October 21, 2011


by Oleg Dzhimiev

We made a new Live USB version of Elphel Toolkit.

It is available for downloading here.


It is an entire Operating System that can be booted from a USB drive or DVD (of course you can install it on your computer as well) and comes with all Elphel relevant software preinstalled. As the basis we chose Kubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long Term Support distribution) 32-bit which is supported by its developers until April 2013. Everything described on our Software Kit wiki page is preinstalled. That allows you to update the camera firmware (reflash), play a live video-stream from a camera and also build a custom firmware image for the camera.
Some of the installed software:
  • VLC/MPlayer
  • UNFS3 (network sharing – used in update camera’s firmware process)
  • Axis ETRAX Cross Compiler (writing and compiling C-based applications for the camera)
  • KDevelop 3.5
  • Icarus Verilog & GTKWave (FPGA verification)

Note: Xilinx ISE WebPack is not installed. Should be downloaded and installed personally. It is only needed for creating FPGA bitstreams.

Burning the ISO

The iso-image can either be burnt on CD/DVD or written on a boot-able USB thumb drive. Here are couple programs that can be used to create a live USB thumb drive:

  • Startup Disk Creator (Linux only) – a default (K)Ubuntu application.*
  • UNetbootin (Linux/MacOSX/Windows) – also free.

*- The image is written fine but be aware that currently there is this bug that has a fix. Or you can just work around the bug by typing “help” and then hitting “enter” after a menu appears.

Note: Sometimes you need to enable booting from USB in BIOS.


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