Installing Debian Image over FTDI connection


Long story short, I am unable to use the USB ports on my DragonBoard 410c. I believe this is a software issue and could potentially be alleviated if I am able to reflash Debian to the eMMC.

Normally, I would follow the instructions to install an image (
but this will not work as I am unable to initiate installation using a USB keyboard / mouse.

That said, I have successfully launched the installer off of an SD card but am unable to initiate the install as the USB ports still do not work when the OS is loaded off of SD.

However, I can successfully speak to the device using an FTDI cable. Upon boot, there is an interesting process “recovery -qws”

When this command is executed, I get the following ouput:

recovery -qws “debian”

New Image "debian"
New Image "debian"
New Image "Linaro Linux Desktop for DragonBoard 410c - Build #36"
New Image, can install "debian"
New Image “lost+found”

Given this, would it be possible to kick off the Debian install process from the FTDI console? How might one successfully initiate this from the console connection?




while not documented… it is possible to start the flashing from the serial console. the ‘recovery’ application is the graphical installer application. you can kill it from the root console.

Then, to install a OS, make sure that the SD card ‘os’ partition is mounted as /mnt, then change directory so that you are in the “OS” folder:

cd /mnt/<OS>

then run:

/usr/bin/python /mnt/ -r rawprogram0.xml -d -o /dev/mmcblk0

when this process finishes, everything should be flashed into eMMC (e.g. mmcblk0)


Hi Paul

You didn’t mention why you couldn’t initiate the install with a USB keyboard and mouse. Is it because they are not working? Or because you don’t have a HDMI monitor, keyboard and mouse.

The large Type A USB ports for keyboard and mouse (as well as the HDMI output) should all be working out of the box, however if you have something plugged into the micoUSB port then the Type A ports will be disconnected and will not work. Make sure you have nothing plugged into the microUSB port. Also Dip Switch 3 will override the default USB selection, make sure Dip Switch 3 is in the off position (slid closer to the edge of the board).

Full Disclosure: I am an employee of Qualcomm Canada. Any opinions expressed in this or any other post may not reflect the opinions of my employer