Updated Qi bootloader for SmartQ 5


This release has some fixes and helpful changes for debugging. But remember that it is experimental and unsupported code, so be careful. Source code and binaries are here:


The kernel is also updated. It is recommended to use the kernel and modules included in that directory as it has been modified to show Linux console messages on the screen (very useful for locating and fixing problems). To install the bootloader, follow the instructions of the previous release.

When booting, it shows a very short red light, followed by a short yellow, followed by green light. If green light is reached, it means that the bootloader has finished its job and Linux is booting. If you are using my modified kernel, you should see the boot messages from this point. This is the meaning of the LED lights:

Blinking red LED should mean that the battery is too low, but it is not implemented yet.

Photos of the boot messages and Mer distribution running from SD card:

SmartQ 5 - Linux console messagesMer distribution on SmartQ 5

If you are interested in cooperating with the Mer project please join to the #mer channel at irc.freenode.net.

Filed under: Embedded, Software — Tags:


  1. Comment by Bob Wolfe

    2009-06-13 @ 03:33

    I have upgraded qi and kernel to your 0612 version, holding ALT key and press POWERON, the led is green, and goes red, then dark. I have to press RESET to power off.

    I dump the final 512KB of my 8G SDHC and check with qi binary, 16S + 1016S + 16S + 2S, it seems right.

    I wonder if the qi be loadded?


  2. Comment by Roberto

    2009-06-13 @ 12:33

    Green/red is very weird, I can’t say for sure but it seems it is loading from internal memory. Verify that you are holding the second button from right.

    Anyways, there are people who have problems to boot. I don’t have all hardware combinations, my SD is not SDHC (it may be the cause), and someone reported a problem with older MMC cards too, so it seems it should be updated to support different card types.

  3. Comment by Bob Wolfe

    2009-06-15 @ 06:49

    Hi roberto, finally it works on SDHC, here is the patch :

    — install-smartq-qi.sh.old 2009-06-15 12:42:54.000000000 +0800
    +++ install-smartq-qi.sh 2009-06-15 12:40:24.000000000 +0800
    @@ -57,5 +57,8 @@
    dd if="$bootloader1" of="$device" bs=512 \
    seek=$(($device_sectors – $bootloader1_sectors – $sdhc_offset – $padding)) \
    +dd if="$bootloader2" of="$device" bs=512 \
    + seek=$(($device_sectors – $sdhc_offset – $bootloader2_sectors – $bootloader1_sectors – $padding)) \
    + count=$bootloader2_sectors

    echo "==== Done! ===="



  4. Comment by Roberto

    2009-06-15 @ 10:34

    Oh, I thought that duplicating the first bootloader in the shdc offset was enough, good find! thank you.

    Reserve now at least 2050 blocks at the end of the card.

  5. Comment by Hicro

    2009-06-22 @ 14:53

    I followed the usage, but it seems not work. Smart Q5 stop at red light stage and the screen turn black.
    I used sdhc card and modified it according to Bob's patch.and I used fdisk to create partitions,then format it and create boot folder and copy /boot/linux-SMDK6410.bin into it.but it didn't work.

  6. Comment by Raon

    2009-07-10 @ 20:36

    Hi, what would I have to do to get this to work with Q7? I'm over at http://www.smartqmid.com/phpBB3/index.php

    Many thanks,

  7. Comment by Roberto

    2009-07-10 @ 22:27

    People reported that it works with Q7, though buttons and LED colors may be different. You will also need a kernel compiled for the Q7.

  8. Comment by Raon

    2009-07-11 @ 20:11

    Thats excellent news, thanks.

    I have the Q7 kernel installed on my ubuntu box, I guess it needs to be cross-compiled for the armv6el architechture?

    Can't wait to boot from SD!


  9. Comment by Vipul Bhandari

    2009-07-24 @ 10:02

    Let's say I just downloaded the new Mer 0.15 image which I want to install on an SD card. How do I do it ?

  10. Comment by Roberto

    2009-10-23 @ 17:44

    Yes, the script in the download directory is updated and now it includes the SDHC patch: install-smartq-qi.sh

  11. Comment by Jeff Williams

    2009-10-23 @ 17:15

    I notice that your "install-smartq-qi.sh" file was modified 14-OCT-09 and I wondered if that meant it was modified to include Bob's patch for SDHC? I'm too much of a newb to tell from the contents of the file. Thanks and Great work!

  12. Comment by ~ㄚ昌~

    2009-11-02 @ 07:17

    is possible boot from fat partition?
    thus can boot wince image…

  13. Comment by ianknight1991

    2009-11-25 @ 04:25

    Furthermore, can it support ext4? It's so much faster than ext3 (and I imagine this could improve performance).


  14. Comment by Silvio

    2009-12-11 @ 14:13

    Would it be possible to write boot image from original ubuntu firmware, so to flash internal storage by bootig from sd-card?

  15. Comment by carloB

    2010-05-12 @ 21:58

    I used your bootloader on SmartQ 5 and all went smooth and easy. Thank you very much.
    I would like to keep two OS on the same card. Is it possible to use qi-smart for this?
    BTW: I love your no-splash kernel, but I use Chronolytics 5.9.2 as my first OS. I would like both. Is it possible?

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Alone in the Light


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