Chronos Camera App
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Chronos Cam App

This repository contains the code for the built-in user interface of the Chronos Camera from Kron Technologies. The following instructions detail how to build the Chronos Camera UI.


The recommended development environment for the Chronos camera application is supported on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. On a base Ubuntu installations, we will also need to add the following packages:

    sudo apt install qtcreator gcc-arm-linux-gnueabi g++-arm-linux-gnueabi gdb-multiarch libdbus-1-dev git

(Newer version of Ubuntu can also be used to build the camera application, but the instructions may need to be modified to use GCC version 5 or older. This is usually done by substituting gcc-5 in place of gcc.)

You will also need a MicroSD card reader, to copy some files off the MicroSD card located in the bottom of the camera.

Building and Installing QT

The Chronos camera application is built using QT version 4.8, and must be cross compiled for a Cortex-A8 target. To do this, the generic ARM linux targets need to be modified. First, grab the QT4.8 source and extract it. I put the resulting folder in ~/Work/, but you can put it anywhere you like. (Just remember to use your path when I reference my ~/Work folder.) Next, in ~/Work/, we'll create a new linux-omap2-g++ target by running the following script:

tar -xzf qt-everywhere-opensource-src-4.8.7.tar.gz
cd qt-everywhere-opensource-src-4.8.7/mkspecs/qws/
mkdir linux-omap2-g++
cp linux-arm-g++/qplatformdefs.h linux-omap2-g++/
cat > linux-omap2-g++/qmake.conf << EOF
# qmake configuration for building with arm-linux-gnueabi-g++


# Compiler flags for OMAP2
QMAKE_CFLAGS_RELEASE =   -O3 -march=armv7-a -mtune=cortex-a8 -mfpu=neon -mfloat-abi=softfp
QMAKE_CXXFLAGS_RELEASE = -O3 -march=armv7-a -mtune=cortex-a8 -mfpu=neon -mfloat-abi=softfp

# modifications to g++.conf
QMAKE_CC                = arm-linux-gnueabi-gcc
QMAKE_CXX               = arm-linux-gnueabi-g++
QMAKE_LINK              = arm-linux-gnueabi-g++
QMAKE_LINK_SHLIB        = arm-linux-gnueabi-g++

# modifications to linux.conf
QMAKE_AR                = arm-linux-gnueabi-ar cqs
QMAKE_OBJCOPY           = arm-linux-gnueabi-objcopy
QMAKE_STRIP             = arm-linux-gnueabi-strip
QMAKE_LIBS		+= -lts


You should now have a folder called ~/Work/qt-everywhere-opensource-src-4.8.7, or whatever you called it.

Next, we need to copy in our targetfs folder. We'll take the MicroSD card from the bottom of our Chronos camera and copy everything on it, in ROOTFS, to ~/Work/chronos-sdk/targetfs/. Some copy errors will pop up, but those files are not needed and you can safely ignore them. 🙂targetfs should now contain something that looks like a Linux root filesystem.

The following shell script demonstrates the configuration provided to QT when used with the Chronos SDK. Assuming you put everything where I did. Copy the below content into a shell script, ~/Work/qt4-install/ (qt4-install will become our install directory. Again, you may use a different directory, but you'll have to update my paths.)


## All the configure arguments.
${QTPATH}configure -prefix $(pwd)/install -embedded arm \
        -sysroot ${SYSROOT} -xplatform qws/linux-omap2-g++ \
        -depths 16,24,32 -no-mmx -no-3dnow -no-sse -no-sse2 -no-glib -no-cups \
        -no-largefile -no-accessibility -no-openssl -no-gtkstyle \
        -qt-mouse-pc -qt-mouse-linuxtp -qt-mouse-linuxinput -qt-mouse-tslib \
        -dbus -ldbus-1 -I${SYSROOT}/usr/include/dbus-1.0 -I${SYSROOT}/usr/lib/dbus-1.0/include \
        -plugin-mouse-linuxtp -plugin-mouse-pc \
        -qtlibinfix E -fast -lpthread

Run the shell script from ~/Work/qt4-install. Select "open source" when prompted.

To solve a "tslib functionality test failed" error, you'll need to modify the include and library search paths by editing QMAKE_INCDIR and QMAKE_LIBDIR in ~/Work/qt-everywhere-opensource-src-4.8.7/mkspecs/qws/linux-omap2-g++.

After configuration is complete, make and install QT by running make && make install. This will take 1 to 4ish hours, depending on how fast your computer is.

qt-icon Setting up QT Creator

To actually build the Chronos Cam App, we'll use QT Creator. (Which we installed at the beginning of this document.)

To set up QT creator, the first step is to add the ARM cross compiler to QT. Run the program, and navigate to Tools -> Options, select Build & Run on the left column, and add a new compiler under the Compilers tab. The path of your G++ and GCC compiler can be found by running the commands which arm-linux-gnueabi-g++ and which arm-linux-gnueabi-gcc respectively.

QT Creator compiler configuration

The second step requires adding our cross-compiled build of QT 4.8 to QT Creator. Select the QT Versions tab from the options, and add a new QT version. You should only need to locate the qmake tool, which should be in the install/bin directory in the prefix that was provided while configuring QT.

QT Creator QT version configuration

This step is optional, but to add debugging support, select the Debuggers tab and add the gdb-multiarch cross debugger to QT creator. You can find the path of the debugger by running the command which gdb-multiarch from a console.

QT Creator debugger configuration

To add the Chronos camera as a debugging target, select Devices on the left column and click the Add button to add a new target. Select the Generic Linux Device and click on Start Wizard. You will be prompted for the connection details, which should be set as follows:

  • Name to identify this configuration: Chronos Camera
  • Host name or IP address:
  • Username to log into the device: root
  • Authentication type: Password
  • User's Password: Your Awesome Super Secret Root Password On the Camera

Chronos SSH login and kill

(If you want, you may plug your camera into your laptop with a Mini-USB cable now. This is not required, QT Creator will just let you know it can't connect if you don't.)

Click on Next and Finish to add the new debugging target to QT creator.

Finally, a kit must be selected for the Chronos camera, which uses the compiler and QT version that we set up earlier. Still in the Options dialog, select Build & Run from the left column, and click on the Kits tab to add a new kit for the camera. The following settings are required:

  • Device type: Generic Linux Device
  • Sysroot: Path to the targetfs directory in the Chronos SDK
  • Compiler: The G++ cross compiler we set up earlier.
  • Qt Version: The cross compiled QT 4.8.7 that we set up earlier.

For debugging, you will also want to configure:

  • Device: The Chronos Camera debugging target we set up earlier.
  • Debugger: The Multiarch GDB debugger we set up earlier.

We can now close the Options dialog.

QT Creator QT kit

build-icon Building the Camera Application

Clone this repository (git clone in ~/Work.

Open the Chronos camera application from by navigating to File -> Open File or Project and selecting the QT creator project file ~/Work/chronos-cam-app/src/ If this is your first time opening the project, you will need to set up the kits by deselecting the default Desktop kit, and selecting the Camera kit that we set up earlier. Click on the Configure Project button to select the kits.

QT Creator project configuration

Next, we will need to configure how the camera application is deployed and executed on the camera. Start by selecting the Projects button from the left column of QT Creator, and clicking on the Run toggle button.

From the Deploy Steps, remove the Check for Available Disk Space step, and then replace it with a new Run custom remote command step instead. Set the command line to killall camApp; sleep 1 and sort it ahead of Upload files via SFTP. This will ensure that the camApp is always terminated gracefully.

We also need to set the command line arguments and the application working directory in the Run section. Set the Arguments field to -qws -display transformed:rot0 and set the Working directory to /opt/camera

QT Creator Run Settings

Finally, we build the application by navigating to Build -> Build Project "camApp" or clicking on the hammer icon in the bottom left corner. When complete the application will be output as build-camApp-Camera-Debug/camApp

debug-icon Debugging the Camera Application

Debugging the camera application is done using a remote GDB connection to the Linux operating system running on the Chronos camera. The easiest way to establish this connection is to connect the Mini-USB on the Chronos to your Ubuntu machine and powering on the camera. When the camera has finished booting, it will appear as a USB network adapter with an IP address of

There is no default password set on the camera, and until one has been set, the SSH login will accept any password that you type in. You can change the password by running the passwd command1.

Before we can launch the Camera application through QT creator, we must first log into the Camera via SSH2 and terminate the camApp process that started at boot. To do this, log into the camera from a console by running the command ssh -oKexAlgorithms=+diffie-hellman-group1-sha1 root@ Once you are logged into the camera, run the command killall camApp to terminate the camApp process.

Chronos SSH login and kill

As a word of caution, the OMX video coprocessor on the DM8148 SoC is quite fragile and can become deadlocked if the camera application is not shutdown gracefully. This may occur if your camera application crashes during debug, or if you neglect to terminate the running camApp process before starting debug. When this occurs, your only recourse is to reboot the camera.

To start the camera application with interactive debugging, navigate to the Debug -> Start Debugging -> Start Debugging menu, or click on the green Play button with a bug icon in the bottom left hand corner. This will upload the compiled camApp to the camera, and start it under a remote GDB server. When the debugger is running, the play button will be replaced by a blue Pause button with a bug icon.

Chronos SSH login and kill

[1]: In a future update of the camera, SSH access will be disabled until a root password is configured via the camera application. This is intended to prevent an attacker from logging into an unconfigured camera via the Ethernet port.

[2]: The SSH daemon on the camera does not support hash functions newer than SHA-1, which has been deprecated as of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Thus the SSH KexAlgorithms must be explicitly extended to successfully log in. This will be addressed in a future update before enabling Ethernet access.