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USB armory Debian base image Build Status

The Makefile in this repository allows generation of a basic Debian installation for the USB armory.

Pre-compiled releases are available.


A Debian 9 installation with the following packages:

bc binfmt-support bzip2 fakeroot gcc gcc-arm-linux-gnueabihf git gnupg make parted rsync qemu-user-static wget xz-utils zip debootstrap sudo dirmngr bison flex libssl-dev kmod

Import the Linux signing GPG key:

gpg --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys 38DBBDC86092693E

Import the U-Boot signing GPG key:

gpg --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys 147C39FF9634B72C

The loop Linux kernel module must be enabled/loaded, also mind that the Makefile relies on the ability to execute privileged commands via sudo.

Docker pre-requisites

When building the image under Docker the --privileged option is required to give privileges for handling loop devices, example:

docker build --rm -t armory ./
docker run --rm -it --privileged -v $(pwd):/opt/armory --name armory armory

On Mac OS X the build needs to be done in a case-sensitive filesystem. Such filesystem can be created with Disk Utility by selecting File > New Image > Blank Image, choosing Size: 5GB and Format: APFS (Case-sensitive). Double click on the created dmg file to mount it.


Launch the following command to download and build the image:

# For the USB armory Mk II (external microSD)
make V=mark-two IMX=imx6ulz BOOT=uSD

# For the USB armory Mk II (internal eMMC)
make V=mark-two IMX=imx6ulz BOOT=eMMC

# For the USB armory Mk I
make V=mark-one IMX=imx53

The following output files are produced:

# For the USB armory Mk II

# For the USB armory Mk I


WARNING: the following operations will destroy any previous contents on the external microSD or internal eMMC storage.

IMPORTANT: /dev/sdX, /dev/diskN must be replaced with your microSD or eMMC device (not eventual partitions), ensure that you are specifying the correct one. Errors in target specification will result in disk corruption.

Linux (verify target from terminal using dmesg):

sudo dd if=usbarmory-*-debian_buster-base_image-YYYYMMDD.raw of=/dev/sdX bs=1M conv=fsync

Mac OS X (verify target from terminal with diskutil list):

sudo dd if=usbarmory-*-debian_buster-base_image-YYYYMMDD.raw of=/dev/rdiskN bs=1m

On Windows, and other OSes, alternatively the Etcher utility can be used.

Accessing the USB armory Mk II internal eMMC as USB storage device

Set the USB armory Mk II to boot in Serial Boot Loader by setting the boot switch towards the microSD slot, without a microSD card connected. Connect the USB Type-C interface to the host and verify that your host kernel successfully detects the board:

usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 8 using xhci_hcd
usb 1-1: New USB device found, idVendor=15a2, idProduct=0080, bcdDevice= 0.01
usb 1-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
usb 1-1: Product: SE Blank 6ULL
usb 1-1: Manufacturer: Freescale SemiConductor Inc 
hid-generic 0003:15A2:0080.0003: hiddev96,hidraw1: USB HID v1.10 Device [Freescale SemiConductor Inc  SE Blank 6ULL] on usb-0000:00:14.0-1/input0

Load the armory-ums firmware using the imx_loader utility:

imx_usb armory-ums.imx

Once loaded, the host kernel should detect a USB storage device, corresponding to the internal eMMC.


After being booted, the image uses Ethernet over USB emulation (CDC Ethernet) to communicate with the host, with assigned IP address (using as gateway). Connection can be accomplished via SSH to, with default user usbarmory and password usbarmory. NOTE: There is a DHCP server running by default. Alternatively the host interface IP address can be statically set to

LED feedback

To aid initial testing the base image configures the board LED to reflect CPU load average, via the Linux Heartbeat Trigger driver. In case this is undesired, the heartbeat can be disabled by removing the ledtrig_heartbeat module in /etc/modules. More information about LED control here.


The default image is 4GB of size, to use the full microSD/eMMC space a new partition can be added or the existing one can be resized as described in the USB armory FAQ.

Additional resources

Project page
Board schematics, layout and support files
Discussion group

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