Device Firmware Upgrade (DFU)

Overview

The Device Firmware Upgrade (DFU) allows to download and upload firmware to/from U-Boot connected over USB.

U-boot follows the Universal Serial Bus Device Class Specification for Device Firmware Upgrade Version 1.1 the USB forum (DFU v1.1 in www.usb.org).

U-Boot implements this DFU capability (CONFIG_DFU) with the command dfu (cmd/dfu.c / CONFIG_CMD_DFU) based on:

  • the DFU stack (common/dfu.c and common/spl/spl_dfu.c), based on the USB DFU download gadget (drivers/usb/gadget/f_dfu.c)

  • The access to mediums is done in DFU backends (driver/dfu)

Today the supported DFU backends are:

  • MMC (RAW or FAT / EXT2 / EXT3 / EXT4 file system / SKIP / SCRIPT)

  • NAND

  • RAM

  • SF (serial flash)

  • MTD (all MTD device: NAND, SPI-NOR, SPI-NAND,…)

  • virtual

These DFU backends are also used by

  • the dfutftp (see README.dfutftp)

  • the thordown command (cmd/thordown.c and gadget/f_thor.c)

The “virtual” backend is a generic DFU backend to support a board specific target (for example OTP), only based on the weak functions:

  • dfu_write_medium_virt

  • dfu_get_medium_size_virt

  • dfu_read_medium_virt

Configuration Options

The following configuration option are relevant for device firmware upgrade:

  • CONFIG_DFU

  • CONFIG_DFU_OVER_USB

  • CONFIG_DFU_MMC

  • CONFIG_DFU_MTD

  • CONFIG_DFU_NAND

  • CONFIG_DFU_RAM

  • CONFIG_DFU_SF

  • CONFIG_DFU_SF_PART

  • CONFIG_DFU_TIMEOUT

  • CONFIG_DFU_VIRTUAL

  • CONFIG_CMD_DFU

Environment variables

The dfu command uses 3 environments variables:

dfu_alt_info

The DFU setting for the USB download gadget with a semicolon separated string of information on each alternate:

dfu_alt_info="<alt1>;<alt2>;....;<altN>"

When several devices are used, the format is:

  • <interface> <dev>’=’alternate list (‘;’ separated)

  • each interface is separated by ‘&’:

    dfu_alt_info=\
        "<interface1> <dev1>=<alt1>;....;<altN>&"\
        "<interface2> <dev2>=<altN+1>;....;<altM>&"\
        ...\
        "<interfaceI> <devI>=<altY+1>;....;<altZ>&"
    
dfu_bufsiz

size of the DFU buffer, when absent, defaults to CONFIG_SYS_DFU_DATA_BUF_SIZE (8 MiB by default)

dfu_hash_algo

name of the hash algorithm to use

Commands

dfu <USB_controller> [<interface> <dev>] list

list the alternate device defined in dfu_alt_info

dfu <USB_controller> [<interface> <dev>] [<timeout>]

start the dfu stack on the USB instance with the selected medium backend and use the dfu_alt_info variable to configure the alternate setting and link each one with the medium The dfu command continue until receive a ^C in console or a DFU detach transaction from HOST. If CONFIG_DFU_TIMEOUT option is enabled and <timeout> parameter is present in the command line, the DFU operation will be aborted automatically after <timeout> seconds of waiting remote to initiate DFU session.

The possible values of <interface> are (with <USB controller> = 0 in the dfu command example)

mmc

for eMMC and SD card:

dfu 0 mmc <dev>

each element in dfu_alt_info being

  • <name> raw <offset> <size> [mmcpart <num>] raw access to mmc device

  • <name> part <dev> <part_id> [mmcpart <num>] raw access to partition

  • <name> fat <dev> <part_id> [mmcpart <num>] file in FAT partition

  • <name> ext4 <dev> <part_id> [mmcpart <num>] file in EXT4 partition

  • <name> skip 0 0 ignore flashed data

  • <name> script 0 0 execute commands in shell

with

partid

being the GPT or DOS partition index,

num

being the eMMC hardware partition number.

A value of environment variable dfu_alt_info for eMMC could be:

u-boot raw 0x3e 0x800 mmcpart 1;bl2 raw 0x1e 0x1d mmcpart 1

A value of environment variable dfu_alt_info for SD card could be:

u-boot raw 0x80 0x800;uImage ext4 0 2

If don’t want to flash given image file to storage, use “skip” type entity.

  • It can be used to protect flashing wrong image for the specific board.

  • Especailly, this layout will be useful when thor protocol is used, which performs flashing in batch mode, where more than one file is processed.

For example, if one makes a single tar file with support for the two boards with u-boot-<board1>.bin and u-boot-<board2>.bin files, one can use it to flash a proper u-boot image on both without a failure:

u-boot-<board1>.bin raw 0x80 0x800; u-boot-<board2>.bin skip 0 0

When flashing new system image requires do some more complex things than just writing data to the storage medium, one can use ‘script’ type. Data written to such entity will be executed as a command list in the u-boot’s shell. This for example allows to re-create partition layout and even set new dfu_alt_info for the newly created paritions. Such script would look like:

setenv dfu_alt_info ...
setenv mbr_parts ...
mbr write ...

Please note that this means that user will be able to execute any arbitrary commands just like in the u-boot’s shell.

nand

raw slc nand device:

dfu 0 nand <dev>

each element in dfu_alt_info being either of

  • <name> raw <offset> <size> raw access to mmc device

  • <name> part <dev> <part_id> raw acces to partition

  • <name> partubi <dev> <part_id> raw acces to ubi partition

with

partid

is the MTD partition index

ram

raw access to ram:

dfu 0 ram <dev>
dev

is not used for RAM target

each element in dfu_alt_info being:

<name> ram <offset> <size>  raw access to ram
sf

serial flash : NOR:

cmd: dfu 0 sf <dev>

each element in dfu_alt_info being either of:

  • <name> raw <offset> <size> raw access to sf device

  • <name> part <dev> <part_id> raw acces to partition

  • <name> partubi <dev> <part_id> raw acces to ubi partition

with

partid

is the MTD partition index

mtd

all MTD device: NAND, SPI-NOR, SPI-NAND,…:

cmd: dfu 0 mtd <dev>

with

dev

the mtd identifier as defined in mtd command (nand0, nor0, spi-nand0,…)

each element in dfu_alt_info being either of:

  • <name> raw <offset> <size> forraw access to mtd device

  • <name> part <dev> <part_id> for raw acces to partition

  • <name> partubi <dev> <part_id> for raw acces to ubi partition

with

partid

is the MTD partition index

virt

virtual flash back end for DFU

cmd: dfu 0 virt <dev>

each element in dfu_alt_info being:

  • <name>

<interface> and <dev> are absent, the dfu command to use multiple devices:

cmd: dfu 0 list
cmd: dfu 0

dfu_alt_info variable provides the list of <interface> <dev> with alternate list separated by ‘&’ with the same format for each <alt>:

mmc <dev>=<alt1>;....;<altN>
nand <dev>=<alt1>;....;<altN>
ram <dev>=<alt1>;....;<altN>
sf <dev>=<alt1>;....;<altN>
mtd <dev>=<alt1>;....;<altN>
virt <dev>=<alt1>;....;<altN>

Callbacks

The weak callback functions can be implemented to manage specific behavior

dfu_initiated_callback

called when the DFU transaction is started, used to initiase the device

dfu_flush_callback

called at the end of the DFU write after DFU manifestation, used to manage the device when DFU transaction is closed

Host tools

When U-Boot runs the dfu stack, the DFU host tools can be used to send/receive firmwares on each configurated alternate.

For example dfu-util is a host side implementation of the DFU 1.1 specifications(http://dfu-util.sourceforge.net/) which works with U-Boot.

Usage

Example 1: firmware located in eMMC or SD card, with:

  • alternate 1 (alt=1) for SPL partition (GPT partition 1)

  • alternate 2 (alt=2) for U-Boot partition (GPT partition 2)

The U-Boot configuration is:

U-Boot> env set dfu_alt_info "spl part 0 1;u-boot part 0 2"

U-Boot> dfu 0 mmc 0 list
DFU alt settings list:
dev: eMMC alt: 0 name: spl layout: RAW_ADDR
dev: eMMC alt: 1 name: u-boot layout: RAW_ADDR

Boot> dfu 0 mmc 0

On the Host side:

list the available alternate setting:

$> dfu-util -l
dfu-util 0.9

Copyright 2005-2009 Weston Schmidt, Harald Welte and OpenMoko Inc.
Copyright 2010-2016 Tormod Volden and Stefan Schmidt
This program is Free Software and has ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY
Please report bugs to http://sourceforge.net/p/dfu-util/tickets/

Found DFU: [0483:5720] ver=0200, devnum=45, cfg=1, intf=0, path="3-1.3.1", \
   alt=1, name="u-boot", serial="003A00203438510D36383238"
Found DFU: [0483:5720] ver=0200, devnum=45, cfg=1, intf=0, path="3-1.3.1", \
   alt=0, name="spl", serial="003A00203438510D36383238"

To download to U-Boot, use -D option

$> dfu-util -a 0 -D u-boot-spl.bin
$> dfu-util -a 1 -D u-boot.bin

To upload from U-Boot, use -U option

$> dfu-util -a 0 -U u-boot-spl.bin
$> dfu-util -a 1 -U u-boot.bin

To request a DFU detach and reset the USB connection:
$> dfu-util -a 0 -e  -R

Example 2: firmware located in NOR (sf) and NAND, with:

  • alternate 1 (alt=1) for SPL partition (NOR GPT partition 1)

  • alternate 2 (alt=2) for U-Boot partition (NOR GPT partition 2)

  • alternate 3 (alt=3) for U-Boot-env partition (NOR GPT partition 3)

  • alternate 4 (alt=4) for UBI partition (NAND GPT partition 1)

U-Boot> env set dfu_alt_info \
"sf 0:0:10000000:0=spl part 0 1;u-boot part 0 2; \
u-boot-env part 0 3&nand 0=UBI partubi 0,1"

U-Boot> dfu 0 list

DFU alt settings list:
dev: SF alt: 0 name: spl layout: RAW_ADDR
dev: SF alt: 1 name: ssbl layout: RAW_ADDR
dev: SF alt: 2 name: u-boot-env layout: RAW_ADDR
dev: NAND alt: 3 name: UBI layout: RAW_ADDR

U-Boot> dfu 0
$> dfu-util -l
Found DFU: [0483:5720] ver=9999, devnum=96, cfg=1,\
   intf=0, alt=3, name="UBI", serial="002700333338511934383330"
Found DFU: [0483:5720] ver=9999, devnum=96, cfg=1,\
   intf=0, alt=2, name="u-boot-env", serial="002700333338511934383330"
Found DFU: [0483:5720] ver=9999, devnum=96, cfg=1,\
   intf=0, alt=1, name="u-boot", serial="002700333338511934383330"
Found DFU: [0483:5720] ver=9999, devnum=96, cfg=1,\
   intf=0, alt=0, name="spl", serial="002700333338511934383330"

Same example with MTD backend

U-Boot> env set dfu_alt_info \
   "mtd nor0=spl part 1;u-boot part 2;u-boot-env part 3&"\
   "mtd nand0=UBI partubi 1"

U-Boot> dfu 0 list
using id 'nor0,0'
using id 'nor0,1'
using id 'nor0,2'
using id 'nand0,0'
DFU alt settings list:
dev: MTD alt: 0 name: spl layout: RAW_ADDR
dev: MTD alt: 1 name: u-boot layout: RAW_ADDR
dev: MTD alt: 2 name: u-boot-env layout: RAW_ADDR
dev: MTD alt: 3 name: UBI layout: RAW_ADDR

Example 3

firmware located in SD Card (mmc) and virtual partition on OTP and PMIC not volatile memory

  • alternate 1 (alt=1) for scard

  • alternate 2 (alt=2) for OTP (virtual)

  • alternate 3 (alt=3) for PMIC NVM (virtual)

U-Boot> env set dfu_alt_info \
   "mmc 0=sdcard raw 0 0x100000&"\
   "virt 0=otp" \
   "virt 1=pmic"
U-Boot> dfu 0 list
DFU alt settings list:
dev: eMMC alt: 0 name: sdcard layout: RAW_ADDR
dev: VIRT alt: 1 name: otp layout: RAW_ADDR
dev: VIRT alt: 2 name: pmic layout: RAW_ADDR