Home > Linux, Rockchip RK30xx, Rockchip RK31xx, Rockchip RK32xx, Ubuntu > How to Upgrade Firmware for Rockchip RK3066/RK3188 Devices with the Command Line in Linux

How to Upgrade Firmware for Rockchip RK3066/RK3188 Devices with the Command Line in Linux

Previously I wrote an article entitled “How to Flash Rockchip RK3066 / RK3188 Firmware in Linux” explaining how to use a graphical tool called RkFlashKit to upgrade firmware on Rockchip devices using a Linux computer. This tool had some limitations, and it would just have a subset of features of RkAndroidTool (Windows), and it was not possible to flash “update.img” type of firmware which are often provided and flashed with RkBatchTool in Windows.

Luckily there’s now a command line tool called upgrade_tool that allows you to flash the “update.img” firmware files directly from Linux. I’ve already shown how to use it with Radxa Rock, but it’s buried with other instructions, so I’ve decided to make a separate post. This has been tested in Ubuntu 14.04 with Radxa Rock (RK3188) and Measy U2C (RK3066).

Ready? Let’s start by installing upgrade_tool in a terminal:

wget http://dl.radxa.com/rock/tools/linux/Linux_Upgrade_Tool_v1.16.zip
unzip Linux_Upgrade_Tool_v1.16.zip

Installation is now complete. You could also choose to add it to your PATH.

Now download the firmware for your device, let’s call it “android-5.0_rk3xxx.img”, and enter recovery more in your device. This is usually done by connecting a USB to micro USB cable between the OTG port of your device and your PC, and press a “recovery” or “reset” button on your device with a sharp object (e.g. toothpick) and turning on the device.

Now complete the firmware upgrade with the two command below:

sudo ./upgrade_tool lf
sudo ./upgrade_tool uf android-5.0_rk3xxx.img

Done. It’s that easy. Now just restart your device to boot the new firmware.

The full output during the firmware update procedure should look like:

$ sudo ./upgrade_tool lf
 Lower Format Device,total(2048),current(2044)
 Lower Format Device OK.
 $ sudo ./upgrade_tool uf android-5.0_rk3xxx.img
 Loading firmware...
 Support Type:RK30 FW Ver:5.0.02 FW Time:2014-11-27 17:19:47
 Loader ver:3.23 Loader Time:2014-10-03 18:08:37
 Upgrade firmware ok.

You can also flash individual files (parameter, boot.img, system.img, etc…) with upgrade_tool utility, as well as do some checks with the NAND flash. More details can be found in linux_upgrade_tool_v1.16_help(Chinese).pdf in the zip file used for installation.

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  1. May 25th, 2014 at 18:34 | #1

    real good point of upgrade_tool is, it can do low level things (e.g. loading/flashing bootloader even on mask rom mode) as like as RK tools for Windows.

    (btw, update.img can be unpacked very easily, it’s not weak point of other open source tools)

  2. adem
    May 26th, 2014 at 15:03 | #2

    sudo ./upgrade_tool lf
    sudo ./upgrade_tool android-5.0_rk3xxx.img

    is wrong it should be

    sudo ./upgrade_tool lf
    sudo ./upgrade_tool UF android-5.0_rk3xxx.img

  3. May 26th, 2014 at 15:04 | #3

    @adem
    Sorry about that, and thanks for reporting the error. I’ve updated the post.

  4. adem
    May 26th, 2014 at 20:39 | #4

    its cool dude i did it following you post but then i got the error then it said to type ./upgrade_tool -h for a list of commands that’s how i figured it out.

  5. Linuxium
    May 26th, 2014 at 20:50 | #5

    I’d recommend to use ‘ef’ rather than ‘lf’. The ‘lf’ command formats NAND using the existing (loaded) bootloader but if you flash firmware based on a later bootloader (e.g. the Kitkat bootloader which introduces a new metadata partition) then without downloading the later bootloader first and formatting appropriately you will brick your device. So if you use ‘ef’ you will always download the bootloader in your image (as it is included as part of the build process) and then partition before downloading the partition contents. Only if you are confident in what you are doing should you use the ‘lf’ and ‘di’ commands or if you have instructions that are specifically written to use these commands.

  6. May 28th, 2014 at 22:07 | #6

    Any sources for this tool?

  7. May 28th, 2014 at 22:10 | #7

    @zoobab
    If I recall correctly it has been released as part of Rockchip SDK as binary only

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