XBMC for utilite (CEC support included)

Utilite device

I have already alluded to utilite devices several times (at least here, here and here).

The utilite pro is definitively the best i.MX6 device I currently own for several reasons :

  • It is based on the powerful i.MX6Q with 2Gib of RAM
  • The bootloader is in a dedicated SPI NOR flash (so it is always available)
  • It includes a SanDisk SSD U100 drive which is just a sdcard killer
  • It provides 2 Gbps Ethernet interfaces (one of it being the standard imx6 ENET interface and the other a PCIe intel I211 controller).
  • It comes well packaged in a nice aluminum case (with power button) and accessories (wifi antenna + power supply + S/PDIF coax and uUSB to RS232 cables)
  • It also has an backed RTC (it may appear as a detail but is just another little asset for this product)

(it is worth mentioning that this product is based upon the embedded board cm-fx6 which is properly documented, especially schematics are available)

Some people would argue that it is expensive. Obviously it may seem to be the case when compared to a GK802 stick. But when you have a detailed look at the features, it is simply aligned with the price of comparable devices I guess…

XBMC for utilite

When I released my HardFloat XBMC image, I said I will also release an image for utilite.
So here it is ! This image is special : Not only does it provide my most recent XBMC build for iMX6, but it also features CEC as I mentioned in my previous post
You can download the image from this link – md5sum is cf4523d1e32ebd35faa5264abe3523fb.
Warning : I updated the image on the 30th of September 20:10 GMT because the included XBMC had an issue. Please check carefully your md5sum and download the image again if it is not the good one…

It is a sdcard image : That way you can try it without interfering with your SSD install (of course you will not benefit from the SSD that way but it is a safe and easy way to give a first try at my image)
To get it up and running :

  • Flash the sdcard and insert it in your device
  • Plug the serial line, configure it @115200n8 and power on your device
  • Stop the bootloader by pressing ESC
  • Issue the following commands :
setenv sdargs 'setenv bootargs console=ttymxc3,115200 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootwait video=mxcfb0:dev=hdmi,1920x1080@60,if=RGB24 consoleblank=0' 
setenv start_sd 'mw.l 0x20E0034 0x593A046 ; mmc dev 2 ; fatload mmc 2 0x10800000 uImage-cm-fx6 ; run sdargs ; bootm'
  • Then you can boot by issuing the command :
run start_sd

Please note that you will only have to issue the command :

run start_sd

to boot from the sdcard instead of the SSD during the next reboots …

Apart from this, you can refer to my previous post to get more info regarding this image…

16 thoughts on “XBMC for utilite (CEC support included)

  1. Pingback: i.MX6 CEC | Stephan's blog

  2. The news about CEC on the wandboard are really, really sad.
    I was really looking forward to this :/

    Are you still going to work on the wandboard (or maybe the difference between both plattforms is so minimal that this won’t be a problem once you release the source-code)?

    The wandboard is much cheaper for me (shipping, you seem to live in Europe so you know the problem) and I’d like to use a SATA HDD on my board… I dont mind the 470mbs (thats still enough).

    Thanks for everything you do! Without you there would be no hope for this plattform 🙂

    • Hi crux,

      Don’t worry most of my work can be used on any imx6 devices. As you guessed, the differences are not so big and my current RFS can actually run on gk802, wandboard dual/quad, utilite and even, it is a scoop, on the cubox-i carrier one board (http://imx.solid-run.com/wiki/index.php?title=Carrier-One_Hardware – Expect an article regarding this last board soon…)

      I do not aim a creating my own distro : My image is available only as a proof of concept so that users can benefit from my work by the time it is made available in most popular distros. Anyway, as long as it is the case, I can tell you that I will provide images for the boards/devices I own and I care (wandboard is still one of them 😉 )

      Regarding price, I think that the utilite pro device itself is not more expensive than a wandboard quad + PSU + enclosure + wifi antenna + SSD. (and you have a SPI flash for the bootloarder, a nicer enclosure, a RTC, a second real Gbps Ethernet and more USB connectors)

      But then come the shipping costs, you are right.
      Hopefully, some resellers (http://www.fit-pc.com/web/purchasing/resellers/) will add utilite in their catalog and leverage this real issue…

  3. I used the rootfs on gk802 and one thing I notice is that xbmc has 2 prosesses and when trying to exit xbmc it only stops one of the prosesses and hang on the other. So to get out I have to ssh into it and kill the other prosess to get out to the console.
    As I use the not patched CEC kernel I guess the CEC doesn’t work, but as I don’t have a CEC device to try on I can’t test when I get it patched. I can see that xbmc is compiled with CEC support as the module gets loaded 🙂

    I think it runs a bit smoother so the temp is 4-5C lower.


  4. I ordered a Utilite Pro too, hope to receive it soon. Now I see there is a XBMC SD Card Image. But the Utilite Pro has got a SDD so i wish to install XBMC on it. Is it even possible? If yes, how can I install XBMC on the SSD?

    • Hi Roland,
      First, be aware that I will release a new sd image very soon for utilite (a geeXboX image ready to use with all my latest improvements and the experience has really improved these last days…).
      For the SSD : Yes it is perfectly doable but I will publish the way to do it when compulab will release an installer tool (which will enable to install or restore any image easily on the SSD. They confirmed recently that they are working on it).
      Indeed, I don’t want to deal with users who turn angry because they cannot easily revert to their default install…
      But be sure that it is doable and you will be able to take full advantage of your fast SSD…

      Best regards

      • Hi Stephan

        Thank you so much for your answer. I’m feeling so much better now. Can’t wait to receive my Utilite Pro to test ur XBMC build.

        Keep up the good work!

        Regards, Roland

  5. Hi Stephan, like the others I wish to commend you for the excellent work. Too bad the manufacturers don’t take cec as seriously as you and others do.

    Is it possible to use the your driver an other elements outside of XBMC in that I want to simply send cec commands from a java or python program under Android while not running XBMC?

    Thank you.


    • Hi Ted,

      The driver can perfectly be used outside of XBMC.
      It basically enables to send and receive (with hw filtering on address you set by a specific ioctl) on the CEC bus. So if you want to implement your own stack you will be able to do so. You can also use libcec for your own need out of xbmc (I would even say in place of xbmc…)
      Best regards


  6. Have you ever tried Live TV with VU+ Client? I would like to know if this runs fluently even for HD TV Programs… With my Rasp I have a lot of shutters and freezes…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *