BeagleBone Black

BeagleBone Black is a $45 community-supported development platform for developers and hobbyists. This version contains many improvements over the previous BeagleBone, including more and faster RAM, 2GB of eMMC flash on-board, processor speed increase to 1GHz, and a micro-HDMI port for video out. Power consumption is also lower, with the board only requiring 210-460mA @5V depending on activity and processor speed. The board comes with a USB-A to mini-B cable to power the board and get started right away.

The BeagleBone Black features:

  • TI Sitara AM3359 1-GHz superscalar ARM Cortex™-A8
  • 2x 200MHz ARM7 programmable real-time coprocessors
  • 512-MB DDR3L RAM
  • 2GB eMMC
  • PowerVR SGX 530 GPU, LCD expansion header, micro HDMI
  • Stereo audio-out via HDMI
  • 1x USB 2.0 host port
  • 1x USB 2.0 device port
  • On-chip 10/100 Ethernet, not off of USB
  • MicroSD slot
  • Add-on "capes" for expansion, compatible with original Bone capes
  • 1 power LED and 4 user controllable LEDs via GPIO
  • Industry standard 3.3V I/Os on the expansion headers with easy-to-use 0.1" spacing
  • Multiple I/O bus: GPMC (nand), MMC, SPI, I2C, CAN, McASP, MMC, 4 Timers, XDMA interrupt
  • 5 serial ports (1 via debug header, 4 more on side headers)
  • 65 GPIO pins
  • 8 PWM outputs
  • 7 12-bit A/D converters (1.8V max)
  • Board size: 3.4” × 2.1”

The installation process consists of creating a micro SD card from which to boot into Arch Linux ARM, then installing to eMMC if you choose to. In order to boot to SD, you must hold down the switch on the top of the board near the micro SD slot as you apply power. This will tell the board to boot from SD first instead of eMMC, and it will remember this until you remove power so future reboots will always boot from SD.

Note
The BeagleBone Black can draw more than 500mA through the mini-USB port, particularly when using an SD card. For this reason, we recommend using a USB charger that can supply more than this as opposed to a port on a computer.

SD Card Creation
Replace sdX in the following instructions with the device name for the SD card as it appears on your computer.

  1. Zero the beginning of the SD card:
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX bs=1M count=8
  2. Start fdisk to partition the SD card:
    fdisk /dev/sdX
  3. At the fdisk prompt, delete old partitions and create a new one:
    1. Type o. This will clear out any partitions on the drive.
    2. Type p to list partitions. There should be no partitions left.
    3. Now type n, then p for primary, 1 for the first partition on the drive, 2048 for the first sector, and then press ENTER to accept the default last sector.
    4. Write the partition table and exit by typing w.
  4. Create and mount the ext4 filesystem:
    mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdX1 mkdir mnt mount /dev/sdX1 mnt
  5. Download and extract the root filesystem:
    wget http://archlinuxarm.org/os/ArchLinuxARM-am33x-latest.tar.gz bsdtar -xpf ArchLinuxARM-am33x-latest.tar.gz -C mnt sync
  6. Install the U-Boot bootloader:
    dd if=mnt/boot/MLO of=/dev/sdX count=1 seek=1 conv=notrunc bs=128k dd if=mnt/boot/u-boot.img of=/dev/sdX count=2 seek=1 conv=notrunc bs=384k umount mnt sync
  7. Insert the SD card into the BeagleBone, connect ethernet, and apply 5V power.
  8. Use the serial console or SSH to the IP address given to the board by your router. The default root password is 'root'.

Installing to eMMC

  1. After booting into Arch Linux ARM, ensure you have wget and dosfstools installed:
    pacman -Syu wget dosfstools
  2. Follow the above steps 1 through 6 using the device /dev/mmcblk1.
  3. Power down the system, waiting until all the LEDs go out:poweroff
  4. Remove power, remove the micro SD card, then reapply power. The system will boot into eMMC. If an SD card created with the above steps is still in the system when it boots, it will boot to the SD card instead of eMMC.
  5. To use the micro SD slot for general storage, simply partition and format the device as a normal drive. Also note that the card must be inserted at boot for it to be recognized.

Architecture

ARMv7l Cortex-A8

Processor

TI AM3359 1.0GHz

RAM

512MB

NAND

2048MB

SD

Micro SD

USB

2

Ethernet

10/100