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As part of any sizable software development project, the need
to perform repetitive testing and debugging tasks is a common routine. As part of a project to develop custom OS
runtime image for a target device, deploying OS runtime image onto the target
device for testing and debugging is one of the repetitive tasks. Without the tool to download the OS runtime
image to the target device, it’s tedious and time consuming to have to manually
transfer the image onto the device for each test and debug session.
Compact 2013 provides an efficient development environment
that enables you to download OS runtime image, generated from the OS design
project, directly from the Visual Studio IDE to the target device for testing
and debugging. In addition, the Compact
2013 development environment also provide a suite of tools to remotely debug
the OS runtime image as the image execute on the device.
In part-3 of this Compact 2013 getting started series, we will
work through the steps to establish connectivity to download OS runtime image
to the target device, using an 86Duino EduCake as target device and remotely debug
A target device has to be configured with a mechanism or
bootloader to launch OS runtime image from its local storage.
To establish connectivity between the Visual Studio 2013 (VS2013)
IDE and EduCake to Download OS runtime image, the EduCake needs to be
configured with BIOSLoader (Bootloader) to launch Eboot (Ethernet bootloader).
BIOSLoader is a bootloader for device built with processor
based on the x86 architecture, such as Intel, AMD and Vortex86EX. The 86Duino EduCake is built with Vortex86EX, a low-power System-on-Chip
based on x86 architecture.
BIOSLoader can be used to:
Launch Compact 2013 OS runtime image from a
target device’s local storage.
Launch Eboot, an Ethernet bootloader, from a
target device’s local storage.
Eboot is an Ethernet bootloader. When launched by BIOSLoader, Eboot establishes
connectivity with Visual Studio IDE and initiate the process to download OS
runtime image from an active OS design project onto the target device. Eboot can be configured to work with a static
IP address or acquires IP address dynamically from an DHCP server.
The EduCake can be configured to boot from USB and SD flash
storage. Both USB and SD flash storage
can be format and configured with BIOSLoader and Eboot.bin, using Diskprep.
For the exercises in this getting started series, we will use
an SD flash storage card.
Here are the steps to format and configure an SD flash storage
(These same steps apply to USB flash storage):
Insert the SD flash storage to the
SD slot on the PC or use an SD-to-USB adapter.
After the PC detected the SD flash
storage, launch DiskPrep with elevated privilege.
From DiskPrep program screen,
select SD flash from Disk Selection, as shown in Fig-01.
Select file system.
Click on Browse, next to the “Load
specific image file copied from” option, and navigate to locate and select
(Eboot.bin is included in the 86Duino_80B BSP, in the
Click on OK to format and
configure the SD flash storage.
To establish connectivity and download OS runtime image from
VS2013 IDE to the target device, both the development PC and target device must
be attached to the same Local Area Network, with IP addresses on the same
For the example here, the EduCake and development PC are both
attached to the same Local Area Network with DHCP service to provide IP address
dynamically, as shown in Fig-02.
Fig-02: Development PC
and EduCake attached to the same LAN
As part of the development process, we need to establish
connectivity and download OS runtime image to the target device repeatedly for debugging
While we can select TARGET
| Attach Device option from the VS2013 IDE to download OS image to the
target device, without preconfigured device profile, this process goes through
the steps to detect, identify and associate the device with the project for
every download. By creating a target
device profile, we can avoid the steps to detect and identify the device when downloading
OS runtime image to the device.
Let’s go through the following steps, using MyOSDesign project
from part-2 of this series, to create a target device profile for the EduCake:
With MyOSDesign project open, from
the VS2013 IDE, select TARGET |
Connectivity Options to bring up the Target Device Connectivity Options
screen, as shown in Fig-03.
Fig-03: Target Device
Click on Add Device
Enter EduCake as the name for the
device and click Add.
On the Target Device Connectivity Options
screen, click on the top most Settings button, for Kernel Download, to bring up
the Ethernet Download Settings screen, as shown in Fig-04.
With the Ethernet Download
Settings screen waiting for BOOTME messages from the target device, power on
As BIOSLoader launches Eboot.bin
on EduCake, it broadcasts a series of BOOTME messages, via UDP over the
As the Ethernet Download Settings
screen deteced the BOOTME message from EduCake, it display device ID from the
EduCake, as shown in Fig-05.
Fig-05: Target device
From the Ethernet Download Settings screen, click on the device ID in the
Active target device window to select the device and click Apply.
From the Target Device
Connectivity Options screen, click Close.
From the VS2013 IDE, click on Device
selection list box and select EduCake as the target device, as shown in Fig-06.
Fig-06: Select EduCake
as target device.
With the EduCake and development machine both attached to the
same LAN with DHCP service to provide IP address dynamically, insert the SD flash
storage configured with BIOSLoader and Eboot.bin into EduCake, and go through
the following steps to download OS runtime image generated from MyOSDesign project
From VS2013 IDE, select TARGET | Attach Device to start the
download process and bring up the Device Status screen, as shown in Fig-07.
Fig-07: Target device
Power on the EduCake.
As Eboot.bin is launched by
BIOSLoader on the EduCake, it broadcasts a series of BOOTME messages.
As BOOTME message is detected the download
process starts and download activity is shown on the Device Status screen, as
shown in Fig-08.
Fig-08: Target device
status – Downloading OS runtime image
The OS runtime image from MyOSDesign project is generated with
KITL enabled. KITL is needed to
establish connectivity and remotely debug the OS image running on the target
device. Remote tools provided as part of
the Compact 2013 Platform Builder also require KITL to function. With KITL enabled, as the OS runtime image
launches on the EduCake, the Output window on the VS2013 IDE display activities
from EduCake, as shown in Fig-09.
Fig-09: Target device
For headless device, without display or user interface,
Compact 2013 provides the following useful debugging tools to simplify the
tasks needed to debug OS runtime image on the target device remotely:
In this section, let’s use Target Control to debug OS image on
the EduCake. With MyOSDesign project
open and OS runtime image downloaded to EduCake, go through the following steps
to launch Target Control and debug OS image running on EduCake:
From VS2013 IDE, select TARGET | Target Control to launch the
Windows CE Command Prompt, as shown in Fig-10.
Fig-10: Windows CE
Think of the Windows CE Command Prompt (Target Control) window
as the remote command prompt for the connected target device, where you can
launch command to interrogate the device and application included as part of
the OS runtime image.
Let’s go through the following steps to run different Target
From the Windows CE Command Prompt
window, enter the following command to retrieve the target device’s IP address:
In the above command, the “/d” parameter redirect the
output to the VS2013 IDE’s Output tab, as shown in Fig-11:
Fig-10: Target control –
Retrieve IP address from target device
Next, enter the following command
to display active processes on the target device:
As the above command execute, it lists the processes that
are running on the target device, as shown in Fig-11.
Fig-11: Target Control –
List of running processes from target device
For more information about target control, visit the following
As you can see from the exercises above, Compact 2013 provides
an efficient development environment that greatly simplify the tasks to
establish connectivity and download OS runtime image to a real target device for
testing and debugging. After the initial
setup, all subsequence repetitive to download the OS runtime image to the
target device is just a click away.
In part-4 of this getting started series, we will work through
the steps to develop application for Compact 2013 device and deploy the
application onto the device for testing and debug.
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