U-Boot versions and configurations will vary across target devices, especially when OEMs and vendors have introduced their own modifications. Although we’d like to make Depthcharge as robust as time permits, we’ll never be able to ensure it works as intended on every platform out there.

Thus, we expect that users will have to do some occasional troubleshooting when they encounter issues. If you reach out via the issue tracker, we’ll very likely ask for the two pieces of information shown here.

Debug Log Output

Depthcharge defaults to a log level of “note”, which is one level more verbose than the “info” level. The most verbose output can be obtained by setting the log level to “debug”. Additionally, when the debug level is set, the Depthcharge scripts will print traceback output if any unexpected errors occur.

The log level can be via the DEPTHCHARGE_LOG_LEVEL environment variable or by the depthcharge.log.set_level() function. The following example shows the former approach being used to redirect log output to a log.txt.

$ depthcharge-read-mem -c my_device.cfg -a 0x87f4_0124 -l 128 2> log.txt

Monitor Log

If an unexpected failure occurs in Depthcharge core code, it may be the case that some logic or parsing code is not accounting for differences between the version of U-Boot installed on your target device, and those previously tested.

The easiest way to get to the bottom of this is to capture all data communicated over the serial console interface before and up to the failure. This can be done using a FileMonitor to log this data to a file, as shown below.

$ depthcharge-inspect -c my_device.cfg -m file:monitor.txt

Console Quirks

As documented in the Console class, there are two timing parameters that you may find yourself needing to adjust if a device is inducing strange failures: the Console timeout and an optional intra-character delay (intrachar). Both can be specified programatically as keyword arguments to the


If you feel that operations are just running sluggishly, but there’s not any particular failure, you can try reducing the Console timeout via the DEPTHCHARGE_CONSOLE_TIMEOUT environment variable. The following (Bash) example sets a timeout of 15 ms prior to invoking depthcharge-readmem.

$ depthcharge-readmem -c mydevice.cfg -a 0xa800_6000 -l 1024

However, if you set this timeout too low, you may find that Depthcharge is reporting timeouts before a device has responded with all of the expected output.

Intracharacter Delay

Another snag one might encounter is that a device’s UART FIFO may fill and drop data if the device isn’t able to consume console input quickly enough. From Depthcharge’s perspective, this will likely manifest as commands failing with the commands being partially echoed (incorrectly) in Monitor output.

The optional intrachar Console parameter and associated DEPTHCHARGE_CONSOLE_INTRACHAR environment variable can be used to add an intra-byte delay between each byte sent via the UART. No such delay is added by default.

The value of this parameter is treated as a lower bound because there will be some implicit added overhead just by virtue of performing write() and flush() on a per-byte basis when sending data to the serial port. (In contrast, when this feature is not enabled - i.e. the default - data is written in its entirety to the host’s corresponding serial device. The underlying driver and hardware ultimately is responsible for how much time, if any, occurs between succesive bytes.)

In cases where you need to use this, you may find that it’s sufficient to specify value of 0 - this will just incur the implicit overhead without performing any additional sleep() between attempts to write to the serial port.