In order to get access to the AP and EC consoles or reprogram a Chrome OS device's firmware or BIOS without using the AP, older Chrome OS devices required opening the device to get access to a debug header used by Servo. These servo headers are frequently unpopulated on production units.
Newer Chrome OS devices have a secure microcontroller in them which runs an embedded OS called Cr50. Among other capabilities, this chip allows developers to securely debug the device without physically opening it.
Current Cr50 capabilities allow read/write access to a UART on the AP and read-only UART access to the EC. More interfaces will be exposed in the future. Eventually it should replace all Servo capabilities.
This document describes basic “Closed Case Debug” (CCD) and debug cable (SuzyQ) information. For more in depth instructions on using CCD see the following:
The Cr50 code uses the microcontroller’s USB interface to expose its debugging functionality. This interface can be reached via a special USB Type-C cable called “SuzyQ” on one of the system’s ports.
To put Cr50 into debug mode, the SuzyQ cable has to present itself as a Debug Accessory (see Chapter B of the USB Type-C Specification). When this cable is detected the system will connect the Cr50 full-speed USB2.0 interface to the SBU pins of the Type-C connector. Note that this prevents use of the DisplayPort alternate-mode (which also uses the SBU pins) but preserves regular USB operation on the port.
Once the SuzyQ cable is connected, Cr50 makes several USB endpoints available to the host to communicate with the consoles, to program firmware, etc. More details about setting up Cr50 and these CCD software interfaces can be found in the documentation section of the EC codebase.
SuzyQ is a cable that tells the Cr50 to go into debug mode. SuzyQ includes a USB hub in the cable, which allows the host computer to access both the debug interface (on the SBU pins) and any gadget-mode interfaces exposed by the device-under-test (for example an ADB interface for debugging Android applications). Reference schematics are available for the SuzyQ.
This cable is available for purchase from Sparkfun: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/14746.
NOTE: The cable will generally only work in one port and one orientation. If it doesn't work try the other port, or flip the connector. Check the Chrome OS device list for more details about the specific device you are using.
To see if it worked you can check the presence of
/dev/ttyUSB* devices, or monitor
lsusb for Cr50 device enumeration:
(chroot) $ watch -n 1 "lsusb | grep 18d1:5014"
One needs a USB Type-C Male breakout board and some way of connecting the other end to a computer’s USB port (like a Type A Male port).
|Type C Male||Other host (Type A Male)|
|A8 (SBU 1)||D+|
|B8 (SBU 2)||D-|
|A4, A9, B4, B9 (VBUS)||VBUS, 5V|
|A5 (CC1)||22 kΩ resistor to VBUS|
|B5 (CC2)||56 kΩ resistor to VBUS|
|A1, A12, B1, B12 (GND)||GND|
Servo v4 also has CCD capabilities (routing SBU lines to the USB host, signaling on the CC lines debug accessory mode), so it can be used as an alternative to the SuzyQ cable. During debugging, Servo v4 will normally allow the device-under-test to act as a USB host, providing it with an Ethernet interface and USB flash device that may be used for a recovery image. Servo v4 allows USB Type-C connection automation (both data and charging).
To use most of the features of CCD, on your Linux workstation you need to build Chromium OS and create a chroot environment. It’s possible to use a subset of CCD without that; see the Raw Access section.
The hdctools (Chrome OS Hardware Debug & Control Tools) package contains several tools needed to work with
servod. Make sure the latest version is installed in your chroot:
(chroot) $ sudo emerge hdctools
On your workstation,
servod must also be running to communicate with Cr50:
(chroot) $ sudo servod -b $BOARD &
CPU/AP UART can be accessed by running:
(chroot) $ miniterm.py --lf `dut-control cpu_uart_pty|cut -d ":" -f 2`
Note that on a normal install of Chrome OS the UART is not normally used. The device must be in Developer Mode or using a custom OS.
On most x86 production images the UART drivers are also disabled for performance reasons, but they can be added back in with a custom AP firmware.
(chroot) $ miniterm.py --lf `dut-control ec_uart_pty|cut -d ":" -f 2`
The console is read only, unless you have opened CCD. The console will show various debug mesages from charging, keyboard scanning, power state.
Cr50 itself has a console available, but most commands are locked by default for security:
(chroot) $ miniterm.py --lf `dut-control cr50_uart_pty|cut -d ":" -f 2`
Most CCD features are locked down by default on Cr50. You need to enable them before you can use them. For information on setting up Cr50 CCD see the GSC CCD setup doc.
A subset of these features (e.g., UART lines) can be accessed without a
Once the SuzyQ is plugged in, three
/dev/ttyUSB devices will enumerate:
The “Closed Case Debugging” column in the Chrome OS device list indicates whether CCD is supported.
If the device is ARM, the CPU/AP UART works by default in dev mode (you should see a login prompt). x86 devices disable it for performance / power reasons, but UART can be re-enabled with a custom firmware.