GPIO Workshop Setup

How to setup the Dragonboard 410c for this workshop

Install Linux

The latest Linux build based on Debian 8.0 (aka jessie) is available from

There is also a great getting started guide over there also.

Change the keyboard layout

The above release has a US based keyboard configuration. If you need something different then use:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration

You will need to restart the Dragonboard if you change the keyboard configuration.

Load the libsoc GPIO library

Check that the correct and update packages are on the system.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install man-db
sudo apt-get install manpages manpages-dev
sudo apt-get install autoconf automake libtool
sudo apt-get install libpython-dev libpython3-dev
sudo apt-get install python-support
sudo apt-get install python3-tk
tar -zxvf 0.8.1.tar.gz
cd libsoc-0.8.1
./configure --enable-board=dragonboard410c --enable-python=3 |& tee py3_conf.log
make V=1 |& tee make.log
sudo make install
sudo ldconfig -v -N

One more library

The examples in this workshop use a library that attempts to remove some of the boilerplate code required to interact with the GPIO components in the kit. To install the libsoc_zero library.

sudo apt-get install python3-pip
pip3 install libsoc_zero


The PYTHONPATH needs to be updated to include the libsoc library. This is best done in the .bashrc in your home directory if you are using the default Linux install. Use your favourite editor. If you do not have one then leafpad ~/.bashrc is a good place to start. We are also going to set the architecture in the .bashrc also.

export PYTHONPATH="$PYTHONPATH:/usr/local/lib/python3.4/site-packages"
export ARCH=arm64
To interact with the GPIO Python scripts will need to be run as sudo. This means that super user needs
the PYTHONPATH environment variable set also. This will need to be done with a special command. To open for edit type sudo visudo

The line that you need to add is:

Defaults env_keep += "PYTHONPATH"

This has to be done using the vi editor. This can be a tricky editor for the casual user. Use the cursor keys to move around then press the i key to be able to start typing. Use ESC key to stop typing. To save and exit it is :wq key sequence. (If you get in mess then to quit without saving it is ESC followed by :q!

Installing Python Editor (IDE)

if you have a favourite editor and want to run your Python scripts from the command line then go ahead. If this is all new to use then maybe take a look at the default Python integrated development environment. To install.

sudo apt-get install idle3

As super user access is required for the GPIO then when you start the tool you will need to do sudo idle3 <file> Enter one of the examples elsewhere in this documentation and then select run. If you want to come back and run your files later without editing them then this can be done with sudo python3 <file>