BeagleBone is an inexpensive, very capable ARMv7 development kit from the same people who make the BeagleBoard.

The BeagleBone features:

  • TI Sitara AM3359 720-MHz superscalar ARM Cortex-A8
  • 2x 200MHz ARM7 programmable real-time coprocessors
  • PowerVR SGX 530 GPU & LCD expansion header
  • 256-MB DDR2 RAM
  • 1x USB 2.0 host port
  • 1x USB 2.0 device port
  • On-chip 10/100 Ethernet, not off of USB
  • MicroSD slot
  • On-board USB-to-serial/JTAG over shared USB device port
  • Add-on "capes" for expansion like Arduino shields
  • 4x User Controllable LEDs
  • 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
  • 6 serial ports (1 over usb, 5 more on headers)
  • 66 GPIO pins
  • 8 PWM outputs
  • 7 A/D converters
  • Board size: 3.4" x 2.1"
ARMv7 Cortex-A8
TI AM3358 720Mhz
Micro SD

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 the ext4 filesystem:
    mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdX1
  5. Mount the filesystem:
    mkdir mnt
    mount /dev/sdX1 mnt
  6. Download and extract the root filesystem:
    bsdtar -xpf ArchLinuxARM-am33x-latest.tar.gz -C mnt
  7. 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
  8. Insert the SD card into the BeagleBone, connect ethernet, and apply 5V power.
  9. Use the serial console or SSH to the IP address given to the board by your router.
    • Login as the default user alarm with the password alarm.
    • The default root password is root.
  10. Initialize the pacman keyring and populate the Arch Linux ARM package signing keys:
    pacman-key --init
    pacman-key --populate archlinuxarm

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