Beagleboard:Debian On BeagleBone Black

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This page shows you how to boot various versions of Debian on your BeagleBone Black. These are just options that are in addition to the Angstrom that ships with the boards. These options are not officially supported by Circuitco or Beagleboard.org.

Main Process

The steps described here are steps you must take before installing either version of Debian described in this Wiki. These instructions are for users with a Windows computer.

  1. Download one of the following images. The first image requires you to boot from a microSD every time while the second image allows you to flash the image to the eMMC and boot from there.
    • For an image that can run from a microSD card, visit this link
    • There is also an image for flashing to the eMMC by Robert C Nelson found on this page (look for the .img.xz file not .tar.xz)
    Alternatively, the direct download link for this image is here: Debian Wheezy 7.0.0 eMMC Flasher
  2. After you have downloaded the .img.xz file you want, use a program such as 7zip to extract the image file.
    • Once 7zip is installed, right click on .img.xz file you just downloaded and click 7zip > Extract Here, to extract the .img file.
  3. Insert the microSD card into your computer.
    • Using a microSD-to-SD or microSD-to-USB adapter is fine
  4. Use Win32 Disk Imager to write the image onto your micro SD.
    • Instructions on how to use Win32 Disk Imager can be found here.
  5. After Win32 Disk Imager has finished, remove the microSD card from your computer.

You are now ready to follow directions below that correspond to the version of Debian you downloaded.

Debian Wheezy On Micro SD

This section assumes you have completed the Main Process section at the top of this page. This section shows you how to install Debian Wheezy on a microSD card to boot your BeagleBone Black from. NOTE: This process does not flash the eMMC with an image to boot from; it only provides instructions to boot from a micro SD card every time.

  1. After you have put the BeageBone Black Debian Wheezy 7.0.0 image on a micro SD card insert it into the powered-off BBB.
    • Also make sure you have a keyboard, mouse, display, and Ethernet connected
  2. While holding down the boot button, apply power to the board. Continue to hold the 'boot' button until the USER LEDs begin to flash
    • You should use a 5V external power source if possible, USB power is acceptable but may not work.
  3. After about a minute your screen should show the terminal login prompt, sign in
    User: debian
    Password: debian
    • Note: echo is turned off for typing in password
  4. You should now have a terminal.
    • Remember that any time you want to boot from microSD you may have to hold down the 'boot' button. If you don't, the BBB may just boot from whatever is on the eMMC. To prevent this from happening see this FAQ
    • If you want to install LXDE on the micro SD card see this page
    • If you want to install full Gnome Desktop on the microSD see this page.

Linux users: For instructions on how to install Debian on a microSD using Linux, see Robert C Nelson's page here

Flashing Debian Wheezy 7.0.0 to the eMMC

This section assumes you have completed the Main Process section at the top of this page. This section shows you how to flash Debian Wheezy onto the eMMC of your BeagleBone Black.

  1. After you have put the BeageBone Black Debian Flasher image on a micro SD card, insert it into the powered-off BBB.
    • Also make sure you have a keyboard, mouse, display, and Ethernet connected
  2. While holding down the 'boot' button, apply power to the board. Continue to hold the 'boot' button until the USER LEDs begin to flash
    • You should use a 5V external power source, USB power may not work
  3. After about a minute your screen should show the login prompt.
  4. Leave the board be for about 10 minutes; the image is being flashed to the eMMC
  5. After about 10 minutes have passed the 4 LEDs should be solid and not flickering. Remove the power, remove the mirco SD, and then re-apply power to the board
  6. It will take a minute or two for the board to boot to the log-in screen
    User is: debian
    Password is: temppwd
    • Note: echo is turned off for typing in password
  7. You should now be in the command line terminal for Debian and your BeagleBone Black will boot here from now on.
    • If you want to install LXDE on the micro SD card see this page.