This time, I was able to get video, but it was
cropped around all the edges significantly. I was
unable to see the first five or six characters of the
text that was streaming during bootup.
The issues with the converter and the
television led to my first unexpected expense: a
new monitor with HDMI input. Fortunately, Fry’s
had one on sale. It was a little larger than I was
hoping for, but it was less than $100, so I went
ahead and bought it. While I was there, I went
ahead and picked up a USB3 hub knowing I
would need it for use with the Zed camera later.
With the new monitor, I was able to see the
While on the topic of hardware issues, there
is also the matter of the keyboard/mouse. This is
probably not related to the actual install since it
was not an issue with the re-Flash (more on that
later). The Logitech wireless keyboard/touchpad
did not initially work with the board. I had to use a wired
mouse and keyboard through the aforementioned USB hub.
So, something to keep in mind.
Jetpack is not installed directly onto the Jetson board.
It is actually installed through another host machine onto
the TX1. To install Jetpack, you will need to do so from a
full independent installation of Ubuntu 14.04. And by
independent I mean you can’t install it from a VM (virtual
machine). It has to be an actual machine. I spent several
hours trying to get it to run within a VM, including
installing Virtualbox on my Windows 10 machine but, in the
end, it was nothing but frustration.
So, next I turned to my laptop running Ubuntu 12.04.
There I had many of the same frustrations. I just could not
get the installer to run. I put a fresh install of Ubuntu 14.04
onto the machine and had the same issue. It turns out the
problem was me and my very poor understanding of Linux.
In order to run the Jetpack installer, you have to precede
the filename with a dot-slash ( ./ ) in the execute line.
I am not going to go over the whole installation
process here since it is well covered on several websites.
The instructions I used are available at the URL listed below.
However, there are some things you will need to know
going into it:
• You will need a developer account to download the
package. These are free. Nvidia just wants to know who is
accessing their files.
• The Jetpack is not installed directly on the Jetson
board. You will instead be installing the Jetpack on a host
Ubuntu Linux 14.04 host system. In my case, I was using a
laptop which I have set aside specifically for my robotics
experiments and development.
• As stated above, you cannot install Jetpack from a
VM. For you Windows users, it’s a bit of a pain, but if
you’re going to be playing around in this more advanced
robotics space, you’re going to have to learn Linux anyway.
Bite the bullet, get a cheap refurbished laptop, and install
Ubuntu on it.
• Be sure you are connecting both the host system and
the Jetson board via Ethernet cable to the same
router/network. Jetson installation will fail if you try to use
• Make sure the version of Jetpack is compatible with
your chosen hardware. You’re going to find — at least at
the time of this writing — the newest bleeding-edge version
may not have the driver and software support you need. I
ended up having to roll back from JetPack 2. 2 for L4T to
JetPack 2.1 for L4T because 64-bit support just wasn’t
where it needed to be. The latest version may have fixed
this, but at the time it was an issue.
During the setup, I ran into an issue where the host
system could not find the Jetson on the network. Jetpack
installation is a multi-stage process. Once it has Ubuntu
installed, it will restart the board and attempt to connect to
it via Ethernet. For some reason, on my first pass, the host
failed to capture the IP for the Jetson. If this happens to
you, reset the Jetson and boot it into the GUI. The user is
“ubuntu” and the password is “ubuntu” by default. Once
in, connect to your router as normal, then use:
~$: sudo ifconfig
to find your IP address. Back on the host machine, run the
installation again. It will skip everything that was done and
take you to the point it tried to connect to the Jetson.
When the system fails to find the IP address, select to
manually set it. This will bring up a new dialog box where
you enter the target’s IP, user, and password. It may take a
couple minutes to connect, so let it do what it’s going to
do. Once it finds it, the installation will continue.
Now, with all my warnings and life lessons out of the
SERVO 01.2017 51
Installing the Jetson Jetpack.