USB TestDrive - Panda

Belcarra supports a testing environment for testing Networking over USB protocols. This paper explains the Testdrive PandaBoard distribution (available here), how to install it and how to use it.


For some time now Belcarra has made available a USB test package system for the Gumstix Overo Earth and related boards. This package is ultimately based on the Angstrom system.

The goal of Testdrive Panda is to extend the project to newer systems using the TI Pandaboard. The decision was made to use Ubuntu instead of Angstrom because it’s possible to put a complete development system on board the distribution -- so if you want to test with an additional tool -- just load it on the board either with the package manager or in the worst case build it from source, all on the board, no cross-compilation needed.

However, another goal of the effort was to make this mostly unnecessary. For example, the standard network performance tool iperf is not part of the Ubuntu distro that we used, but we added a source for iperf to the package manager’s source list.

In addition to this, we customized the distro to use a more recent Linux kernel  with a customized configuration streamlined for USB testing.

Acquiring and Installing TestDrive-Panda

Testdrive Panda Features

Testdrive Panda is built on the Precise 10 Ubuntu distribution with some small customizations.

  • The language is specified as English and date format is US English
  • A custom Linux kernel rather that the one supplied in Precise 10, although the the original kernel is available
  • Text-based operation only -- via the serial port or via ssh
  • Simple scripts to load ECM NCM EEM modes with specified VID/PID pairs (Gadget)
  • iperf available (see above)
  • quick boot
  • a special user user called testdrive with no password that is in the sudo group --  and therefore has root privilege via the sudo command.

Installation steps

The steps below refer to various scripts, which are available separately from the TestDrive distro itself  in an SD tools package.

Acquire an SD card
The first install step is to get a new SD card, or one that can be reused.  The size should be 4GB or larger

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