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Written: 2022-04-03

Hand-rolling QorIQ PBL blobs

If you're anything like me you might find yourself up a creek trying to tweak NXP/Freescale QorIQ RCW values on a TF-A system. In such a case, unless you're building U-Boot with OpenWRT or Yocto, you'll have to manually roll a new PBL with bundled TF-A before you can boot.

I'm writing this as a reminder to myself of the steps required, after having reverse-engineered them from online documentation and OpenWRT's build process.

Step 1: Build or obtain a U-Boot binary

The QorIQ platform is fairly well supported in mainline U-Boot, and it Just Works™ using the various defconfigs:

export CROSS_COMPILE=aarch64-linux-gnu-
make ls1043ardb_defconfig

This should spit out a u-boot.bin.

Step 2: Compile your RCW

If you're reading this, you've already discounted the idea of using CodeWarrior and QCVS. There is still hope. NXP Provides a Python tool which can compile text representations of RCWs into binary. It also provides a fair few example RCWs to get you started.

git clone

Pick an RCW for your platform, and edit it as necessary, finally compiling it with make or make -C <platform>.

Step 3: Bring it all together

The QorIQ ATF is open source:

git clone

Build it, and build your U-Boot plus firmware into a single PBL. Tweak the various parameters as you see fit. I built for the LS1043ARDB booting from SD card:

export CROSS_COMPILE=aarch64-linux-gnu-
make pbl \
    PLAT=ls1043ardb \
    BOOT_MODE=sd \
    RCW=~/path/to/rcw/ls1043ardb/RR_FQPP_1455/rcw_1600_sdboot.bin \

You should now have a bl2_sd.pbl which can be burned onto your boot media. E.g. for SD card on the LS1s:

dd if=./build/<platform>/release/bl2_sd.pbl of=/dev/whatever bs=512 seek=8

Happy booting!