PCF8563 RTC Module With Odroid C2/C4

  • Odroid-C2/C4
  • uSD-Card ⇒ over 8GB or eMMC Module
  • PCF8563 RTC Module
  • Requirement Linux kernel version
    • Odroid-C2
      • 3.14.65-66 or higher
    • Odroid-C4
      • 4.9.113 or higher


Insert the RTC Shield on your Odroid as the above pictures and turn on the system.

Then enable RTC Shield driver in Device Tree file and make sure the I2C driver loaded.


sudo apt install device-tree-compiler
sudo fdtput -t s /media/boot/meson64_odroidc2.dtb /i2c@c1108500/pcf8563@51 status "okay"
echo "aml_i2c"|sudo tee -a /etc/modules
echo "rtc_pcf8563"|sudo tee -a /etc/modules
sudo reboot


sudo apt install device-tree-compiler
sudo fdtput -t s /media/boot/meson64_odroidc4.dtb /soc/cbus@ffd00000/i2c@1d000 status "okay"
sudo fdtput -t s /media/boot/meson64_odroidc4.dtb /soc/cbus@ffd00000/i2c@1d000/rtc@51 status "okay"
sudo reboot

Check the I2C & RTC module status after reboot, like the following contents.


odroid@odroid64:~$ cat /etc/modules
# /etc/modules: kernel modules to load at boot time.
# This file contains the names of kernel modules that should be loaded
# at boot time, one per line. Lines beginning with "#" are ignored.
odroid@odroid64:~$ ls /dev/rtc*                                                  
/dev/rtc  /dev/rtc0
odroid@odroid64:~$ lsmod
rtc_pcf8563             3996  0
aml_i2c                16898  0


odroid@odroid:~$ ls /dev/rtc*                                                  
/dev/rtc  /dev/rtc0  /dev/rtc1
odroid@odroid:~$ lsmod
rtc_pcf8563             3996  0
i2c_meson_master       20480  0

/dev/rtc1 would be your RTC shield.

  • If you want to choose a specific rtc file when using hwclock command, use -f option.
    • hwclock -s -f /dev/rtc1

Next, if you want to update system Time/Calendar from the Hardware RTC shield at boot time, edit /etc/rc.local file.

Add the following line into the end of /etc/rc.local file.

hwclock -s

Then the contents will be like the following.

if [ -f /aafirstboot ]; then /aafirstboot start ; fi
hwclock -s
exit 0

Make sure to put that line into above the “exit 0” line.

Then reboot your Odroid to take effect.


If everything worked correctly, the RTC shield on your Odroid should be initialized on boot and the stored current date and time will be loaded into Linux.

If it doesn't, check if the “rtc-pcf8563” line exists in the outputs of “lsmod” command.

You can check the current time on the RTC shield by the following command.

sudo hwclock -r

If this is the first time you have run the RTC shield on your Odroid, it will show like “APR 20th 2016”, the default DateTime set into.

If your Odroid can connect to the internet, the date and the time should be set automatically using the internet. Otherwise, you can set them manually by the following command.

sudo date -s "20 APR 2016 18:00:00"

You can check the current OS DateTime with a command; “date”.

To save the DateTime from Linux OS to the RTC shield, use the following command.

sudo hwclock -w

Read the DateTime on the RTC shield by the following command to check if it is saved correctly.

sudo hwclock -r
  • Kernel update can break up the RTC functionality.
    • To avoid this problem, you can use this workaround that will patch the dtb all the time the kernel updates.


sudo -s
echo '#!/bin/sh' > /etc/kernel/postinst.d/rtc
echo 'fdtput -t s /media/boot/meson64_odroidc2.dtb /i2c@c1108500/pcf8563@51 status "okay"' >> /etc/kernel/postinst.d/rtc
chmod +x /etc/kernel/postinst.d/rtc


sudo -s
echo '#!/bin/sh' > /etc/kernel/postinst.d/rtc
echo 'fdtput -t s /media/boot/meson64_odroidc4.dtb /soc/cbus@ffd00000/i2c@1d000/rtc@51 status "okay"' >> /etc/kernel/postinst.d/rtc
chmod +x /etc/kernel/postinst.d/rtc

Disable RTC on Android

  • On Android, RTC works by default. Please see this guide if you want to use I2C for other purposes.
  • This guide works on Android 5.1.1 V2.8 or higher(ODROID-C2)/ Android Pie 64bit (202007xx) or higher(ODROID-C4).



  1. Open File Manager app.
  2. Edit /storage/internal/boot.ini like the below. Check near the end of the file. If you use Android v4.0 or later, edit /internal/boot.ini instead.
    1. Before edit.
      1. movi read dtb 0 ${dtbaddr}
        # load kernel from vfat or boot partition.
        movi read boot 0 ${loadaddr}
        #fatload mmc 0:1 ${loadaddr} Image_android
        booti ${loadaddr} - ${dtbaddr}
    2. After edit.
      1. movi read dtb 0 ${dtbaddr}
        # load kernel from vfat or boot partition.
        #movi read boot 0 ${loadaddr}
        fatload mmc 0:1 ${loadaddr} Image_android
        booti ${loadaddr} - ${dtbaddr}
  3. Load a kernel image from the vfat partition which not include rtc module.

If you see a message like “'fatload' command not found”, remove /storage/internal/boot.ini (or /internal/boot.ini) file and reboot system then try again.


  1. Open Odroid-Settings app.
  2. Select a DTBO Overlay menu.
  3. Select the DTB Overlay List and edit it. If you want to remove rtc module, Please remove the 'pcf8563'.
i2c0 i2c1 spi0 uart0 pcf8563
  • If your network firewall is blocking the NTP service or has no internet connection, you must stop the NTP service. Once the NTP failed, the RTC value could be reset.
  • This guide was made by phaseshifter from our forum. Thanks.

There're two ways to stop NTP daemon.

sudo /etc/init.d/ntp stop
# or,
sudo service ntp stop

To prevent it from starting at boot time, enter the following command.

sudo update-rc.d -f ntp remove

We did cleanly install the Android 5.1 V3.3 image and measured the power consumption with Odroid-C2.

  • When C2 turns on, it consumes less than 1uA.
  • When C2 turns off, it consumes around 15uA.

According to the CR2032 Panasonic datasheet, its nominal capacity is 225mAh.

So its backup time could be around 15000 hours (~ two years). If on/off ratio is 1:1, it can be 3~4 years.