This is the documentation for the latest (main) development branch of Zephyr. If you are looking for the documentation of previous releases, use the drop-down menu on the left and select the desired version.

Board Porting Guide

To add Zephyr support for a new board, you at least need a board directory with various files in it. Files in the board directory inherit support for at least one SoC and all of its features. Therefore, Zephyr must support your SoC as well.

Transition to the current hardware model

Shortly after Zephyr 3.6.0 was released, a new hardware model was introduced to Zephyr. This new model overhauls the way both SoCs and boards are named and defined, and adds support for features that had been identified as important over the years. Among them:

  • Support for multi-core, multi-arch AMP (Asymmetrical Multi Processing) SoCs

  • Support for multi-SoC boards

  • Support for reusing the SoC and board Kconfig trees outside of the Zephyr build system

  • Support for advanced use cases with Sysbuild (System build)

  • Removal of all existing arbitrary and inconsistent uses of Kconfig and folder names

All the documentation in this page refers to the current hardware model. Please refer to the documentation in Zephyr v3.6.0 (or earlier) for information on the previous, now obsolete, hardware model.

More information about the rationale, development and concepts behind the new model can be found in the original issue, the original Pull Request and, for a complete set of changes introduced, the hardware model v2 commit.

Some non-critical features, enhancements and improvements of the new hardware model are still in development. Check the hardware model v2 enhancements issue for a complete list.

The transition from the previous hardware model to the current one (commonly referred to as “hardware model v2”) requires modifications to all existing board and SoC definitions. A decision was made not to provide direct backwards compatibility for the previous model, which leaves users transitioning from a previous version of Zephyr to one including the new model (v3.7.0 and onwards) with two options if they have an out-of-tree board (or SoC):

  1. Convert the out-of-tree board to the current hardware model (recommended)

  2. Take the SoC definition from Zephyr v3.6.0 and copy it to your downstream repository (ensuring that the build system can find it via a zephyr module or SOC_ROOT). This will allow your board, defined in the previous hardware model, to continue to work

When converting your board from the previous to the current hardware model, we recommend first reading through this page to understand the model in detail. You can then use the example-application conversion Pull Request as an example on how to port a simple board. Additionally, a conversion script is available and works reliably in many cases (though multi-core SoCs may not be handled entirely). Finally, the hardware model v2 commit contains the full conversion of all existing boards from the old to the current model, so you can use it as a complete conversion reference.

Hardware support hierarchy

Zephyr’s hardware support is based on a series of hierarchical abstractions. Primarily, each board has one or more SoC. Each SoC can be optionally classed into an SoC series, which in turn may optionally belong to an SoC family. Each SoC has one or more CPU cluster, each containing one or more CPU core of a particular architecture.

You can visualize the hierarchy in the diagram below:

Hardware support Hierarchy

Hardware support Hierarchy

Below are some examples of the hierarchy described in this section, in the form of a board per row with its corresponding hierarchy entries. Notice how the SoC series and SoC family levels are not always used.

board name

board qualifiers

SoC

SoC Series

SoC family

CPU core

architecture

nrf52dk

nrf52832

nRF52832

nRF52

Nordic nRF

Arm Cortex-M4

ARMv7-M

frdm_k64f

mk64f12

MK64F12

Kinetis K6x

NXP Kinetis

Arm Cortex-M4

ARMv7-M

rv32m1_vega

openisa_rv32m1/ri5cy

RV32M1

(Not used)

(Not used)

RI5CY

RISC-V RV32

nrf5340dk

nrf5340/cpuapp

nRF5340

nRF53

Nordic nRF

Arm Cortex-M33

ARMv8-M

nrf5340/cpunet

nRF5340

nRF53

Nordic nRF

Arm Cortex-M33

ARMv8-M

mimx8mp_evk

mimx8ml8/a53

i.MX8M Plus

i.MX8M

NXP i.MX

Arm Cortex-A53

ARMv8-A

mimx8ml8/m7

i.MX8M Plus

i.MX8M

NXP i.MX

Arm Cortex-M7

ARMv7-M

mimx8ml8/adsp

i.MX8M Plus

i.MX8M

NXP i.MX

Cadence HIFI4

Xtensa LX6

Additional details about terminology can be found in the next section.

Board terminology

The previous section introduced the hierarchical manner in which Zephyr classifies and implements hardware support. This section focuses on the terminology used around hardware support, and in particular when defining and working with boards and SoCs.

The overall set of terms used around the concept of board in Zephyr is depicted in the image below, which uses the Laird Connectivity BL5340 DVK board as reference.

Board terminology diagram

Board terminology diagram

The diagram shows the different terms that are used to describe boards:

Formally this can also be seen as board name[@revision][/board qualifiers], which can be extended to board name[@revision][/SoC[/CPU cluster][/variant]].

If a board contains only one single-core SoC, then the SoC can be omitted from the board target. This implies that if the board does not define any board qualifiers, the board name can be used as a board target. Conversely, if board qualifiers are part of the board definition, then the SoC can be omitted by leaving it out but including the corresponding forward-slashes: //.

Continuing with the example above, The board Laird Connectivity BL5340 DVK is a single SoC board where the SoC defines two CPU clusters: cpuapp and cpunet. One of the CPU clusters, cpuapp, additionally defines a non-secure board variant, ns.

The board qualifiers nrf5340/cpuapp/ns can be read as:

  • nrf5340: The SoC, which is a Nordic nRF5340 dual-core SoC

  • cpuapp: The CPU cluster cpuapp, which consists of a single Cortex-M33 CPU core. The number of cores in a CPU cluster cannot be determined from the board qualifiers.

  • ns: a variant, in this case ns is a common variant name is Zephyr denoting a non-secure build for boards supporting Trusted Firmware-M.

Not all SoCs define CPU clusters or variants. For example a simple board like the Thingy:52 contains a single SoC with no CPU clusters and no variants. For thingy52 the board target thingy52/nrf52832 can be read as:

  • thingy52: board name.

  • nrf52832: The board qualifiers, in this case identical to the SoC, which is a Nordic nRF52832.

Make sure your SoC is supported

Start by making sure your SoC is supported by Zephyr. If it is, it’s time to Create your board directory. If you don’t know, try:

  • checking Supported Boards for names that look relevant, and reading individual board documentation to find out for sure.

  • asking your SoC vendor

If you need to add a SoC, CPU cluster, or even architecture support, this is the wrong page, but here is some general advice.

Architecture

See Architecture Porting Guide.

CPU Core

CPU core support files go in core subdirectories under arch, e.g. arch/x86/core.

See Install a Toolchain for information about toolchains (compiler, linker, etc.) supported by Zephyr. If you need to support a new toolchain, Build and Configuration Systems is a good place to start learning about the build system. Please reach out to the community if you are looking for advice or want to collaborate on toolchain support.

SoC

Zephyr SoC support files are in architecture-specific subdirectories of soc. They are generally grouped by SoC family.

When adding a new SoC family or series for a vendor that already has SoC support within Zephyr, please try to extract common functionality into shared files to avoid duplication. If there is no support for your vendor yet, you can add it in a new directory zephyr/soc/<VENDOR>/<YOUR-SOC>; please use self-explanatory directory names.

Create your board directory

Once you’ve found an existing board that uses your SoC, you can usually start by copy/pasting its board directory and changing its contents for your hardware.

You need to give your board a unique name. Run west boards for a list of names that are already taken, and pick something new. Let’s say your board is called plank (please don’t actually use that name).

Start by creating the board directory zephyr/boards/<VENDOR>/plank, where <VENDOR> is your vendor subdirectory. (You don’t have to put your board directory in the zephyr repository, but it’s the easiest way to get started. See Custom Board, Devicetree and SOC Definitions for documentation on moving your board directory to a separate repository once it’s working.)

Note

A <VENDOR> subdirectory is mandatory if contributing your board to Zephyr, but if your board is placed in a local repo, then any folder structure under <your-repo>/boards is permitted. If the vendor is defined in the list in dts/bindings/vendor-prefixes.txt then you must use that vendor prefix as <VENDOR>. others may be used as vendor prefix if the vendor is not defined.

Note

The board directory name does not need to match the name of the board. Multiple boards can even defined be in one directory.

Your board directory should look like this:

boards/<VENDOR>/plank
├── board.yml
├── board.cmake
├── CMakeLists.txt
├── doc
│   ├── plank.png
│   └── index.rst
├── Kconfig.plank
├── Kconfig.defconfig
├── plank_defconfig
├── plank_<qualifiers>_defconfig
├── plank.dts
├── plank_<qualifiers>.dts
└── plank.yaml

Replace plank with your board’s name, of course.

The mandatory files are:

  1. board.yml: a YAML file describing the high-level meta data of the boards such as the boards names, their SoCs, and variants. CPU clusters for multi-core SoCs are not described in this file as they are inherited from the SoC’s YAML description.

  2. plank.dts or plank_<qualifiers>.dts: a hardware description in devicetree format. This declares your SoC, connectors, and any other hardware components such as LEDs, buttons, sensors, or communication peripherals (USB, BLE controller, etc).

  3. Kconfig.plank: the base software configuration for selecting SoC and other board and SoC related settings. Kconfig settings outside of the board and SoC tree must not be selected. To select general Zephyr Kconfig settings the Kconfig file must be used.

The optional files are:

  • Kconfig, Kconfig.defconfig software configuration in Configuration System (Kconfig) formats. This provides default settings for software features and peripheral drivers.

  • plank_defconfig and plank_<qualifiers>_defconfig: software configuration in Kconfig .conf format.

  • board.cmake: used for Flash and debug support

  • CMakeLists.txt: if you need to add additional source files to your build.

  • doc/index.rst, doc/plank.png: documentation for and a picture of your board. You only need this if you’re Contributing your board to Zephyr.

  • plank.yaml: a YAML file with miscellaneous metadata used by the Test Runner (Twister).

Board qualifiers of the form <soc>/<cpucluster>/<variant> are normalized so that / is replaced with _ when used for filenames, for example: soc1/foo becomes soc1_foo when used in filenames.

Write your board YAML

The board YAML file describes the board at a high level. This includes the SoC, board variants, and board revisions.

Detailed configurations, such as hardware description and configuration are done in devicetree and Kconfig.

The skeleton of the board YAML file is:

board:
  name: <board-name>
  vendor: <board-vendor>
  revision:
    format: <major.minor.patch|letter|number|custom>
    default: <default-revision-value>
    exact: <true|false>
    revisions:
    - name: <revA>
    - name: <revB>
      ...
  socs:
  - name: <soc-1>
    variants:
    - name: <variant-1>
    - name: <variant-2>
      variants:
      - name: <sub-variant-2-1>
        ...
  - name: <soc-2>
    ...

It is possible to have multiple boards located in the board folder. If multiple boards are placed in the same board folder, then the file board.yml must describe those in a list as:

boards:
- name: <board-name-1>
  vendor: <board-vendor>
  ...
- name: <board-name-2>
  vendor: <board-vendor>
  ...
...

Write your devicetree

The devicetree file boards/<vendor>/plank/plank.dts or boards/<vendor>/plank/plank_<qualifiers>.dts describes your board hardware in the Devicetree Source (DTS) format (as usual, change plank to your board’s name). If you’re new to devicetree, see Introduction to devicetree.

In general, plank.dts should look like this:

/dts-v1/;
#include <your_soc_vendor/your_soc.dtsi>

/ {
        model = "A human readable name";
        compatible = "yourcompany,plank";

        chosen {
                zephyr,console = &your_uart_console;
                zephyr,sram = &your_memory_node;
                /* other chosen settings  for your hardware */
        };

        /*
         * Your board-specific hardware: buttons, LEDs, sensors, etc.
         */

        leds {
                compatible = "gpio-leds";
                led0: led_0 {
                        gpios = < /* GPIO your LED is hooked up to */ >;
                        label = "LED 0";
                };
                /* ... other LEDs ... */
        };

        buttons {
                compatible = "gpio-keys";
                /* ... your button definitions ... */
        };

        /* These aliases are provided for compatibility with samples */
        aliases {
                led0 = &led0; /* now you support the blinky sample! */
                /* other aliases go here */
        };
};

&some_peripheral_you_want_to_enable { /* like a GPIO or SPI controller */
        status = "okay";
};

&another_peripheral_you_want {
        status = "okay";
};

Only one .dts file will be used, and the most specific file which exists will be used.

This means that if both plank.dts and plank_soc1_foo.dts exist, then when building for plank / plank/soc1, then plank.dts is used. When building for plank//foo / plank/soc1/foo the plank_soc1_foo.dts is used.

This allows board maintainers to write a base devicetree file for the board or write specific devicetree files for a given board’s SoC or variant.

If you’re in a hurry, simple hardware can usually be supported by copy/paste followed by trial and error. If you want to understand details, you will need to read the rest of the devicetree documentation and the devicetree specification.

Example: FRDM-K64F and Hexiwear K64

This section contains concrete examples related to writing your board’s devicetree.

The FRDM-K64F and Hexiwear K64 board devicetrees are defined in frdm_k64fs.dts and hexiwear_k64.dts respectively. Both boards have NXP SoCs from the same Kinetis SoC family, the K6X.

Common devicetree definitions for K6X are stored in nxp_k6x.dtsi, which is included by both board .dts files. nxp_k6x.dtsi in turn includes armv7-m.dtsi, which has common definitions for Arm v7-M cores.

Since nxp_k6x.dtsi is meant to be generic across K6X-based boards, it leaves many devices disabled by default using status properties. For example, there is a CAN controller defined as follows (with unimportant parts skipped):

can0: can@40024000 {
     ...
     status = "disabled";
     ...
};

It is up to the board .dts or application overlay files to enable these devices as desired, by setting status = "okay". The board .dts files are also responsible for any board-specific configuration of the device, such as adding nodes for on-board sensors, LEDs, buttons, etc.

For example, FRDM-K64 (but not Hexiwear K64) .dts enables the CAN controller and sets the bus speed:

&can0 {
     status = "okay";
};

The &can0 { ... }; syntax adds/overrides properties on the node with label can0, i.e. the can@4002400 node defined in the .dtsi file.

Other examples of board-specific customization is pointing properties in aliases and chosen to the right nodes (see Aliases and chosen nodes), and making GPIO/pinmux assignments.

Write Kconfig files

Zephyr uses the Kconfig language to configure software features. Your board needs to provide some Kconfig settings before you can compile a Zephyr application for it.

Setting Kconfig configuration values is documented in detail in Setting Kconfig configuration values.

There is one mandatory Kconfig file in the board directory, and several optional files for a board named plank:

boards/<vendor>/plank
├── Kconfig
├── Kconfig.plank
├── Kconfig.defconfig
├── plank_defconfig
└── plank_<qualifiers>_defconfig
Kconfig.plank

A shared Kconfig file which can be sourced both in Zephyr Kconfig and sysbuild Kconfig trees.

This file selects the SoC in the Kconfig tree and potential other SoC related Kconfig settings. This file must not select anything outside the re-usable Kconfig board and SoC trees.

A Kconfig.plank may look like this:

config BOARD_PLANK
        select SOC_SOC1

The Kconfig symbols BOARD_ and BOARD_ are constructed by the build system, therefore no type shall be defined in above code snippet.

Kconfig

Included by boards/Kconfig.

This file can add Kconfig settings which are specific to the current board.

Not all boards have a Kconfig file.

A board specific setting should be defining a custom setting and usually with a prompt, like this:

config BOARD_FEATURE
        bool "Board specific feature"

If the setting name is identical to an existing Kconfig setting in Zephyr and only modifies the default value of said setting, then Kconfig.defconfig should be used instead.

Kconfig.defconfig

Board-specific default values for Kconfig options.

Not all boards have a Kconfig.defconfig file.

The entire file should be inside an if BOARD_PLANK / endif pair of lines, like this:

if BOARD_PLANK

# Always set CONFIG_BOARD here. This isn't meant to be customized,
# but is set as a "default" due to Kconfig language restrictions.
config BOARD
        default "plank"

# Other options you want enabled by default go next. Examples:

config FOO
        default y

if NETWORKING
config SOC_ETHERNET_DRIVER
        default y
endif # NETWORKING

endif # BOARD_PLANK
plank_defconfig / plank_<qualifiers>_defconfig

A Kconfig fragment that is merged as-is into the final build directory .config whenever an application is compiled for your board.

If both the common plank_defconfig file and one or more board qualifiers specific plank_<qualifiers>_defconfig files exist, then all matching files will be used. This allows you to place configuration which is common for all board SoCs, CPU clusters, and board variants in the base plank_defconfig and only place the adjustments specific for a given SoC or board variant in the plank_<qualifiers>_defconfig.

The _defconfig should contain mandatory settings for your system clock, console, etc. The results are architecture-specific, but typically look something like this:

CONFIG_SYS_CLOCK_HW_CYCLES_PER_SEC=120000000  # set up your clock, etc
CONFIG_SERIAL=y
plank_x_y_z_defconfig / plank_<qualifiers>_x_y_z_defconfig

A Kconfig fragment that is merged as-is into the final build directory .config whenever an application is compiled for your board revision x.y.z.

Build, test, and fix

Now it’s time to build and test the application(s) you want to run on your board until you’re satisfied.

For example:

west build -b plank samples/hello_world
west flash

For west flash to work, see Flash and debug support below. You can also just flash build/zephyr/zephyr.elf, zephyr.hex, or zephyr.bin with any other tools you prefer.

General recommendations

For consistency and to make it easier for users to build generic applications that are not board specific for your board, please follow these guidelines while porting.

  • Unless explicitly recommended otherwise by this section, leave peripherals and their drivers disabled by default.

  • Configure and enable a system clock, along with a tick source.

  • Provide pin and driver configuration that matches the board’s valuable components such as sensors, buttons or LEDs, and communication interfaces such as USB, Ethernet connector, or Bluetooth/Wi-Fi chip.

  • If your board uses a well-known connector standard (like Arduino, Mikrobus, Grove, or 96Boards connectors), add connector nodes to your DTS and configure pin muxes accordingly.

  • Configure components that enable the use of these pins, such as configuring an SPI instance to use the usual Arduino SPI pins.

  • If available, configure and enable a serial output for the console using the zephyr,console chosen node in the devicetree.

  • If your board supports networking, configure a default interface.

  • Enable all GPIO ports connected to peripherals or expansion connectors.

  • If available, enable pinmux and interrupt controller drivers.

  • It is recommended to enable the MPU by default, if there is support for it in hardware. For boards with limited memory resources it is acceptable to disable it. When the MPU is enabled, it is recommended to also enable hardware stack protection (CONFIG_HW_STACK_PROTECTION=y) and, thus, allow the kernel to detect stack overflows when the system is running in privileged mode.

Flash and debug support

Zephyr supports Building, Flashing and Debugging via west extension commands.

To add west flash and west debug support for your board, you need to create a board.cmake file in your board directory. This file’s job is to configure a “runner” for your board. (There’s nothing special you need to do to get west build support for your board.)

“Runners” are Zephyr-specific Python classes that wrap flash and debug host tools and integrate with west and the zephyr build system to support west flash and related commands. Each runner supports flashing, debugging, or both. You need to configure the arguments to these Python scripts in your board.cmake to support those commands like this example board.cmake:

board_runner_args(jlink "--device=nrf52" "--speed=4000")
board_runner_args(pyocd "--target=nrf52" "--frequency=4000000")

include(${ZEPHYR_BASE}/boards/common/nrfjprog.board.cmake)
include(${ZEPHYR_BASE}/boards/common/jlink.board.cmake)
include(${ZEPHYR_BASE}/boards/common/pyocd.board.cmake)

This example configures the nrfjprog, jlink, and pyocd runners.

Warning

Runners usually have names which match the tools they wrap, so the jlink runner wraps Segger’s J-Link tools, and so on. But the runner command line options like --speed etc. are specific to the Python scripts.

Note

Runners and board configuration should be created without being targeted to a single operating system if the tool supports multiple operating systems, nor should it rely upon special system setup/configuration. For example; do not assume that a user will have prior knowledge/configuration or (if using Linux) special udev rules installed, do not assume one specific /dev/X device for all platforms as this will not be compatible with Windows or macOS, and allow for overriding of the selected device so that multiple boards can be connected to a single system and flashed/debugged at the choice of the user.

For more details:

  • Run west flash --context to see a list of available runners which support flashing, and west flash --context -r <RUNNER> to view the specific options available for an individual runner.

  • Run west debug --context and west debug --context <RUNNER> to get the same output for runners which support debugging.

  • Run west flash --help and west debug --help for top-level options for flashing and debugging.

  • See Flash and debug runners for Python APIs.

  • Look for board.cmake files for other boards similar to your own for more examples.

To see what a west flash or west debug command is doing exactly, run it in verbose mode:

west --verbose flash
west --verbose debug

Verbose mode prints any host tool commands the runner uses.

The order of the include() calls in your board.cmake matters. The first include sets the default runner if it’s not already set. For example, including nrfjprog.board.cmake first means that nrfjprog is the default flash runner for this board. Since nrfjprog does not support debugging, jlink is the default debug runner.

Multiple board revisions

See Building for a board revision for basics on this feature from the user perspective.

Board revisions are described in the revision entry of the board.yml.

board:
  revision:
    format: <major.minor.patch|letter|number|custom>
    default: <default-revision-value>
    exact: <true|false>
    revisions:
    - name: <revA>
    - name: <revB>

Zephyr natively supports the following revision formats:

  • major.minor.patch: match a three digit revision, such as 1.2.3.

  • number: matches integer revisions

  • letter: matches single letter revisions from A to Z only

Fuzzy revision matching

Fuzzy revision matching is enabled per default.

If the user selects a revision between those available, the closest revision number that is not larger than the user’s choice is used. For example, if the board plank defines revisions 0.5.0, and 1.5.0 and the user builds for plank@0.7.0, the build system will target revision 0.5.0.

The build system will print this at CMake configuration time:

-- Board: plank, Revision: 0.7.0 (Active: 0.5.0)

This allows you to only create revision configuration files for board revision numbers that introduce incompatible changes.

Similar for letter where revision A, D, and F could be defined and the user builds for plank@E, the build system will target revision D .

Exact revision matching

Exact revision matching is enabled when exact: true is specified in the revision section in board.yml.

When exact is defined then building for plank@0.7.0 in the above example will result in the following error message:

Board revision `0.7.0` not found.  Please specify a valid board revision.

Board revision configuration adjustment

When the user builds for board plank@<revision> it is possible to make adjustments to the board’s normal configuration.

As described in the Write your devicetree and Write Kconfig files sections the board default configuration is created from the files <board>.dts / <board>_<qualifiers>.dts and <board>_defconfig / <board>_<qualifiers>_defconfig. When building for a specific board revision, the above files are used as a starting point and the following board files will be used in addition:

  • <board>_<qualifiers>_<revision>_defconfig: a specific revision defconfig which is only used for the board and SOC / variants identified by <board>_<qualifiers>.

  • <board>_<revision>_defconfig: a specific revision defconfig which is used for the board regardless of the SOC / variants.

  • <board>_<qualifiers>_<revision>.overlay: a specific revision dts overlay which is only used for the board and SOC / variants identified by <board>_<qualifiers>.

  • <board>_<revision>.overlay: a specific revision dts overlay which is used for the board regardless of the SOC / variants.

This split allows boards with multiple SoCs, multi-core SoCs, or variants to place common revision adjustments which apply to all SoCs and variants in a single file, while still providing the ability to place SoC or variant specific adjustments in a dedicated revision file.

Using the plank board from previous sections, then we could have the following revision adjustments:

boards/zephyr/plank
├── plank_0_5_0_defconfig          # Kconfig adjustment for all plank board qualifiers on revision 0.5.0
├── plank_0_5_0.overlay            # DTS overlay for all plank board qualifiers on revision 0.5.0
└── plank_soc1_foo_1_5_0_defconfig # Kconfig adjustment for plank board when building for soc1 variant foo on revision 1.5.0

Custom revision.cmake files

Some boards may not use board revisions supported natively by Zephyr. For example string revisions.

One reason why Zephyr doesn’t support string revisions is that strings can take many forms and it’s not always clear if the given strings are just strings, such as blue, green, red, etc. or if they provide an order which can be matched against higher or lower revisions, such as alpha, beta`, gamma.

Due to the sheer number of possibilities with strings, including the possibility of doing regex matches internally, then string revisions must be done using custom revision type.

To indicate to the build system that custom revisions are used, the format field in the revision section of the board.yml must be written as:

board:
  revision:
    format: custom

When using custom revisions then a revision.cmake must be created in the board directory.

The revision.cmake will be included by the build system when building for the board and it is the responsibility of the file to validate the revision specified by the user.

The BOARD_REVISION variable holds the revision value specified by the user.

To signal to the build system that it should use a different revision than the one specified by the user, revision.cmake can set the variable ACTIVE_BOARD_REVISION to the revision to use instead. The corresponding Kconfig files and devicetree overlays must be named <board>_<ACTIVE_BOARD_REVISION>_defconfig and <board>_<ACTIVE_BOARD_REVISION>.overlay.

Contributing your board

If you want to contribute your board to Zephyr, first – thanks!

There are some extra things you’ll need to do:

  1. Make sure you’ve followed all the General recommendations. They are requirements for boards included with Zephyr.

  2. Add documentation for your board using the template file doc/templates/board.tmpl. See Documentation Generation for information on how to build your documentation before submitting your pull request.

  3. Prepare a pull request adding your board which follows the Contribution Guidelines.

Board extensions

Boards already supported by Zephyr can be extended by downstream users, such as example-application or vendor SDKs. In some situations, certain hardware description or choices can not be added in the upstream Zephyr repository, but they can be in a downstream project, where custom bindings or driver classes can also be created. This feature may also be useful in development phases, when the board skeleton lives upstream, but other features are developed in a downstream module.

Board extensions are board fragments that can be present in an out-of-tree board root folder, under ${BOARD_ROOT}/boards/extensions. Here is an example structure of an extension for the plank board and its revisions:

boards/extensions/plank
├── plank.conf                # optional
├── plank_<revision>.conf     # optional
├── plank.overlay             # optional
└── plank_<revision>.overlay  # optional

A board extension directory must follow the naming structure of the original board it extends. It may contain Kconfig fragments and/or devicetree overlays. Extensions are, by default, automatically loaded and applied on top of board files, before anything else. There is no guarantee on which order extensions are applied, in case multiple exist. This feature can be disabled by passing -DBOARD_EXTENSIONS=OFF when building.

Note that board extensions need to follow the same guidelines as regular boards. For example, it is wrong to enable extra peripherals or subsystems in a board extension.

Warning

Board extensions are not allowed in any module referenced in Zephyr’s west.yml manifest file. Any board changes are required to be submitted to the main Zephyr repository.