Remote Testing Environment (RTE) workshop


As PC Engines firmware maintainers and aspiring IBV, we face lots of different issues with development. Critical bugs and regressions are our biggest enemies. Narrowing down serious problem requires a lot of repetitive work. The typical process looks like that:

  1. modify & build firmware with a potential fix
  2. flash affected firmware version
  3. boot system
  4. verify if the bug still exists

This can take more than 10min and requires human attention not to make a mistake. If you work hours on one issue, this can be boring and at some point, you will make mistakes which can affect results. Automation of point 1 is already done by coreboot-sdk. It also can involve user-developed scripts. Points 2-4 can be automated using RTE.

Another issue is that platforms and quality firmware developers are spread around the world and we would like to have reasonable access to key features that help in remote development. Because of that, we created RTE.

Remote Testing Environment is an open hardware hat designed for Orange Pi Zero board to work with hardware remotely. It takes advantage of using Linux system and open source frameworks such as Robot Framework to let user conveniently develop firmware, test software and/or hardware. With RTE, your everyday work routines become much faster and easier to maintain from places not related to current setup location. Those include flashing firmware, controlling GPIOs and power management for Device Under Test. RTE is released under CERN Open Hardware

RTE applications:

  • Remote access / control (hardware functionality)
  • Remote industrial application debugging
  • Compatibility testing
  • Platform enabling
  • Performance optimization
  • Automation validation
  • Manufacturing procedures support


In this workshop, we want to present how RTE can be used with open source firmware and help R&D and Q&A teams to achieve their goals.

RTE workshop main points:

  1. RTE features set.
  2. Connecting RTE to real hardware (e.g. PC Engines apu2 or MinnowBoard
  • validation setup - run a simple test in RobotFramework
  1. Comparison of simple procedures:
  • firmware flashing (main goal)
  • present power control possibilities (direct GPIO and Legacy interface)
  1. Development workflow with RTE based on the simple bug.
  2. Questionnaire and RTE giveaway.

Additional information

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Workshop will be interactive with examples
  • There will be a draw between participants, 3mdeb gives away 3 full RTE
    platforms (worth 85 USD each)
  • We are not sure we can handle more than 8 attendees
  • Please, check out our GitHub