iTCO watchdog in Ubuntu

roar New Member Posts: 9
edited April 2021 in UP Board Linux


In Ubilinux 4 running on our UP Boards, we can see the TCO watchdog:

We cannot get the iTCO watchdog to show up under /dev/watchdog in Ubuntu. Have followed the instructions on your Github and set up Ubuntu desktop 20.04 correctly as per these instructions yet the iTCO watchdog doesn't display.

What kernel should we have installed to get the watchdog working? We installed:
Linux upxtreme-UP-WHL01 5.4.0-1-generic #2~upboard2-Ubuntu SMP Thu Jul 25 13:35:27 UTC 2019 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux as per the instructions.

Should we be using a different kernel to get the iTCO watchdog on an UP Board? We don't want to use Ubilinux anymore so need this to work in Ubuntu.

P.S. we need the iTCO watchdog, not a softdog.


  • DCleri
    DCleri Administrator, AAEON Posts: 1,213 admin
    edited April 2021

    ~~iTCO is already enabled as you can see, but on Ubuntu we kept the standard wdat_wdt driver provided by the distrubution.
    ~~In order to use iTCO you would need to recompile the kernel with wdat_wdt disabled and itco_wdt enabled.
    ~~The source code of our kernel is available viaour repository on launchpad or via github: (valid for both Ubuntu 18.04 and 20.04)

    Sorry for the wrong information above.
    Ubuntu actually blacklist the iTCO driver, so you would need to edit the /lib/modprobe.d/blacklist_linux-hwe-5.4_5.4.0-1-generic.conf
    and delete the following lines:

    blacklist iTCO_vendor_support
    backlist iTCO_wdt

    Also Ubuntu 18.04/20.04 do not include by default the watchdog package, so you need to install it manually:
    sudo apt install watchdog

    then edit the file /etc/default/watchdog

    modifying the specific line to match the following:


    save and exit.
    then edit the file /etc/watchdog.conf
    and comment out the line

    #watchdog-device = /dev/watchdog

    so it will be

    watchdog-device = /dev/watchdog

    save and reboot

  • DCleri
    DCleri Administrator, AAEON Posts: 1,213 admin

    Hi @roar

    Updated information above.

  • roar
    roar New Member Posts: 9

    Thanks for the instructions. Unfortunately, neither the desktop or server version of Ubuntu 20.04.2 can see the Braswell SoC TCO device hardware. Only Ubilinux seems to be able to see the TCO hardware and therefore feed it.

    i.e. Ubuntu only shows the following:

  • yash
    yash New Member Posts: 2

    @DCleri I am also experiencing this with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS kernel. Can you offer some advice on how to get the watchdog to work? when I load the ITCO modules I also only the the above response and do not get /dev/watchdog created.

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