Software for Poplar

Linaro is working with HiSilicon and ToCoding to provide a source code release for Poplar as soon as possible. This is not yet ready for release but will provide ports of ARM TF, UEFI, and U-Boot to Poplar along with an upstream based kernel and AOSP support. We will be providing another update at the end of April 2017 based on current progress but we do not yet have a final release date yet. This is a high priority for us, and we will keep this list updated.

Dr. Yang Zhang
Director of 96Boards and Technologies Group

Scott Bambrough
Technical Director, Linaro Services Group

Hello all,

For several months now, Linaro has been working together with HiSilicon to provide the community with access to source code for the Poplar board. This week an initial drop of source code for the Poplar board, along with flashing tools and some documentation will be made available on GitHub.

The initial code drop will include source for ARM Trusted Firmware, U-Boot, and a 4.11 based upstream kernel along with documentation on how to build the software and tools to flash it to the Poplar board.

This release of source code, tools and documentation provides:

  • The ability to boot in 64-bit mode.
  • Console functionality via the micro USB port.
  • Network via ethernet.
  • All cores enabled.
  • USB device support (disk & network adapter)
  • The ability to flash the board via USB flash drive.
  • Documentation

This drop of source code is just a start. This code allows us to boot to a console using the source code and tools provided. We have begun to upstream this source and will continue to add features and update the repositories on a more regular basis. The team’s goal is to release source as functionality is completed, tested and passes an internal IP review.

There is still more more to do with the bootloaders and partitioning of the eMMC which we will work on over the next couple of months. Kernel features due for release in the next month are HDMI support, and keyboard/mouse support.

We are also planning to provide a branch in the kernel tree that will be based on the Android 4.9 common kernel. This won’t be upstream based, but will be more feature complete than our mainline branch. This will be used to support AOSP running on the Poplar board.

As we push topics and changes to the GitHub repositories, we will post a message to the forums to update people here. I will provide another update on our overall progress and plans in early June.

Scott Bambrough
Technical Director, Linaro Services Group

So does this mean that I should not be expecting anything on the HDMI screen when I plug it into the board and boot linux?

Yes. HDMI is still being worked on.

Hi Daniel, any update/plan on when the next code drop will be? I have successfully built the existing source code and booted up my poplar board, but some DRI drivers for graphics, and drivers for video acceleration etc so I can get Kodi up an running would be awesome!

Any information on how the graphics/video driver subsystem will be delivered? Will it be all open source code or will it be binary blobs for those parts?

Best Regards

Hello Stefan;

For the graphics/video driver subsystem, we are currently working on this. We have code clean up and legal review from HiSilicon in order to publish. Right now, our goal is to have this available on GitHub for August. There are risks with this as there are things out of our control. We will be providing source for kernel and possibly some user space blobs.

If you have any other questions, please let me know.



Hi Glen, Daniel et al,

Any update on the graphics/video subsystem including HDMI support for the mainline branch? :o)

Best Regards

I may have missed something but I don’t really recall seeing much happening on the mainline side of things since the USB 2.0 drivers.

There is HDMI support on the v4.9 based kernels but IMHO the driver is a not in ideal shape for upstreaming.

Correct Daniel. We are currently working on upstreaming most of our UEFI, U-Boot, Trusted Firmware changes to support Poplar. There are a few patches under review for basic board support but the graphics drivers we’ve released on GitHub are not ready for Mainline.


Which software drivers have you released on GitHub? which one is the URL? Are those for Linux or Android?


All software components released on GitHub can be found on page:

And documents are here:

Boot software are common between Linux and Android. For Linux kernel, there are two branches: poplar-4.9 and poplar-android-4.9 for Linux and Android respectively.

@shawnguo I’m interested in OpenGL Mali user-space drivers for GNU/Linux. I want to run Weston (Wayland) with proper OpenGL ES v2/v3 and EGL support on the poplar board. Is that available there? Because I can’t find it. Can you point me to the specific files or build recipes that I need? Thanks

@clopez Unfortunately, Mali user-space driver for Linux is not available.