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The devirginator is a program that can be used in combination with dfu-util, OpenOCD and Debug Board to completely (factory-re-)program a phone from scratch.


Source code

The source code of devirginator is available at


NOTE: This is derived from rev. 1215 and might be outdated

Quick start


% cp config.example config

and may changes as needed. In particular, you must set SNAPSHOT. Then

% make

This requires Netpbm and transfig. Finally, make sure that openocd runs, power the device up, become root, and run

# ./devirginate


The device must be connected to:

  • JTAG, with an interface supported by OpenOCD (required for all stages)
  • USB, connected to the machine running "devirginate" (only required for stage 2 and beyond)

Furthermore, if a serial console is connected to the device, installation progress can be monitored.

The following programs are needed:


  • dfu-util must be accessible from the machine running "devirginate". If dfu-util is not in PATH, you can set an explicit path in "config".

To build dfu-util, do this:

cd $OMDIR/openmoko/trunk/src/host/dfu-util


OpenOCD SVN revision 130 with libftdi 0.8 is known to work. Other combinations may also work. The following patch is required:

For build instructions, see

 If you're using the version of OpenOCD built by the Openmoko
 distribution (SVN revision 1180 or later), the patch is already

To use the OpenOCD built by the MokoMakefile:

 cd $OMDIR
 make openmoko-devel-tools
 export PATH=$OMDIR/tmp/staging/i686-linux/bin:$PATH
 export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$OMDIR/build/tmp/staging/i686-linux/lib


Furthermore, "devirginate" requires telnet.

netpbm, transfig, wget, perl

"" can be run from a different machine sharing the same file system hierarchy. It requires Netpbm, transfig, wget, and Perl.


The devirginator first needs to be set up. This includes

  • downloading binaries for u-boot, kernel, etc.
  • generating/converting various files used during the setup process

At the moment, the setup must be done in the directory containing all files belonging to the devirginator. The files generated during setup are stored in the directory tmp/. The files in tmp/ are also used during devirgination.

First, copy config.example to "config" and make the necessary changes. Almost all settings have reasonable defaults, but the least thing you will have to do is set SNAPSHOT to the date code of the snapshot you desire.

Next, run either ./ or just make . will now download any missing files, and perform the various conversions. If any error occur during this, e.g., because of missing tools or a configuration error, will stop with an error. You then have to correct the problem and retry. Files already downloaded to tmp/ will be skipped in the retry ( will still probe if they have changed). also checks if executables used during devirgination are available and prints a warning if it finds anything missing. In general, one can run on a different machine than "devirginate", in which case these warnings can be ignored.



  • -Provides the function crc32, which computes the IEEE CRC-32. This script is used by other Perl scripts, with "do".

User configuration

Static configuration files

The following files contain scripts and other "static" configuration information that is used in the devirgination process. In general, it is only necessary to edit these files when changing functionality of the setup process.

Each of these files is converted in some way by Below, we indicate the name of the respective resulting file after the arrow.

  • -> tmp/script.ocd

Commands to execute by OpenOCD in phase 0. To perform variable expansion, each line of this file is processed by the shell with eval "echo $line". Due to this, shell meta-characters should be avoided.

If changing any addresses in, you also need to update

  • -> tmp/u-boot.out

Commands to execute in u-boot during stage 0. This file is converted to an image understood by u-boot, and then executed from memory with u-boot's "autoscr" command.

  • -> tmp/environment

Environment settings for the regular u-boot environment. Note that the changes in this file are made on top of the interim environment produced in stage 0. In particular, the "mtdparts" variable is retained from that stage.

Long lines can be split in by simply indenting the continuation. Note that the newline and the indentation are replaced with one space. E.g.,


would yield foo=some thing

  • smiley.fig -> tmp/smiley.gz

The stage 0 splash screen, a smiling face on a green background.

Download cache

  • tmp/System_boot.png -> tmp/splash.gz

This is a copy of the Openmoko logo, which then gets converted to a gzip-ed raw framebuffer image.

  • tmp/openmoko-devel-image-*.rootfs.jffs2
  • tmp/lowlevel_foo-*.bin
  • tmp/u-boot-*.bin
  • tmp/uImage-*.bin
  • tmp/env.old
  • tmp/
  • tmp/preboot_override
  • tmp/preboot_override.noscrub
  • tmp/preboot_override.scrub


The first few messages should look like this:

Open On-Chip Debugger
> script /home/moko/om/trunk/src/host/devirginator/tmp/script.ocd
reset halt
waiting for target halted...
Target 0 halted
target halted in ARM state due to debug request, current mode: Supervisor
cpsr: 0x400000d3 pc: 0x00000000

The "pc: 0x00000000" is important. If the number is different, e.g., something like "pc: 0xffffffed", the device is probably not turned on. In this case, you can try to restart, or, if openocd is stuck,

  • kill openocd
  • pull and then replace the USB plug of the JTAGkey or debug v2 board
  • start openocd


The setup process is divided into three stages (plus a special zero stage, see below). Each stage leaves the device in a stable state. An installation run can include all or only some stages. Each stage requires successful completion of all previous ones.

  • Stage 1: erases all previous NAND content, installs u-boot, and makes the device ready to receive further updates by DFU.
  • Stage 2: installs Linux and the root file system.
  • Stage 3: To be defined.

Note that you most likely require privileges for some of the USB operations "devirginate" performs. Therefore, do all this as "root".

To perform all stages, run

# ./devirginate

from the trunk/src/host/devirginator/ directory.

To run only individual stages, specify the stage numbers, each prefixed by "-", e.g.,

# ./devirginate -1

Stage 0

If the NAND bad block table is invalid, it can be erased at the beginning of stage 1. We call this "stage 0".

In general, this is not a desirable option, because if the last NAND blocks are defective, this information will be lost, and unreliable operation may result. By default, stage 0 is not performed.

Stage 1

Immediately after starting, the screen lights up, showing random junk. This is an indication that the setup process has started. Note that the screen content may change ("decay") during all this. This is normal.

After 10-30 seconds, the screen will go dark. This indicates that we now a have u-boot running on the device.

About 60-90 seconds later, the screen will light up again and show a smiling face on a green background. This indicates that the first stage has completed. The smiling face will appear each time you activate the device.

The device now contains:

  • a bad block table (BBT)
  • u-boot, with DFU capability
  • a basic set of u-boot environment variables
  • the interim splash screen

What is still missing:

  • the Linux kernel
  • the root file system
  • the final environment
  • the final splash screen

Stage 2

To begin phase 2, activate the device. The stage 1 smiley will show.

Phase 2 can take several minutes. Progress of the download procedure is indicated by hash signs (#) printed on the terminal where "devirginate" runs.

At the end of phase 2, the device resets, displays a partial Openmoko splash screen, then resets again, displays the correct splash screen and finally boots Linux.

Stage 3


Reflashing the neo1973 manually

This is how to manually do the above. It may be outdated, perhaps dangerously so. Manually_re-flashing_the_u-boot

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