Revision as of 16:21, 29 May 2013 by RobertCNelson (talk | contribs) (Demo Image: add eMMC flasher stuff. ;))
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This page is about running a (ARM EABI) Debian distribution at BeagleBoard. BeagleBoard will boot the (ARM EABI) Debian distribution from SD card. Debian's NetInstall will be used to install Debian onto your Beagle.


If you need any help:

  • When asking for help, please provide some debugging information:
    • U-Boot Version installed on board
    • Kernel Version: uname -a
    • pastebin dmesg
      • Copy from serial port or use "dmesg | pastebinit" (sudo apt-get install pastebinit)

Recommended Beagle Software

Mainline U-Boot:

  • All old Ax, Bx, Cx and Dx boards are required to upgrade to at least these U-Boot versions.
  • XM Boards have no NAND, so MLO/u-boot.img is always required on the first partition
  • Directions: Upgrade X-loader and U-Boot

Debian NetInstall


git clone git://
cd netinstall

Device Options:

BeagleBoard --uboot beagle_cx
BeagleBoard xM --uboot beagle_xm
BeagleBone (serial) --uboot bone-serial
BeagleBone (video via cape) --uboot bone-video
BeagleBone Black --dtb am335x-boneblack
PandaBoard --uboot panda
PandaBoard ES  --uboot panda_es

You will need a 1GB SD card or greater.

Standard System : ~455MB
+ Desktop environment (GNOME) : ~2.9GB

Debian Wheezy

Quick Install script for "board"

sudo ./ --mmc /dev/sdX --uboot "board" --distro wheezy-armhf

So For the BeagleBoard xM:

sudo ./ --mmc /dev/sdX --uboot beagle_xm --distro wheezy-armhf
  • Options:
    • --firmware : installs firmware
    • --serial-mode : debian-installer uses Serial Port

Demo Image

Debian 7.0.0 (wheezy)

Default username/password:

  • username: debian
  • password: temppwd

Default root user/password

  • user: root
  • password: root

Image Updated:

  • 2013-05-18
    • Beagle/Panda/Panda ES: v3.7.10-x10 kernel
    • BeagleBone: v3.2.42-psp27 kernel
    • BeagleBone/BeagleBone Black: v3.8.13-bone20 kernel (--uboot bone_dtb)
      • BBB: USB hotplug now works...
  • 2013-05-18
    • Beagle/Panda/Panda ES: v3.7.10-x10 kernel
    • BeagleBone: v3.2.42-psp27 kernel
    • BeagleBone/BeagleBone Black: v3.8.13-bone18 kernel (--uboot bone_dtb)
  • 2013-04-26
    • Beagle/Panda/Panda ES: v3.7.10-x10 kernel
    • BeagleBone: v3.2.42-psp27 kernel
    • BeagleBone/BeagleBone Black: v3.8.8-bone14 kernel (--uboot bone_dtb)

Services Active:

Note: Depending on your internal network these may work out the box
Apache, Port 80: http://arm/ (Bone: via usb)
SSH, Port 22: ssh ubuntu@arm (Bone: via usb) ubuntu@
shellinabox, Port 4200: https://arm:4200/ (Bone: via usb)
Getty, Serial Port

Active on Boot Script:

  • Disable by removing "run_boot-scripts" from small boot partition...*

Get prebuilt image:


Verify Image with:

md5sum debian-7.0.0-console-armhf-2013-05-29.tar.xz
8b355f33e2c97685c7bdbdbfd166729f  debian-7.0.0-console-armhf-2013-05-29.tar.xz

Unpack Image:

tar xJf debian-7.0.0-console-armhf-2013-05-29.tar.xz
cd debian-7.0.0-console-armhf-2013-05-29

Install Image:

Quick Install script for "board"

sudo ./ --mmc /dev/sdX --uboot "board"

"board" options:

  • BeagleBoard Ax/Bx - beagle_bx
  • BeagleBoard Cx/Dx - beagle_cx
  • BeagleBoard xM - beagle_xm
  • BeagleBone Ax - bone
  • BeagleBone/Black - bone_dtb
  • PandaBoard Ax - panda
  • PandaBoard ES - panda_es

So For the BeagleBoard xM:

sudo ./ --mmc /dev/sdX --uboot beagle_xm
  • Additional Options
    • --rootfs <ext4 default>
    • --swap_file <swap file size in MB's>
    • --addon pico <ti pico projector>
    • --svideo-ntsc <use ntsc over dvi for video)
    • --svideo-pal <use pal over dvi for video)

Debian Jessie (development snapshot)

Image Updated:

  • 2013-05-18
    • Beagle/Panda/Panda ES: v3.7.10-x10 kernel
    • BeagleBone: v3.2.42-psp27 kernel
    • BeagleBone/BeagleBone Black: v3.8.13-bone20 kernel (--uboot bone_dtb)
      • BBB: USB hotplug now works...

Get prebuilt image:


Verify image with:

md5sum debian-jessie-console-armhf-2013-05-29.tar.xz
2d087763b2d0ea8c8ba8ac81ca38aafe  debian-jessie-console-armhf-2013-05-29.tar.xz

Unpack image:

tar xJf debian-jessie-console-armhf-2013-05-29.tar.xz
cd debian-jessie-console-armhf-2013-05-29

Then follow directions show above with the other images...


eMMC: BeagleBone Black

This image can be written to a 1Gb (or greater) microSD card, via 'dd' in linux or the win32 image program linked to on circuitco's wiki page. First hold down on the boot select button (next to microSD card) and apply power (same procedure as the official circuitco images), it should boot into debian and begin flashing the eMMC, once completed all 4 LED's should be full ON... Simply remove power, remove sd card and Debian will now boot from eMMC.

Image Updated:

  • 2013-05-18
    • BeagleBone Black: v3.8.13-bone20 kernel
      • BBB: USB hotplug now works...

Get prebuilt image:


Verify Image with:

md5sum BBB-eMMC-flasher-debian-7.0.0-2013-05-29.img.xz
ca0bcbf6ccb9b9bd5a5952a6284d58a2  BBB-eMMC-flasher-debian-7.0.0-2013-05-29.img.xz

Follow the "standard" update procedure.

Debian Configuration

Serial Ports


edit /etc/inittab and add:

T0:23:respawn:/sbin/getty -L ttyO2 115200 vt102

SGX Video Acceleration

SGX armel/armhf v3.4.x+

  • Note: This is a still a work in progress, but so far all the basic sgx demos seem to work on my Beagle xM C... Thanks to TI for the special armhf binaries!!! --RobertCNelson 19:48, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Test with: Precise/12.04 armhf demo image with v3.4.5-x1, desktop was lxde via: "sudo apt-get install lxde lxde-core lxde-icon-theme"

Re-Build Kernel and SGX Kernel Modules

git clone git://
cd stable-kernel
git checkout origin/v3.7.x -b tmp
./ (and then follow the directions as the script runs...)

Build kernel


Build SGX modules


Insert SD card, make sure to modify MMC in


Place SD card into the device and boot...

cd /opt/sgx
sudo tar xf GFX_4.0*_libs.tar.gz
sudo ./ 

Reboot, check modules (lsmod):

Module                  Size  Used by
bufferclass_ti          5727  0 
omaplfb                11512  0 
pvrsrvkm              165208  2 bufferclass_ti,omaplfb

Blit Test:

ubuntu@omap:/usr/bin/armhf/es5.0$ ./sgx_blit_test 
------------------ SGX 3D Blit test -----------------
----------------------- Start -----------------------
Call PVRSRVConnect with a valid argument:
Get number of devices from PVRSRVEnumerateDevices:
.... Reported 1 devices
.... Device Number  | Device Type
            0000    | PVRSRV_DEVICE_ID_SGX
Attempt to acquire device 0:
Getting SGX Client info
.... ui32ProcessID:1133
Display Class API: enumerate devices
PVRSRVEnumerateDeviceClass() returns 1 display device(s)
Display Class API: open device
Display Class API: Get display info
.... Name:PowerVR OMAP Linux Display Driver
.... MaxSwapChains:1
.... MaxSwapChainBuffers:1
.... MinSwapInterval:0
.... MaxSwapInterval:1
Display Class API: enumerate display formats
.... Display format 0 - Pixelformat:1
Display Class API: enumerate display dimensions
.... Display dimensions 0 - ByteStride:2560 Width:1280 Height:720
Attempt to create memory context for SGX:
.... Shared heap 0 - HeapID:0x7000000 DevVAddr:0x1000 Size:0x87fe000 Attr:0x2014200
.... Shared heap 1 - HeapID:0x7000001 DevVAddr:0xc800000 Size:0xfff000 Attr:0x2024200
.... Shared heap 2 - HeapID:0x7000002 DevVAddr:0xe400000 Size:0x7f000 Attr:0x2024200
.... Shared heap 3 - HeapID:0x7000003 DevVAddr:0xf000000 Size:0x3ff000 Attr:0x2024200
.... Shared heap 4 - HeapID:0x7000004 DevVAddr:0xf400000 Size:0x4ff000 Attr:0x2014200
.... Shared heap 5 - HeapID:0x7000005 DevVAddr:0xfc00000 Size:0x1ff000 Attr:0x2014200
.... Shared heap 6 - HeapID:0x7000006 DevVAddr:0xdc00000 Size:0x7ff000 Attr:0x2014200
.... Shared heap 7 - HeapID:0x7000007 DevVAddr:0xe800000 Size:0x7ff000 Attr:0x2014200
.... Shared heap 8 - HeapID:0x7000008 DevVAddr:0xd800000 Size:0x3ff000 Attr:0x2024200
.... Shared heap 9 - HeapID:0x7000009 DevVAddr:0x8800000 Size:0x0 Attr:0x2024200
.... Shared heap 10 - HeapID:0x700000a DevVAddr:0x8800000 Size:0x3fff000 Attr:0x2014200
Display Class API: get the system (primary) buffer
Display Class API: map display surface to SGX
Attempt to create transfer context for SGX:
Do a SRCCOPY blit to the bottom right quadrant of the display:
(bottom right quadrant should be red on blue background):
Do a SRCCOPY blit to the top left quadrant of the display:
(top left quadrant should be striped (r/g/b/w) on blue background):
Do a CUSTOMSHADER blit to the top right quadrant of the display:
(top right quadrant should be yellow):
0xb6acd000 (host) 0xf407000 (device): Device mem for custom shader program
0xb6acb000 (host) 0xf408000 (device): Device mem for texture
USE custom shader program: 0x28841001.c0000000	mov.end o0, sa0
Do a SRCCOPY blit with COLOUR DOWNSAMPLING from ARGB8888 to RGB565
and then present the RGB565 to the bottom right quadrant of the screen
(bottom right quadrant should be a red gradient):
Free the off screen surfaces:
Destroy the transfer context:
Display Class API: unmap display surface from SGX
Destroy Device Memory Context
Display Class API: close the device
Release SGX Client Info:
Disconnect from services:
------------------ SGX 3D Blit test -----------------
------------------------ End ------------------------

SGX Legacy armel only upto v3.2.x

NOTE: this only works on BeagleBoard hardware, BeagleBone stuff is in development..

Requirements: stable-kernel (the Demo Images hosted on meet this requirement)

Note: Due to a bug (seems to only effect older Beagle Bx/Cx boards, use v3.0.8-x3 based kernels)

SDK unPackage Script

Download the latest version of the "" script


Make script executable

chmod a+x ./create_sgx_package_*.sh

Run script


After Successfully running:

:~/temp$ ls
GFX_X_XX_XX_XX_libs.tar.gz                      : -> Copy to Beagle (System Libs)
GFX_Linux_SDK.tar.gz                            : -> Copy to Beagle (DEMO's)

Beagle: GFX_*_libs.tar.gz

tar xf GFX_4_00_00_01_libs.tar.gz  (extracts and
./ (copies necessary SGX libs and startup script)
./ (force run the new init script, or you can just reboot...)

On successful install:

Stopping PVR
Starting PVR
Starting SGX fixup for ES2.x (or ES3.x) (or ES5.x xM)

Reboot for good measure

sudo reboot

Beagle: GFX_Linux_SDK.tar.gz

tar xf GFX_Linux_SDK.tar.gz
cd GFX_Linux_SDK
tar xf OGLES.tar.gz

Test SGX with a DEMO

cd OGLES/SDKPackage/Binaries/CommonX11/Demos/EvilSkull

Trouble Shooting

sudo rm /etc/powervr-esrev
sudo depmod -a omaplfb
sudo /etc/init.d/pvr restart



  • Note: This section is BeagleBoard(-xM) only since the BeagleBone (Black) doesn't have a DSP.

The following Gstreamer elements will be installed:

 $ gst-inspect | grep dsp
 dvdspu:  dvdspu: Sub-picture Overlay
 dsp:  dspdummy: DSP dummy element
 dsp:  dspvdec: DSP video decoder
 dsp:  dspadec: DSP audio decoder
 dsp:  dsph263enc: DSP video encoder
 dsp:  dspmp4venc: DSP MPEG-4 video encoder
 dsp:  dspjpegenc: DSP video encoder
 dsp:  dsph264enc: DSP video encoder
 dsp:  dspvpp: DSP VPP filter
 dsp:  dspipp: DSP IPP

Please note that h264 encoder (dsph264enc) will not work because of missing h264venc_sn.dll64P DSP part. According to this message, it is not available due to a licensing restriction.

Requirements: Kernel built with: "CONFIG_TIDSPBRIDGE=m", for reference, here is what's image/deb's are configured for:

ubuntu@arm:~$ zcat /proc/config.gz | grep TIDSP

On the xM: if 3.2.x is too jerky, try 3.4.x and use the script, as the module changed..

Download the latest version of the "" script


Make script executable

chmod a+x ./

Package script:


Copy DSP_Install_libs.tar.gz to Beagle

Setup network...


ubuntu@arm:~$ tar xf DSP_Install_libs.tar.gz


ubuntu@arm:~$ ./

What got installed:

ubuntu@arm:~$ ls -lh /lib/dsp/
total 7.1M
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 1.3M Dec  3 10:56 baseimage.dof
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  51K Dec  3 10:56 conversions.dll64P
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  13K Dec  3 10:56 dctn_dyn.dll64P
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 2.5M Dec  3 10:56 h264vdec_sn.dll64P
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 481K Dec  3 10:56 jpegdec_sn.dll64P
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 229K Dec  3 10:56 jpegenc_sn.dll64P
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 767K Dec  3 10:56 m4venc_sn.dll64P
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 890K Dec  3 10:56 mp4vdec_sn.dll64P
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 707K Dec  3 10:56 mpeg4aacdec_sn.dll64P
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  15K Dec  3 10:56 qosdyn_3430.dll64P
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  14K Dec  3 10:56 ringio.dll64P
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 9.1K Dec  3 10:56 TSPA_Object_Code_Software_License_Agreement.txt
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  53K Dec  3 10:56 usn.dll64P
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 245K Dec  3 10:56 vpp_sn.dll64P

Building gst-dsp stuff:

If you installed this image via the demo images or netinstall, the gst-dsp build script is installed:

Update arm tools directory to the latest:

ubuntu@arm:~$ cd /boot/uboot/tools/
ubuntu@arm:/boot/uboot/tools$ sudo ./

Otherwise, install via git:

git clone git://

Change to the pkgs directory

ubuntu@arm:~$ cd /boot/uboot/tools/pkgs
(or if just cloned)
ubuntu@arm:~$ cd ~/tools/pkgs

Build gst-dsp stuff..


Start dspbridge (or just reboot)

sudo /etc/init.d/dsp_init start

Test dspbridge

sudo dsp-test


sudo gst-launch playbin2 uri=file://(file)

Example: (using 854x480 mp4 )

Note: it seems broken in Ubuntu precise armhf...
sudo gst-launch playbin2 uri=file:///home/USER/big_buck_bunny_480p_surround-fix.avi

Building Kernel

Note, this section use to have a lot of details, but maintenance of the two wiki's became a pain, so for now on we will just link to my other pages:

Beagle/Beagle xM


BeagleBone Black

Panda/Panda ES

Upgrading from Debian 5 to Debian 6

Upgrading from Debian 5 to Debian 6 report and tutorial.

Upgrading from Debian 6 (Squeeze) to Debian 7 (Wheezy)

Note, this only goes over "armel" -> "armel"... For users wishing to switch from "armel" -> "armhf" just re-install...

sudo apt-get update ; sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo sed -i -e "s/squeeze/wheezy/g" /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update ; sudo apt-get install -y apt aptitude udev dpkg
sudo aptitude update ; sudo aptitude -y safe-upgrade ; sudo aptitude -y dist-upgrade