Since there is no central repository for fresh U-Boot binaries for the Zipit Z2, I decided to build my own u-boot.bin from source.  Before I could do this, I needed to build a cross compiler for the arm processor.  This is something I’ve always had trouble with on Debian systems but this time I used Gentoo and everything worked flawlessly.  Luckily Marex left me with some very helpful hints on how to get the job done.  First, you’ll need to set up a cross compiler if you have not already:

emerge crossdev

You’ll need to add the following lines to your /etc/make.conf:


Don’t forget to make the following directory since that is where your new tool chain is going to live:

mkdir /usr/local/portage

Now it’s time to build your tool chain.  This will take quite a bit of time.

time crossdev -S -t arm-linux-gnueabi

After all of that, you should be ready to build your u-boot.bin.  First you need to grab the latest snapshot from;a=shortlog;h=refs/heads/devel.  Go ahead and unpack the file in your home directory:

tar -xvf u-boot-pxa-*

cd u-boot-pxa

Next you need to run the following command.  Double check and make certain that you have a space between the “…gnueabi-” and the “zipitz2…” parts.

make CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabi- zipitz2_config

Lastly, you can build the u-boot.bin firmware file with this command:

make CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabi-

You should now have a working u-boot.bin file in the ./u-boot-pxa directory.  With that file, you can follow these instructions to upgrade U-boot on your Zipit Z2.  As usual, thanks to Marex for giving me the proper hints to make this happen.

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