Marvell Plug Computer Booting

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Here's how to allow your SheevaPlug to boot from a USB drive or SD card.

Connect to the serial console (use 2 stop bits & 115200 bps).

JTAG serial console

If you do not have access to a serial console on your plug then you will need a JTAG module to do this:

  • Connect the JTAG module to the SheevaPlug (be careful; connecting it the wrong way will fry it! See the warning sticker on the plug, and the photo on the box for proper connection), and connect the USB side to your computer (can be Windows, Linux or Mac).


On Windows, install a driver (Use the disc that came with plug or You can download it from here), and use PuTTY (serial).


On Linux, execute the following command:

       cat > /etc/udev/rules.d/85-sheevaplug.rules <<'EOF'
       # if no driver has claimed the interface yet, load ftdi_sio
       ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ENV{DEVTYPE}=="usb_interface", \
               ATTRS{idVendor}=="1c0c", ATTRS{idProduct}=="0102", \
               DRIVER=="", \
               RUN+="/sbin/modprobe -b ftdi_sio"
       # add the sheevaplug VID and PID to the list of devices supported by ftdi_sio
       ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="drivers", \
               ENV{DEVPATH}=="/bus/usb-serial/drivers/ftdi_sio", \
               ATTR{new_id}="1c0c 0102"
       # optionally create a convenience symlink for the console device
       ACTION=="add", KERNEL=="ttyUSB*", \
               ATTRS{interface}=="SheevaPlug JTAGKey FT2232D B", \
               ATTRS{bInterfaceNumber}=="01", \

Then use gtkterm: use 2 stop bits & 115200 bps speed when creating the profile; keep the defaults for the rest. Instead of gtkterm, you can also use the simpler screen: yum -y install screen; screen /dev/ttyUSB1 115200
Once connected, if you want to close your terminal session, hit Ctrl-A followed by Shift-K. You'll be asked if you're sure you want to kill this window; just say yes!

Mac OS X

On Mac OS X, Install the FTDI driver, download Info.plist.patch to your desktop, then run the following commands to connect to the SheevaPlug console:

      sudo patch -p0 < ~/Desktop/Info.plist.patch
      sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/FTDIUSBSerialDriver.kext
      sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/FTDIUSBSerialDriver.kext

Then plug in the device to USB:

      screen /dev/tty.usbserial-[TAB]B 115200

For [TAB], hit the TAB key; the value there will be unique to each SheevaPlug computer, so TAB will allow you to auto-fill the correct value. Type B after that value has been auto-filled.

Once Connected via a serial console

Once connected, if you want to close your terminal session, hit Ctrl-A followed by Ctrl-K (or Shift-K on Linux). You'll be asked if you're sure you want to kill this window; just say yes!

  • Reset the SheevaPlug.
  • At the terminal, press enter a couple of seconds after boot to prevent it from booting using the onboard flash (Ubuntu). You should end up with a Marvell>> prompt.


The ArcNumber parameter references a particular mach-type/machine from the kernel's Arm machine table. This needs to be configured correctly for your device otherwise it may not boot or may not have all the features (eg. arcNumber=2678 is required for eSata Sheevaplug).

Find the correct arcNumber for your device here.

USB Boot

  • There are some commands you need to run to make it permanently boot from the USB port (NOTE: this step is only necessary once):
      setenv mainlineLinux yes
      setenv arcNumber 2097
      setenv bootargs_root 'root=/dev/sda1 rootdelay=15'
      setenv bootcmd_usb 'usb start; ext2load usb 0:1  0x6400000 /boot/uImage'
      setenv bootcmd 'setenv bootargs $(console) $(bootargs_root); run bootcmd_usb; bootm 0x6400000'

SD Card Boot

  • If you want to make it permanently boot from the SD card, the commands you need to run are:

(NOTE: this step is only necessary once. I assume that the root partition is /dev/mmcblk0p1 and the swap partition is /dev/mmcblk0p2).

      setenv mainlineLinux yes
      setenv arcNumber 2097
      setenv bootargs_console console=ttyS0,115200
      setenv bootargs_root 'rw root=/dev/mmcblk0p1 rootdelay=15 rootfstype=ext3'
      setenv bootcmd_mmc 'mmcinit; ext2load mmc 0:1 0x800000 /boot/uImage'
      setenv bootcmd 'setenv bootargs $(bootargs_console) $(bootargs_root); run bootcmd_mmc; bootm 0x0800000'


Configuring Uboot for GuruPlug

Pogoplug / DockStar

See the instructions here on how to allow the PogoPlug & DockStar to boot from USB:
Stop after executing the script in step 1.

OpenRD Client

The instructions for the OpenRD client are roughly similar to the ones for Sheevaplug. There are a few notable differences though.

  • If your serial port does not work you need to use VID 0403 and PID 9e90
  • the arcNumber for OpenRD Client is 2361
  • when booting from an usb device the device will be /dev/sdb if you also have an internal disk mounted. You need to change bootargs accordingly (e.g. root=/dev/sdb1)
  • apparently doing 'usb start' twice from u-boot makes that the usb device is not re-detected. In that case it is needed to powercycle the device.

OpenRD Base

I have no OpenRD Base but the key difference between Base and Client as far as booting concerns is the arcNumber. OpenRD Base has arcNumber 2325
If you manage to get things working with OpenRD Base please update this section.