How To Use Device Tree Overlay

From release V0.9.3-20200814 device tree overlay is enabled.
You can edit environment file /boot/env.txt to setup the device tree overlays to enable or disable the peripherals.

How To Use

In this documentation, we will take VIM3 as an example to descripe how to use the device tree overlays.

You can find the device tree overlays configuration in /boot/env.txt for VIM3.

# Device Tree Overlays
# uart3 -- Enable UART3 (uart_C, GPIO Header PIN15 & PIN16)
# pwm_f -- Enable PWM_F (GPIO Header PIN35)
# i2c3 -- Enable i2c3 (GPIO Header PIN22 & PIN23)
# spi1 -- Enable SPI1 (GPIO Header PIN15 & PIN16 & PIN35 & PIN37), pwm_f need to be removed
# os08a10 -- Enable OS08A10 Camera
# onewire -- Enable onewire bus (PIO Header PIN15)
# disable-ts050 -- Disable TS050 LCD
overlays=uart3 pwm_f i2c3 os08a10

uart3 pwm_f i2c3 os08a10 are enabled by default.

  • If you want to disable pwm_f you can remove pwm_f in overlays node.

  • If you want to enable onewire, you can add onewire to overlays node.

Note: You need to save the file /boot/env.txt and reboot the board to make it available.

Make Your Own DTBO Files

There are some ready to use dtbo files, you can also add your own dtbos to enable or disable the peripherals.

The default dtbo files are stored in directory: /boot/dtb/overlays/#BOARD#

khadas@Khadas:~$ ll /boot/dtb/overlays/kvim3
total 36
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Aug 15 15:49 ./
drwxr-xr-x 6 root root 4096 Aug 15 15:49 ../
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 352 Aug 14 11:07 disable-ts050.dtbo
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 223 Aug 14 11:07 i2c3.dtbo
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 472 Aug 14 11:07 onewire.dtbo
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1072 Aug 14 11:07 os08a10.dtbo
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 345 Aug 14 11:07 pwm_f.dtbo
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 447 Aug 14 11:07 spi1.dtbo
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 225 Aug 14 11:07 uart3.dtbo
  • Write your own device tree overlay file, for example example.dts:

/ {
fragment@0 {
target = <&i2c3>;

__overlay__ {
status = "okay";

This device tree overlay is to enable i2c3.

  • Compile it to dtbo
khadas@Khadas:~$ dtc -I dts -O dtb -o example.dtbo example.dts
khadas@Khadas:~$ ls example.dtbo
  • Move the dtbo file to /boot/dtb/overlays/kvim3

  • Edit /boot/env.txt to add in node overlays

  • Reboot the board