SAMA5D29-Curiosity – Booting Demo Linux® Image

Last modified by Microchip on 2024/06/20 12:44


This training topic lists step-by-step instructions for booting a demonstration Linux® image written to a micro-SD memory card on the SAMA5D29-Curiosity Development Board. 

There are several pre-compiled demonstration Linux images available from the Linux4sam website. 

What you will need: 

  • SAMA5D29-Curiosity Development Board (P/N: EV07R15A) 
  • Personal computer (Windows®, macOS®, Linux) running a terminal emulation program 
  • USB-to-Serial 3.3 or 5.0 VDC TTL Level adapter with a 6-pin single-in-line 0.1” pitch connector 
  • To power the SAMA5D29-Curiosity you will either: 
    1. Connect a USB Type-C cable to USB-A port (J1) (included) 
    2. Connect an external 5 VDC power supply to DC Jack (J2) 
  • Micro-SD memory card (1 GB or larger) 


Back to Top


For this training topic, you will use the SAMA5D29-Curiosity Development Board (P/N: EV07R15A) .

SAMA5D29-Curiosity Demonstration Board

Setup the SAMA5D29-Curiosity as listed below: 


  • Set the jumpers to their default positions as shown in the “Jumper Summary” section in the “SAMA5D29-Curiosity – Features” page.  
  • OPEN Jumper J10 to disable Serial Quad I/O (SQI) Flash Boot 


  • Apply power to the development board by connecting either : 
    1. USB Type-C connector to USB-A port (J1), or 
    2. Applying 5.0 VDC to DC Jack (J2). 

Back to Top

Download a Demonstration Image

The latest demonstration images for the SAMA5D29-Curiosity are available on the Linux4sam website. There you will find three sets of images created from the following build systems: 

Screen capture from Linux4SAM showing demo archives

You will find headless and graphics versions. The headless versions only require serial communications between a host computer running a terminal emulation program and the target console. The graphics version works with displays such as the High-performance WVGA Display Module with maXTouch® (Part Number: AC320005-5) and High-Performance WQVGA Display Module with maXTouch (Part Number: AC320005-4)

For this training, we will use the Buildroot headless version. Download the image and follow the steps below. 

Back to Top

Load image onto SD Memory Card

To boot Linux from a micro-SD memory card, perform the following steps.  

You will write the image to the micro-SD memory card using the balenaEtcher utility program. balenaEtcher is a cross-platform utility program used for writing image files onto storage media.  

Select Image 

Locate the directory where the image has been stored. There is no need to un-compress the image file. The balenaEtcher utility program can handle compressed image files.  

balenaEtcher Select Image screen

Select Target

Select the micro-SD memory card. 

balenaEtcher Select Target screen


Finally, write the image to the micro-SD memory card. This will take some time, be patient. 

balenaEtcher Flash! screen

Insert the micro SD Memory Card

Insert the micro-SD memory card into the slot (J6) located on the bottom side of the development board. 

Back to Top

Terminal Emulation Program

Download, install, and configure a Terminal Emulation program onto your host computer. There are several choices for terminal programs for Windows, macOS, and Linux.  

Back to Top


Ensure that the Serial Quad I/O (SQI) Flash Boot jumper (J10) is OPEN. 

Back to Top

Connect to UART Debug Port:

Connect the USB-to-Serial 3.3 or 5.0 VDC TTL level adapter to the Serial Debug connector (J28) and the host computer. Take care to align Pin 1 (GND) of the Curiosity board to the adapter Pin 1 (Look for an arrow on the connector and a black wire). 

Back to Top

Serial Communication Established

Once you connect the USB-to-Serial adapter to the Host PC, locate the COM Port, open the terminal emulation program, and enter the settings: 

  • Com Port: as indicated 
  • Baud: 115200 
  • Data Bits: 8 
  • Parity: None 
  • Stop Bits: 1 

Back to Top

Apply Power

Apply power to the development board by either: 

  1. Connect a USB Type-C cable to USB-A port (J1) (included) 
  2. Connect an external 5 VDC power supply to DC Jack (J2) 

Back to Top


Press the START push button (SW3).  

Pressing the START push button (SW3) will initiate the PMIC start-up sequence if the buck converters are off. The PMIC will also assert the SAMA5D29 wakeup (WKUP) signal to wake the MPU from a low-power state. 

Observe the boot log scrolling on the Console. At the end, the command line will prompt the user to log in. Log in as ‘root.’ There is no password required. 

Log in for the linux4sam-buildroot-sama5d29_curiosity-headless-2023.10.img

Console: Linux login

Observe the RGB LED (D5) flashing blue (heartbeat). 

Congratulations! Booting of the demo Linux image on the SAMA5D29-Curiosity is complete. 

Back to Top


In this training topic, you booted a demonstration Linux image written to a micro-SD memory card on the SAMA5D29-Curiosity Demonstration Board. 

Back to Top

What’s Next?

Back to Top