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First steps



This article explains the first steps into the world of GNUBLIN. It shows how to assemble all components, how to configure your Host OS and how to start the board. The first experiment is to toggle the red LED on the board.


Optionally you can watch this little video for your first start: LINK

unpack, assemble and start ...

First unpack the Gnublin board with all components delivered. The following table lists all the components.

Foto Component Pieces
Alternativer Text Gnublin Board (+ SD-Card) 1
Usb-cable.jpg MINI-USB-CABLE 1
Pin2.jpg Pin Header 2-pole 1
Pin3.jpg Pin Header 3-pole 1
Pin2x3.jpg Double-Pin Header 3-pole 1
Jumper.jpg Jumper 2
Klemme.jpg 2 pole screw-type terminal 2

Assemble instructions

For the following steps you will need a solder iron and some solder equipment. Start with the pin headers (2-pole or 3-pole)

Next step is to solder the screw-type terminal. make sure that the terminals are plugged into each other. (small notches on the side of the terminals)


Attention! Please make sure that the Connectors are pointing away from the board not to the board.

Schraubklemmen platine.png


Now we are one step ahead of booting the Gnublin board the first time. The following graphic is showing you the connection between your Host machine and the Gnublin board:

Gnublin verdrahtung.png

Plugin the USB cable to your host machine. There are two main reasons why to do so:

  • Power supply over USB
  • Terminal for operating-system access

Gnublin is an autonomous mini-pc with Linux as operating system. You need a terminal to interact with the board and to run some programs. A very easy terminal is a serial terminal with which we can interact with our board. There is a USB to serial converter onboard which let us communicate with the Gnublin board.

This are our next steps for the startup process:

  • Power supply
  • Installing the terminal program on your host machine
  • First examples with Gnublin

1. Power supply

If you have'nt already connect the Gnublin board to your host machine, then do so. The correct USB connector is the one with RS232 printed above the connector. The green LED should flash up. If it does not flash up, then it is possible that the jumper J4 for the power supply is plugged wrong. Right below the RS232 USB connector you can find a jumper with "EXT" and "INT". If the jumper is plugged in to bridge "EXT" your power supply will be an external power supply (screw-type terminal -> IN EXT 7-12V). If the jumper is plugged in to bridge "INT" you will have power supply over the USB port of your host machine.

Anschluss gnublin platine.png

2. Terminal program

Depending on your host machines operating system you should install a terminal program like it is described in one of the following articles:

If you have installed the terminal program and configured with the correct settings (baudrate, number of data-bits, etc) you should see the Gnublin operating system in your terminal.

3. The first startup

The terminal output is always the same, no matter which operating system your host machine is running. There is a bunge of text scrolling through your terminal, this is the kernel booting the operating system on Gnublin.

Here is what happens: The first step is the bootloader (apex) copying the Linux image from the SD-Card into the RAM. After this the kernel will be booted with special parameters. Now the necessary drivers and modules will be loaded and after this the root filesystem will be participated and initialized. After this happened, you can login to your Gnublin board with the username root


After this you can use the operating system as user root.

Willkommen gnublin.png

The next steps to your first demo application are explained here

Shutdown the System

In order to shutdown the system properly use this command:

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