Nvidia AGX Xavier


Nvidia Jetson AGX Xavier was released in 2018 and is the most powerful onboard computer so far. In early 2020, Nvidia has doubled its RAM (from 16G to 32G) at the same price. Some notable features are as follows.

  • 8-core ARMv8 CPU

  • 512 CUDA cores

  • 32GB DDR RAM

  • 32GB eMMC storage

  • possible to add 1TB NVMe SSD

  • acceptable weight (700g)

  • price $699

See initial setup video and unboxing video for more information regarding interfaces and features. See user manual for more details.

Purchase List:


It is required to have another Ubuntu 16 or 18 system to help flash OS image into AGX Xavier. It is recommended to use natively installed Ubuntu, but I have successfully flashed AGX Xavier using a Ubuntu 18 VM in VMware.

Steps to install the system:

  • In host Ubuntu system (16 or 18), download and install Nvidia SDK Manager. You may need to register an account in order to have access to the download page.

  • Follow initial setup video or user manual to set up cable connections. (refer to hardware connections only; the installer in setup video is no longer available; we use sdkmanager instead.)

  • Press force recovery button and power button on AGX Xavier to enter recovery mode. To verify, run lsusb command on host Ubuntu and see if a Nvidia device is available. (Only in recovery mode can Xavier be detected as a device via USB connection.)

  • Follow the instructions on SDK Manager and finish installation. Note that SDK Manager tries to install everything at once. However, I recommend to decompose it into three steps.

    • flash Jetson OS first (uncheck SDK components; network connection on Xavier is not required at this step)

    • once finished, unplug USB connection, restart Xavier in normal mode, connect mouse, keyboard and monitor and set up this new Ubuntu system (username, password, time zone, etc.)

    • connect Xavier and host Ubuntu to the same network, restart SDK Manager on host Ubuntu and install Jetson SDK Components only (uncheck Jetson OS)

Post Installation

As introduced in the unboxing video, Nvidia AGX Xavier by default runs at 15W balance mode with 4 core CPU. To check status and switch model, run the following code.

sudo nvpmodel -q     # check status
sudo nvpmodel -m 0   # switch to max performance mode

Next, we can proceed to install SSD storage and move our entire OS from eMMC to the new SSD storage.

To install NVMe SSD, see this video for hardware instructions. Software instructions may differ in the last a couple steps. I recommend leaving 32GB unallocated for swap.

See this page and this github repo for instructions regarding moving root filesystem from eMMC to SSD storage. The original discussion on Nvidia forum can be seen here. In summary, the commands are as follows.

// make sure SSD is formatted to ext4, and a partition (p1) is set
git clone https://github.com/jetsonhacks/rootOnNVMe.git
cd rootOnNVMe
sudo reboot

Lastly, you may want to install the WiFi + Bluetooth module. Hardware installation is obvious I believe. Software side only the following command is required, though they should be already installed. See also this page.

sudo apt install linux-firmware

Last updated