Ubuntu Utopic for nvidia shield tv

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New member
Jun 2, 2016
A note to the enforced rebooting of 3.0 / 3.1 systems, a possible cause is,
in addition to the kernel config, the device tree configuration of the tegra watchdog timer. Since version 3.0 the timer´s heartbeat is set to 120 seconds.
Within this time interval the system software, e.g. systemd, has to send at least
one ping to the watchdog device, otherwise the system reboots after a hardware
reset. In order to avoid that with systemd, in /etc/systemd/system.conf the option RuntimeWatchdogSec must be set to a non-zero value, e.g. 40s :
(See man page of systemd-system.conf)
systemd will now send a ping to the hardware every 20 seconds.

Perfect, you saved my day! Now it runs stable and smooth. I had to tweak also /etc/resolv.conf from Xenial image to make networking work.

However, all kernels seem to be running single core only. /proc/cpuinfo reports only one processor. Is there any tweak to utilize all 8 cores of A57 & A53?


Senior Member
Sep 20, 2015
wow,interesting . I was not expecting Ubuntu on shield TV.
for the 500gb it is OK but for the 16gb I was more expecting chromium OS.
for the video acceleration I guess you will find something in some pixel c sources I hope.


Aug 27, 2016
Hi folks,

my apologies if this is not the right thread. Just received my brand new Shield. It automatically upgraded to 3.2. I have unlocked it. But whenever I try to do anything else fastboot related I get the "waiting for any device" message. adb devices works perfectly fine. I'm on a mac (tried it on linux too to no avail). Should I downgrade anything for it to work? What am I missing?

Thank you so much in advance!


Jul 4, 2015
current state ?

Whats the current state of this ubuntu "port" ?

I was not able to boot the images with the current 3.2 nvidia software installed.
After downgrading with the recovery image to 2.1 this was possible.
However, I was not able to set the resolution to 4k - I doubt, this is possible with the provided boot-image.
Question: Did somebody succeed in setting the resolution to 4K ?



Nov 16, 2015
Should we partition Google for official Linux support? With x86 binary transliteration to run code, and that system that allows Ubuntu and redhat applications (professional software use) on the system. They probably burnt half their sales by not having it when released, as it was so ahead.


Jun 13, 2018
The guys who hacked the Nintendo Switch managed to get the GPU to work under Linux. The console used the same gpu and cpu.

Are there any better methods to install Ubuntu on the box? Is there a better way than flashing the OS onto the recovery partition? Does it work for 2017?

Maybe a new kernel works by now?

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    It's available here (sorry, I'm not allowed to post links):

    goo.gl / sl6rMu (you only need nvidia-shield-tv-utopic.arm64.img.2G.gz and nvidia_boot.img, the remaining files are used for development)

    OS: Ubuntu Core Utopic ARM64
    Packets: typical: sshd plus LXDE

    How to:
    1. root/unlock your nvidia shield tv
    2. unpack the disk image: nvidia-shield-tv-utopic.arm64.img.2G.gz (zcat nvidia-shield-tv-utopic.arm64.img.2G.gz >nvidia-shield-tv-utopic.arm64.img.2G)
    3. save it to a microsd card (min ~2.5GB): dd if=nvidia-shield-tv-utopic.arm64.img.2G of=/dev/sdh bs=4194304 oflag=sync
    4. Put your minisd card into nvidia shield tv
    5 Boot into linux
    a). (in bootloader) fastboot boot nvidia_boot.img
    b). save it permanently as a recovery image (fastboot flash recovery nvidia_boot.img) and boot into it (3 sec tap during shield tv boot, then choose 'boot recovery kernel')

    user: android pass: changeme
    user: root pass: changeme

    What works:
    - eth card
    - usb hub
    - wifi (probably, firmware is there and the card is able to scan networks)
    - virtual terminal / framebuffer (you should be able to log in with an usb keyboard)

    What doesn't work:
    - bluetooth (probably, I haven't tested it)
    - sometimes xorg doesn't display anything after boot, and it's necessary to restart lxdm: stop lxdm; start lxdm
    - accelerated gfx driver (nvidia hasn't released aarch64 drviers yet)

    There are also scripts and the kernel config I used to build the boot image on the drive
    I unfortunately won't have time to try this until later next week, so I want to ask a quick question. What kernel is this? Mainline or a modified Nvidia? I tinkered with a Fedora kernel a little while back and couldn't get it to boot.

    It's a compiled kernel from nvidia's repo

    nv-tegra.nvidia.com / gitweb / ?p=linux-3.10.git;a=summary

    The config is here: nvidia_shield_tv_root -> kernel_config -> 3.10.config-foster_e.txt

    From what I remember the changes (to the stock config) were not extensive, things like disabling "Android paranoid sockets", enabling "Mount devtmpfs at boot", adding some features like namespaces
    Looking for a little more help on building the kernel. I am having problems with the usb 3.0 getting deadlock and want to turn on more kernel info to find the problem. I cloned the git repo you mentioned and then checked out the branch rel-22r2-golden-fostermp. I used your config and your ubuntu image on the shield tv to compile the kernel and then made a boot img with your Makefile. However, the kernel will not boot. Is there another step I am missing? Everything looks like it should work but does not. I only have limited debug because my img only makes the nvidia logo flash on the screen.
    IIRC you need to use arch/arm64/boot/Image and not arch/arm64/boot/zImage - i.e. the one which is 15-20MB in size. The naming of zImage in the makefile is confusing.

    One more thing, the initrd doesn't need to include the kernel, you can safely remove the kernel from the dir, which is used as root for initramfs, my mistake to put it there.
    I unfortunately won't have time to try this until later next week, so I want to ask a quick question. What kernel is this? Mainline or a modified Nvidia? I tinkered with a Fedora kernel a little while back and couldn't get it to boot.

    In any case, next week I need to dive back into getting multirom working here, things like this is what I need it for.
    First link is missing img for step 2, second link has img but cannot be downloaded due to it not being a public file.
    Thanks, I fixed the goo.gl link

    Files should be 'downloadable' now.

    BTW, you only need nvidia-shield-tv-utopic.arm64.img.2G.gz and nvidia_boot.img - the remaining files are used for development