USB Serial Adapters and VxWorks-7 Integration

by | Feb 16, 2021 | VxWorks

1 Introduction

VxWorks is a Real Time Operating System built by Wind River. The VxWorks USB stack supports USB serial adapter devices. The target console can be accessed via the USB serial adapter.

This blog describes how to build and deploy VxWorks with serial adapter support, and direct the VxWorks console to it.


2 Prerequisites

These instructions assume that you are using:

Wind River VxWorks 7, SR0660 Intel target booting from UEFI BIOS A USB flash drive (4 GB minimum) A USB serial adapter 3 types of USB serial adapter are supported: FTDI 232 Prolific 2303 Adapters supporting the USB CDC protocol


3 Create and Build the VxWorks Source Build (VSB) Project

Open a DOS shell, configure the build environment and then build the project.

cd <WIND_HOME>              // your installation directory
wrenv -p vxworks-7
cd <YOUR_WORKSPACE>         // your workspace
vxprj vsb create adapter_vsb -bsp itl_generic -smp -force -S
cd adapter_vsb              // your workspace
vxprj vsb add USB_CLASS     // add the USB class to the VSB
vxprj vsb add USB_HELPER    // add the USB helper to the VSB
vxprj vsb add USB_SERIAL    // add the USB serial class to the VSB
make -j 32                  // build the VSB

4 Create and Build the Basic VxWorks Image Project (VIP)

Create the basic VxWorks image project (VIP) as follows.

cd ..
vxprj create -smp itl_generic adapter_vip -profile PROFILE_INTEL_GENERIC -vsb adapter_vsb
cd adapter_vip
vxprj vip component add INCLUDE_MULTI_STAGE_WARM_REBOOT
vxprj vip bundle add BUNDLE_STANDALONE_SHELL
                            // add support for all supported USB serial adapters
vxprj vip component add INCLUDE_USB_GEN2_SER_FTDI232
vxprj vip component add INCLUDE_USB_GEN2_SER_PL2303
vxprj vip component add INCLUDE_USB_GEN2_SER_WRS_CDC
vxprj vip component add INCLUDE_USB_GEN2_SERIAL_INIT
vxprj build

5 Boot VxWorks on the Target and Test the USB Serial Adapter

5.1 Deploy the UEFI Bootloader and the VxWorks kernel image

Refer to the itl_generic BSP readme file for instructions on how to build and deploy the UEFI boot loader and the VxWorks image file on the USB flash drive. Find this readme file here:


After following these instructions to deploy the UEFI boot loader and vxWorks kernel image, you will find the following files on the USB flash drive:


5.2 Prepare the Intel target

Configure the target BIOS to boot the target from the USB flash drive.

Attach USB flash drive to the Intel target.

Attach USB serial adapter to the Intel target.

5.3 Boot the Target

Power-on the target. Once the target has booted, you will see the kernel shell prompt. You will also see a message to say that the USB serial adapter driver has been attached and device initialised.

Target Name: vxTarget

                 VxWorks 7 SMP 32-bit

 Copyright 1984-2021 Wind River Systems, Inc.

      Core Kernel version:
               Build date: Jan 31 2021 11:44:04
                    Board: x86 Processor (ACPI_BOOT_OP) SMP/SMT PAE
                CPU Count: 8
           OS Memory Size: ~16224MB
         ED&R Policy Mode: Permanently Deployed

Adding 8849 symbols for standalone.

-> Find USB-to-Serial adapter device: FTDI USB-to-Serial Adapter
Added new USB-to-Serial adapter device as /usb2ttyS/0

-> devs
drv refs name
12 [ 3] /usb2ttyS/0

6 Direct the VxWorks Console to /usb2ttyS/0

When the VxWorks console component INCLUDE_USB_GEN2_SERIAL_PCCONSOLE_INIT is added, a new device is created called /ttyUSB0 which represents /usb2ttyS/0 to the VxWorks I/O system.

vxprj vip component add INCLUDE_USB_GEN2_HELPER
vxprj vip parameter setstring CONSOLE_NAME "/ttyUSB0"
                          // check that the console name is /ttyUSB0
vxprj vip parameter value CONSOLE_NAME
                          // check that the console baud rate is 9600
vxprj vip parameter value CONSOLE_BAUD_RATE

Rebuild the VxWorks kernel and deploy the image file to the target USB flash drive.

7 Reboot the Target with the VxWorks Console on the USB Serial Connection

Attach a serial cable between the target USB adapter and a serial workstation connection to access the serial VxWorks console.

Reattach the USB flash drive to the target and reboot.

-> devs
drv refs name
 3 [ 3] /ttyUSB0
 2 [ 3] /tyCo/1  ==>  /ttyUSB0
12 [ 3] /usb2ttyS/0

The VxWorks console will be available from both the PC Console and the USB serial adapter connection.

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