Linux image deployment to custom carrier PCB

Hey,

so I got a custom carrier board for the Apalis TK1 module here. It has only the bare minimum of stuff that’s needed.
No video output, no USB, no SDcard.
It does have LAN.

I was looking on the Toradex pages about deployment of Linux images to the target hardware.
On the page I first saw, something of “unattended mass deployment to thousands of devices” was mentioned. There I was redirected by a link to the description of the Easy Installer.
What I read on that site, does not sound a lot like “unattended mass deployment”. We don’t really need thousands of devices a day, but what I read there does, nonetheless, sound somewhat cumbersome, so I wonder whether that is the way to do it, or just one of the things I happend to stumble upon:

So basically the options with the given setup are:

  • set up a local network with a Linux host which provides DNS for rerouting access to the Toradex address for Linux images to a local server, where our own images lie
  • connect, from a PC, via VNC, to the TK1 board’s running EasyInstaller, and select the image to be installed manually - for every single module to be flashed.

Did I understand that correctly?
I doubt it, because even with a e.g. Ixora carrier, I don’t udnerstand how there could be “unattended mass deployment”, so I must be missing something.

Are there other options?
Thanks

Toradex Easy installer automatically install an image which has autoinstall set to true.
So the easiest way for mass programming is by preparing image on USB stick or SD card. And use a board with USB or SD card like Ixora. You will need just to insert new module, power it up and wait till installation done. Then you can install programmed module to your custom carrier board. By using several boards one person can program a few hundred modules per day. Please see details here - https://developer.toradex.com/software/toradex-easy-installer#configuration-files

Makes sense.
But I wonder - how many (un-)pluggins will the module socket on an e.g. Ixora board survive? I guess they are not exactly made for that?

You can use adapter like this - https://www.yamaichi.de/products/test-solutions/contacting-modules/dimm-sodimm-test-adapter.html

You can use your board with Ethernet only connection by Using a custom DNS server as described here - https://developer.toradex.com/software/toradex-easy-installer#custom-image-server-without-local-media

Installation can be unattended if you prepare image by the way described here - https://developer.toradex.com/software/toradex-easy-installer#unattended-flashing-over-ethernet

Hi @sktpin

According to the supplier of the module socket officially 15 un-pluggins are allowed. In our tests the worst case was up to 200 un-pluggins and best case 1000. It depends how careful you insert the module.

Beside the solution of @alex.tx, you can also design a small PCB with just the SODIMM socket, which you can insert once to the carrier board. Thus you need to replace the small PCB, once it is broken and not the whole carrier board. This is what we do for our testing system.

Best regards,
Jaski

Ah! Thanks. That idea sounds less costly than the yamaichi adapter - for which I don’t know the price, but having to inquire about it while giving project details is bad omen :wink:

You are welcome. Thanks for your feedback.

Best regards,
Jaski