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BeagleBone Bringup

December 11, 2011


If you are beginner then BeagleBone is the best platform for you to learn (embedded) Linux. TI designed first BeagleBoard somewhere is 2008. Currently they have C4 version. They launched upgraded version of beagle board in 2010 -BeagleBoard-xM. But both boards are very expensive and if you are beginner then probably you don’t want to spend that much money. Basic board requirement to learn linux is it should have Ethernet, USB and SD card support. Also when you are learning there is chance that you may brick the board. What if you erase Flash on BeagleBoard, though you can boot from serial port, it is not user friendly.

It won’t be wrong if I call BeagleBone as arduino version of BeagleBoard. They have removed some unrequired interfaces like NAND Flash, DVI, S-Video and reduced its size to 3.4″x2.1″. Just like arduino you can write programs in web browser. Also you can use single USB cable for Power, Serial port and JTAG interface.

Box Packed BeaglBone consist of:

  • BeagleBone Board
  • USB Cable
  • 4GB micro-SD Card x 2 (One contains Drivers, documentation and another contains Linux SDK)
  • MicroSD to SD Card convertor
  • Metal Case for BeagleBone board

In this post we will see how to program/upgrade SD card with Linux image and how to build custom Linux image.

Update Image

If you do not want custom linux image then you can download updated version from

and use below command to copy image to SDCARD
zcat Angstrom-Cloud9-IDE-eglibc-ipk-v2011.10-core-beaglebone-r0.img.gz > /dev/sdX
If it is xz image then use
xz -dkc Angstrom-Cloud9-IDE-eglibc-ipk-v2011.10-core-beaglebone-r0.img.xz > /dev/sdX


After this insert SD card into BeagleBone and connect USB cable. To use serial on fedora you need to install screen and configure baud rate to 115200

yum install screen
modprobe ftdi_sio vendor=0x0403 product=0xa6d0
screen /dev/`dmesg | grep FTDI | grep "now attached to" | tail -n 1 |awk '{ print $NF }'` 115200

After booting you should get below screen

By default login is root. There is no password.

Building Custom Linux Image

Now we will see how to build custom Linux image. First you need to install some basic packages for building image

yum install lzop.i686
sudo yum groupinstall 'Development Tools'
yum update
yum install python m4 make wget curl ftp cvs subversion tar bzip2 gzip unzip python-psyco perl texinfo texi2html diffstat openjade docbook-style-dsssl docbook-style-xsl docbook-dtds docbook-utils sed bison bc glibc-devel glibc-static gcc binutils pcre pcre-devel git quilt groff linuxdoc-tools patch linuxdoc-tools gcc-c++ help2man perl-ExtUtils-MakeMaker tcl-devel gettext ccache chrpath cmake ncurses apr

Clone setup script repository

git clone git://

Start building image

cd setup-scripts
git checkout origin/oe-core -b oe-core
./ config beaglebone
MACHINE=beaglebone ./ bitbake systemd-image

Linux source file


Actual path in my case


Image location


From → BeagleBoard

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