1.1.3. Formatting SD card on Linux Overview

The Linux SDK includes a script in the <SDK INSTALL DIR>/bin directory named mksdboot.sh. The purpose of this script is to create bootable SD cards by partitioning and formatting them so that target can boot using the boot images and filesystem.


You will need a >8GB SD Card and a SD Card Reader


If you are having trouble booting with the SD card, you may need to run the following commands to clear the default environment. You will then need to reboot the board for the commands to take effect.

env default –a –f
saveenv Select the SD Card Device

The first step before running the script is to select the drive representing the SD card that you want to format. In most cases your host root file system drive has been masked off to prevent damage to the host system. You can run sudo fdisk -l to find out the device name for the SD card you want to format. Example output looks like this:

Disk /dev/sda: 931.5 GiB, 1000204886016 bytes, 1953525168 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x2addf736

Device     Boot      Start        End   Sectors   Size Id Type
/dev/sda1             2048  614402047 614400000   293G 83 Linux
/dev/sda2        614402048 1228802047 614400000   293G 83 Linux
/dev/sda3       1228802048 1953523711 724721664 345.6G 83 Linux

Disk /dev/sdd: 14.9 GiB, 15931539456 bytes, 31116288 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0xda7cb208

Device     Boot   Start      End  Sectors  Size Id Type
/dev/sdd1  *       2048   129023   126976   62M  c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/sdd2        129024  8517631  8388608    4G 83 Linux
/dev/sdd3       8517632 31116287 22598656 10.8G 83 Linux

You should choose the device where the partition sizes match with the SD card you want to partition. Partitioning SD card

No matter which use case above that you are creating an SD card for the following steps are the same.

By default Ubuntu uses “dash” as the default shell for /bin/sh. You must reconfigure to use bash by running the following command:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure dash

Be sure to select “No” when you are asked to use dash as the default system shell.

The mksdboot.sh script can be run from any location but must be run with root permissions. This usually means using the sudo command to start execution of the script. For example:

sudo <SDK INSTALL DIR>/bin/mksdboot.sh --device /dev/sdX --sdk <SDK INSTALL DIR>
#Replace the /dev/sdX with appropriate device name

For instance, if the SDK was installed at the path /home/user/ti-processor-sdk-linux, the command to run would be below:

sudo /home/user/ti-processor-sdk-linux/bin/mksdboot.sh --device /dev/sdX --sdk /home/user/ti-processor-sdk-linux

If you fail to execute the script without root permissions you will receive a message that root permissions are required and the script will exit.

If you pass incorrect arguments, the SD card partitions may not be detected when connected to your host PC. This can be fixed by using the fdisk utility.


When working with HS devices, the default u-boot binaries and kernel image flashed through the above script will not boot successfully. The SDK provides support to build and install these components through the Simplified SDK Build using Top-Level Makefile using the HS=1 flag in Rules.make Tiny Image

In case users want to start with a smaller filesystem than what is provided in the tisdk-default-image, the tisdk-tiny-image is provided as a reference of a minimal filesystem.

To install the tisdk-tiny-image, the mksdboot.sh script can be modified to point to this image included in the SDK. Please modify the line below:


Please modify this line to be the following, replacing <platform> with the machine name:


The tisdk-tiny-image is not a bootable image. In order to boot using the tisdk-tiny-image, the linux kernel image, dtb and modules will need to be installed. This can be installed by either copying over these files from the tisdk-default-image or by building and installing these files as described in Simplified SDK Build using Top-Level Makefile.