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The NVIDIA JetPack - Introduction

This guide is intended for developers who want to flash and set up the Nvidia Jetson Xavier boards (i.e., AXG, NX).

These units use a ConnectTech carrier board (Quark for the Xavier NX, Rogue for the AGX), so the preliminary instructions will be focused on that specific hardware.



  • x86 PC/laptop for downloading Jetpack and flashing the OS
  • USB-C to USB-A (or USB-C to USB-C) cable to connect the PC to the ConnecTech carrier
  • Power supply cable
  • Bench/System/ATE programmable DC power supply, capable of supplying 20V/2A
  • (optional) Ethernet cable to connect the Xavier to access it with SSH

To use the Xavier directly without SSHing into it: - HDMI cable to connect to an external display - USB mouse and keyboard


On the developer's host PC:

  • Ubuntu 18.04-20.04 (depending on the version of the JetPack)
  • Nvidia JetPack installed through SDK Manager (instructions below)
  • Xavier Connecttech BSP for the board_type board (e.g. AGX, NX) and JetPack jetpack_ver(e.g 4.4.2, 5.0.2). (Not required if you already have the image ready to flash)


Carrier hardware configuration

Make sure that the switches on the carrier are set like in the picture below, so that the unit can boot manually when pressing the power (PWR) button. DO NOT power on the unit until instructed.

Hardware connection

  1. Connect the carrier to the power supply through the provided cable, and set the power supply to 16V/2A.
  2. Keep the power supply OFF.
  3. Connect the HDMI cable, and the mouse/keyboard to the carrier.
  4. Use the USB-C cable to connect the PC to the OTG USB port on the carrier.

Flash a new image from scratch

If you need to install an new JetPack image from scratch please follow the following steps.

Jetpack setup on the host

  1. Download the Nvidia SDK manager from the official website by clicking Download Nvidia SDK Manager
  2. Run SDKManager and login with credentials, and follow these steps:
  3. Set the following options:
    • Target Hardware: Jetson Xavier board_type
    • Target operating system: Linux Jetpack jetpack_ver.
  4. Check that everything is selected and continue
  5. The SDKManager will ask the user password to download all the components and it will install them into a local folder on the host (~12Gb of free space required); remember: this is the password of the local Ubuntu host, not the Jetson Xavier.
  6. After the installation, the SDK Manager will be ready to flash the OS image on the Xavier; Do not preceed further! Press SKIP to abort the operation and quit from the SDK Manager
  7. Download the ConnectTech board support package from the official website: under Downloads click on the BSP you need, it will be downloaded as .tgz archive.
  8. At this point the sdkManager should have created a folder tree in ~/nvidia containing all the files needed for the flash. Copy the .tgz package downloaded from ConnectTech website into ~/nvidia/nvidia_sdk/JetPack_<jetpack_ver>_Linux_<board_type>/Linux_for_Tegra/
  9. Extract the BSP: tar -xzf CTI-<*>.tgz

Before flashing the image, we need first to put the board in recovery mode.

Booting the Xavier in Recovery mode

With the Nvidia Jetson Xavier AGX:

  1. Press the Force Recovery (FR) button on the carrier and keep it pressed
  2. Turn on the power supply (16V)
  3. Wait for several seconds, keeping the FR button pressed
  4. Press the power (PWR) button for at least one second. Wait for several seconds
  5. Release the FR button.

Now the board is programming mode.

With a Nvidia Jetson Xavier NX, instead, keep the button RST/RECOVERY pressed for several seconds and then, when released, the board will be in recovery mode.

In order to check that the board went in recovery mode, run on a terminal in the host

watch lsusb

The board is in recovery mode if it appears something like this

Flash the image

At this point we are ready to flash, in the host:

  1. Change into the CTI-L4T directory: cd ./CTI-L4T
  2. Run the install script (as root or sudo) to automatically install the BSP files to the correct locations: sudo ./

Here you can find the tutorial about the procedure by ConnectTech.

Verify the installation

After the reboot process, you should be greeted with the OS configuration wizard. After configuring the system, the Xavier should boot normally and be ready to use.

Post-flashing operations

Complete the OEM installation

After booting into the OS, follow the OEM installation with the following options:

  1. Accept the license agreement
  2. Select English language
  3. Select the English (US) keyboard layout
  4. Select the preferred time zone
  5. Set the user name to icub with the hostname icub-head-cam or ergocub with hostname ergocub-head, depending on the robot the board will be mounted on
  6. Allow login without password
  7. Let the installation process finish

After rebooting into the graphical OS, run the following commands in a terminal to update the system:

sudo apt install -f
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Install the Cuda libraries (OPTIONAL)

Usually the Jetpack flashing procedure takes care of installing the Cuda toolkit and libraries. If running the command nvcc --version returns Command not found, then you need to install them manually though apt.

For example Jetpack 4.5.1, which uses Cuda 10.2 do:

sudo apt install cuda-libraries-dev-10-1 cuda-nvcc-10-2

Then, within the .bashrc:

export CUDA_HOME=/usr/local/cuda-10.2
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/usr/local/cuda-10.2/lib64:/usr/local/cuda-10.2/extras/CUPTI/lib64
export PATH=$PATH:$CUDA_HOME/bin

Install the latest CMake version (MANDATORY only for Ubuntu 18.04)

The latest Robotology superbuild version requires CMake >= 3.12, but Ubuntu 18.04 only provides CMake 3.10, so it needs to be upgraded.

To download the latest version, first remove CMake with:

sudo apt purge --auto-remove cmake

Get a copy of the signing key:

wget -O - 2>/dev/null | gpg --dearmor - | sudo tee /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/kitware.gpg >/dev/null

Add the repository:

sudo apt-add-repository "deb $(lsb_release -cs) main"

Update the repo index and install CMake:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install cmake

Install librealsense with Cuda support (OPTIONAL)

librealsense is a cross-platform library provided by Intel that can be used to take advantage of the features of the Intel Realsense cameras. After installing the cuda libraries, we can make the Realsense camera use also the gpu resources for better performances, enabling the cuda support.

In a terminal, clone the official repo with:

git clone

Install the librealsense required development packages:

sudo apt install libssl-dev freeglut3-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev pkg-config libgtk-3-dev unzip -y

Install the udev rules (the librealsense kernel patching procedure does not work with recent Jetpack versions):

sudo cp config/99-realsense-libusb.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/
sudo udevadm control --reload-rules && sudo udevadm trigger

Now you are ready to compile librealsense with Cuda support:

cd librealsense
mkdir build && cd build
make -j2
sudo make install

For more information, refer to the official documentation provided in the repository.

Install jtop (OPTIONAL)

jtop (a.k.a jetson-stats) is a package for monitoring and control your NVIDIA Jetson boards.

For installing it:

sudo -H pip install -U jetson-stats

Create a backup image

For this step you need to have completed the steps about the sdkManager. Make sure that the Xavier was started in recovery mode and it is found with lsusb. On the host machine go to the Linux_for_Tegra folder and run:

cd ~/nvidia/nvidia_sdk/JetPack_<jetpack_ver>_Linux_<board_type>/Linux_for_Tegra
sudo ./ -r -k APP -G backup.img <board_identifier> mmcblk0p1

For example for flashing the NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX, board_identifier is jetson-xavier-nx-devkit-emmc.

Flashing a backup image

For this step you need to have completed the steps about the sdkManager and also have successfully backed up a Jetpack image following these steps.

cd ~/nvidia/nvidia_sdk/JetPack_<jetpack_ver>_Linux_<board_type>/Linux_for_Tegra
sudo mv bootloader/system.img* . #this save old image
sudo mv backup.img.raw bootloader/system.img #rename new image
sudo ./ -r jetson-xavier-nx-devkit-emmc mmcblk0p1