-rk3288_beta.img".

Compile Modules


make modules
mkdir modules_install
make INSTALL_MOD_PATH=./modules_install modules_insatll

Copy the kernel module files to the root file system:

rsync -av ./modules_install/ /path/to/your/rfs/

You can also copy to the development board, using ssh remote connection:

rsync -av ./modules_install/ root@<Board IP>:/

Clean up the module install directory (it contains links which impact compilation of Android SDK):

rm -rf ./modules_install

Create boot.img

Create Initramfs

The kernel will load the initramfs as the first root file system. It is in charge of finding the actual root device, load it then finally switch to it. The development board use eMMC flash. There is no need of special kernel module file. Actually you can skip this step. But initramfs offers flexibility like multiple OS boot.

git clone
make -C initrd

Package Kernel and Initramfs

Package kernel and initramfs into boot.img:

mkbootimg --kernel arch/arm/boot/zImage --ramdisk initrd.img -o boot.img

Modify Parameter File

The root file system can reside on different partitions in different storage devices (eMMC, TF card or USB disk, etc). It must be specified in the kernel's command line. There is a CMDLINE in the paramter file:

CMDLINE:console=tty0 ... mtdparts=rk29xxnand:0x00002000@0x00002000(uboot),...,-@0x00394000(user)

Add one of below according to your need: (# and contents after are comments, no need to enter):

root=/dev/block/mtd/by-name/linuxroot        # flash partition named "linuxroot"
root=/dev/mmcblk0p1          # First partition of TF card
root=/dev/sda1               # First partition of USB disk
root=LABEL=linuxroot         # Partition whose label is "linuxroot"

Flash to Device

Please reference Flash image, choose the newly created boot.img and modified parameter files, flash to "boot" and "parameter" partitions respectively. Then the kernel update is done.

If the root filesystem image is not flashed yet, you can download the prebuilt image, or customize your own one, and flash it to the partition specified in parameter file.