Build & Update Linux kernel on Rock960

This page provides the instructions for building and deploying linux kernel on Rock960 from x86 host machine.


  • A host machine with relevant OS to install cross compiler and packages (Preferrably Ubuntu/Debian)
  • Rock960 Model AB/C

Download GNU cross-toolchain binaries

You need to download the correct GCC toolchain on your host depending the architecture. Usually host is a standard Intel x86-64 computer, target is the Rock960 which is AARCH64. Linaro provides linux host binaries.

       $ mkdir toolchain
       $ wget*-x86_64_aarch64-linux-gnu.tar.xz
       $ tar -xf gcc-*-x86_64_aarch64-linux-gnu.tar.xz -C ./toolchain --strip-components=1

Install packages

Install the required packages on host by following the instructions below:

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install build-essential libncurses5-dev git make

Get Linux Kernel Source

$ git clone
$ cd kernel
$ git checkout -t origin/rock960-4.4-dev

Build the Linux Kernel

$ export ARCH=arm64
$ export CROSS_COMPILE=<path-to-cross-compiler>/aarch64-linux-gnu-

Note: Replace path-to-cross-compiler in the above command with the location where you have extracted the toolchain

$ make rockchip_linux_defconfig
$ make Image dtbs -j$(nproc)

After compilation, you should get the following files:

For Rock960 Model AB:

  • arch/arm64/boot/Image
  • arch/arm64/boot/dts/rockchip/rock960-model-ab-linux.dtb

For Rock960 Model C:

  • arch/arm64/boot/Image
  • arch/arm64/boot/dts/rockchip/rock960-model-c-linux.dtb

Creating a Boot Image

Following instructions are used to build a boot image to be flashed onto Rock960 board:

Clone Build Repo

$ git clone

Change the FDT Entry

Change the FDT entry in build/extlinux/rk3399.conf only if you are using Rock960 Model C board. Otherwise skip this section.

    fdt /rock960-model-c-linux.dtb

Copy the Generated Images

$ mkdir out && cd out
$ mkdir kernel && cd kernel

Copy the built Image and rock960-model-x-linux.dtb files into it.

Note: Replace x with model name ab/c in rock960-model-x-linux.dtb.

Build Boot Image

cd ../../build
./build/ -c rk3399 -t boot

At the end, you can find the boot.img in out/.

Flash Boot image onto Rock960

Finally, the boot image can be flashed onto Rock960 as per the instructions specified in the installation guide.