I need to use kernel drivers for some I2C peripherals, so I need kernel I2C support. As already discussed in a previous question, the current 3.1.9 kernel doesn't provide support for the SoC's I2C hardware. I was hoping that the new Debian image would include a 3.2 kernel (so that I can use Chris Boot's driver directly), but 2012-08-08-wheezy-armel.zip has still the old version. I don't want to backport the driver myself, I just don't have the time.

  1. Are my above assumptions right, and there is still no I2C support in the "main" kernel?
  2. Are there any plans to move to 3.2 or newer for the official images?
  3. What is the best way to get I2C support inside the kernel?

edit 1: I need to use a distro compiled with softfp ABI

3 Answers 3


Questions 1 to 3 are answered the same:

Current kernel at github is already 3.2. It includes I2C and SPI drivers in the source tree. You just have to activate it in the configuration and compile your own kernel.

  • By enable you mean compile-time?
    – XTL
    Sep 10, 2012 at 5:46
  • Ah, thanks, wasn't aware that the github repo was updated to 3.2... I should have looked more closely...
    – Scolytus
    Sep 10, 2012 at 11:06

I can not answer parts 1 and 2 of your question, but one simple way to get I2C support is to switch to Adafruit's distro Occidentalis

It includes:

  • I2C and hardware SPI support
  • I2C/SPI modules initialized on bootAdafruit's distro Occidentalis

The link above contains more details including installation instructions.

  • Ok, I forgot to mention that I need the softfp ABI, so Raspbian and friends are not an option.
    – Scolytus
    Sep 7, 2012 at 15:56

You can compile your own kernel. You need to configure it to use softfp and compile in the I2C drivers.

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