Step 1: Make a bootable micro SD card

You must boot your Intel® Galileo board using a micro SD card that contains the latest Intel® IoT Developer Kit version of the Yocto*-built Linux image.

Linux is the operating system that powers the Intel® Galileo board. While there is already a version of Linux built into your board, the developer-kit version of Yocto-built Linux includes even more libraries and resources to help developers create applications in their favorite programming language. This version includes GCC, Python, Node.js, OpenCV, to name a few.

In addition, sketches that you upload to the Intel® Galileo board are erased when the board is powered down. To be able to resume the sketch even after powering down your board, you must boot from a micro SD card.


You must have a few things to begin. The steps below are for creating a micro SD card with a Linux* host system. There are separate instructions for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Download and extract the image

This section contains steps to download and extract the latest developer kit version of the Linux image.

  1. Download the latest Intel® Galileo Board microSD Card Linux* Operating System Image from the Intel® Galileo Board Downloads page.
  2. Right-click the .bz2 file and select Extract here to start the extraction process.
  3. Wait for the file to finish expanding. You should now have a file called alongside the original .bz2 file, where version is either latest or a date in the YYYYMMDDHHMM format.

    Extract the downloaded .bz2 file to a .direct file.

Format your card

This section contains steps to format and partition your micro SD card using Ubuntu and Unity Dash. See below for how to do it using the command line.

  1. Run Disks, as follows:
    1. Run Unity Dash (desktop search utility).
    2. Enter the command: disks.
    3. Select the Disks app.
  2. Insert the micro SD card into your computer.
  3. In the left sidebar, select the micro SD card.

    In Disk Utility, select the SD card.

  4. If you see multiple partitions, select a partition and click the icon to delete the partition.

    Click the - icon to delete extra partitions.

  5. Click the + icon to create a new partition.

    Click the + icon to create a new partition.

  6. From the Type drop-down list, select Compatible with all systems and devices (FAT). In the Name field, type yocto to make it easier to identify in the steps below.

    Define the partition type and name.

  7. Wait for Disks to finish formatting your micro SD card. It should only take a moment. Once done, your micro SD card is mounted.

    Verify that the SD card is mounted.

Format your card (command line)

  1. Insert your sd card.
  2. Open a terminal window.
  3. Type: sudo df. You should see a display of mounted drives. If your SD card is 4GB, the 1k-Blocks should be stated at approximately 3980000.
  4. Note the name of the card in the left column
  5. Unmount the card to allow formatting of the card:

    sudo umount /dev/sdb1

    where sdb1 is your card as shown in the left column.
  6. Format the card by doing the following:

    sudo mkdosfs /dev/sdb1 –F32

  7. When the format is complete, you can remount by either reinserting the card or:

    sudo mount /dev/sdb1

Write the image to your card

This section contains steps to write the image to the micro SD card.

  1. Launch Terminal.
  2. Navigate to the location of your expanded .direct file. For example, if your .direct file is on your Desktop, enter the command:

    cd ~/Desktop/
  3. To list all mounted drives, enter the command:

    sudo fdisk -l
  4. When prompted, type your root password and press Enter.
  5. Look for the partition with type FAT32. Check the FAT32 partition against the parent disk size; it should be the size of your micro SD card. Note the disk name of the SD card, which should have a name similar to /dev/sdb. Be sure not to confuse the disk name with the partition name, which should have a name similar to /dev/sdb1.

    Note the disk name of your SD card, not the partition name.

  6. Use the dd command to write the image to the card. Replace version with the version you are using, which should be either latest or a date in the YYYYMMDDHHMM format. Replace diskname with the disk number you noted in the previous step.

    Caution: Ensure that you have the correct disk name, as described in the step above. Copying and pasting the command below with the wrong disk name could result in your data being erased from the wrong drive.

    sudo dd of=/dev/diskname bs=3M conv=fsync
  7. Wait for the write process to finish. Please be patient, as this may take up to 5 minutes. If the command is working properly, you should see flashing lights on your card reader. Once the lights stop flashing, you will see Terminal output confirming records in and out.

    Once the lights on your SD reader stop flashing, verify that your Terminal output contains records in and out.

    Once the write process is complete, you will have a bootable micro SD card named 53 MB Volume with the following contents:

    Complete the write process and verify that your bootable SD card has the correct contents.erify that your bootable SD card has the correct contents.

  8. Eject the micro SD card.

You can now insert the card into the micro SD card slot on your Intel Galileo board. When you power up your board, the board automatically boots using the image on the card.  

Now that you have created your bootable card, continue to assemble and power your board. If you want to get going quickly in Arduino, skip to installing the Arduino IDE.

For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.