Home > Java, Raspberry Pi > Raspberry Pi fails to boot with soft-float image

Raspberry Pi fails to boot with soft-float image

The latest supported Java version from Oracle for the Rasperry Pi (as of this writing) is Java SE 7 Embedded for Linux/ARM. It requires a license and it supports only the somewhat dated soft-float image. Anyone using it must stick with soft-float for now. Unfortunately recent versions of the Raspberry Pi fail to boot with the soft-float image! We got a batch where some units worked and some failed. Personally I think that a hardware change that breaks compatibility with old software should be branded as a new revision, but with the Raspberry that has not happened.

Units that fail to boot have the new square Hynix memory chip in the middle of the board. The label on the chip says Hynix or Samsung.
Hynix memory chip

Fortunately there is a workaround. The newer hard-float images work and the Linux kernel in the soft-float image works as well. Copy the three files bootcode.bin, start.elf and fixup.dat from the boot partition of the latest hard-float image to the old soft-float image and the problem is solved.

Credits to StackOverflow for the solution. Please note that simply copying start.elf is not enough, all three files are needed.

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Categories: Java, Raspberry Pi
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