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How to customize Buildroot

Buildroot allows to keep customizations outside Buildroot main project.

We are using this mechanism to extend & customize Buildroot configuration for liteSOM based projects and it is recommenced to start with one of our example to build "infrastructure" for your project.

Please take into account that below you can find one of the possible way how to customize Buildroot; for more details please read Buildroot User Manual and Customizing the generated target filesystem.

Project description

This project will allow you to build complete firmware image for liteboard and LCD sandwich with resistive touchscreen. Main intention is to keep all customizations outside Buildroot project but still allow user to configure kernel, busybox and Buildroot or to modify Device Tree without any problems.

Project setup

Download Buildroot release you want to use, for example


Extract downloaded file

tar xf buildroot-2016.11.1.tar.gz

During this demo we will extend Buildroot setup by customizations from Grinn examples repository, please clone this repository

git clone

Tell Buildroot to use additional br2-external tree by setting (once per project setup) BR2_EXTERNAL variable as presented below

cd buildroot-2016-11.1
make BR2_EXTERNAL=/tmp/examples list-defconfigs

where /tmp/examples should point to the repository cloned in the 2nd step.

Target list-defconfigs shows list of available defconfigs. After built-in configs you should see configs provided by the external customizations (like Grinn examples).

make BR2_EXTERNAL=/tmp/examples list-defconfigs
Built-in configs:
  acmesystems_aria_g25_128mb_defconfig - Build for acmesystems_aria_g25_128mb
  acmesystems_aria_g25_256mb_defconfig - Build for acmesystems_aria_g25_256mb

External configs in "Grinn examples":
  grinn_liteboard_lcd_res_defconfig   - Build for grinn_liteboard_lcd_res

Project configuration

To configure Buildroot for liteSOM + LCD + resistive touchscreen configuration please use grinn_liteboard_lcd_res_defconfig

make grinn_liteboard_lcd_res_defconfig

Project compilation

You can compile project in this same way as usual

make all

Project output

Like for other Buildroot based projects directory output/images/ contain all files required to program your device.

You can program uSD card via following command

dd if=output/images/sdcard.img of=/dev/<SD-CARD> bs=4M

More details about this customization

Buildroot configuration

├── configs
│   └── grinn_liteboard_lcd_res_defconfig

Complete configuration for buildroot is available in configs/grinn_liteboard_lcd_res_defconfig file. Each time when make grinn_liteboard_lcd_res_defconfig is called Buildroot is configured as defined within this file.

Device tree

├── board
│   └── grinn
│       └── liteboard-lcd-res
│           ├── imx6ul-liteboard-lcd-res.dts
│           ├──

Buildroot configuration for liteboard doesn't contain any configuration for LCD nor touchscreen therefore this demo will use customized device tree file (imx6ul-liteboard-lcd-res.dts).

During kernel compilation this file will be compiled and output will be stored as imx6ul-liteboard-lcd-res.dtb. You can find this file inside output/images directory.

Unfortunately on the target during boot procedure U-Boot will try to load imx6ul-liteboard.dtb file which will be not available on uSD card. Therefore every build Buildroot via script will adjust name of the Device Tree Blob file to the expected by the U-Boot.

Kernel configuration

├── board
│   └── grinn
│       └── liteboard-lcd-res
│           ├── linux.defconfig

Customized Linux configuration is stored in linux.defconfig file. It will be used by the Buildroot to initialize proper kernel configuration.

Extra files

├── board
│   └── grinn
│       └── liteboard-lcd-res
│           └── rootfs
│               └── etc
│                   ├── profile.d
│                   │   └──
│                   └── udev
│                       └── rules.d
│                           └── 60-touchscreen.rules

To simplify/unify board setup two config files should be available on running liteboard:

Each time when make all command will be called Buildroot will automatically copy rootfs directory content to the target root directory used in the next step to generate image for the liteboard.