Difference between revisions of "BeagleBoardUbuntu"

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(Karmic 9.10)
(Lucid 10.04 (alpha-3))
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  wget http://ynezz.ibawizard.net/beagleboard/ubuntu-lucid-alpha3.1-minimal-armel.tar.7z
  wget http://ynezz.ibawizard.net/beagleboard/ubuntu-lucid-alpha3.1-minimal-armel.tar.7z
or from mirror:
wget http://vivaphp.net/beagle/ubuntu-lucid-alpha3.1-minimal-armel.tar.7z
Unpack it:
Unpack it:

Revision as of 06:03, 26 March 2010

This page is about running a (ARM EABI) Ubuntu distribution at BeagleBoard. BeagleBoard will boot the (ARM EABI) Ubuntu distribution from SD card.

Note: for the best experience, make sure you have an LCD attached to the HDMI port, 2GB/4GB/8GB SD card, and a known good usb2.0 hub with mouse and keyboard.


If you need any help:

  • Ubuntu related help:
    • #ubuntu-arm: Ubuntu's arm irc on freenode (logs -> year -> month -> day -> #ubuntu-arm.html)
  • 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

Ubuntu Rootfs Install

This section describes how you create a Ubuntu root file system for your BeagleBoard.


  • Jaunty, aka Ubuntu 9.04, is the old-stable version (armv5 optimized)
  • Karmic, aka Ubuntu 9.10, is the recent stable version (armv6 optimized)
  • Lucid, aka Ubuntu 10.04 is the upcoming Ubuntu version, not released yet (in Feb 2010). Therefore it is listed here as 'testing'. (armv7 optimized)

Development PC: Root File System

Build Image

rootstock is Ubuntu's new name for Oliver's <ogra> depreciated build-arm-rootfs script.

Note: Lucid & Proxy Support is currently in bzr trunk and will release with lucid...

rootstock installation

Note: Use latest debootstrap, if the one posted here is no longer available.

Jaunty (9.04) and Debian:

sudo apt-get install qemu
wget http://ports.ubuntu.com/pool/main/d/debootstrap/debootstrap_1.0.20~jaunty1_all.deb
sudo dpkg -i debootstrap_1.0.20~jaunty1_all.deb
wget http://launchpad.net/project-rootstock/trunk/0.1/+download/rootstock-0.1.3.tar.gz
tar xf rootstock-0.1.3.tar.gz
cd rootstock-0.1.3

Karmic (9.10):

sudo apt-get install rootstock

rootstock trunk:

sudo apt-get install dctrl-tools 
bzr branch lp:project-rootstock

rootstock seed package hints

Useful Packages:

linux-firmware,wireless-tools :wifi adapters..
ntpdate :sync real time clock from network


xfce4:  xfce4,gdm,xubuntu-gdm-theme,xubuntu-artwork

WiFi Hints: http://elinux.org/BeagleBoardUbuntuNetwork

running rootstock

Rootstock Command line:

sudo ./rootstock --fqdn <hostname> --login <rootuser> --password <rootuserpasswd> --imagesize <qemu image size> \
--seed <packages> --dist <jaunty/karmic> --serial <ttySx>  --kernel-image <http>

Basic Karmic (9.10) Beagleboard xfce4 image:

sudo ./rootstock --fqdn beagleboard --login ubuntu --password temppwd --imagesize 2G --dist karmic \
--serial ttyS2 --seed xfce4,gdm,xubuntu-gdm-theme,xubuntu-artwork \
--kernel-image http://rcn-ee.net/deb/kernel/beagle/karmic/v2.6.32.7-x7.1/linux-image-

Upon Completion, you should have:

armel-rootfs-<date>.tgz  -> Root file System, dump to ext2/3 partition of SD card
vmlinuz-2.6.<version>    -> Boot Image, use mkimage to create uImage and dump to the first fat16 partition of SD card

Lucid (10.04) Testing:

Major Changes:

gcc-4.4: https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/lucid/+source/gcc-4.4
 gcc -v: --with-arch=armv7-a --with-tune=cortex-a8 --with-float=softfp --with-fpu=vfpv3-d16

Basic Lucid (10.04) Beagleboard image:

sudo ./rootstock --fqdn beagleboard --login ubuntu --password temppwd --imagesize 2G --dist lucid \
--script fixup.sh --serial ttyS2 \
--kernel-image http://rcn-ee.net/deb/kernel/beagle/lucid/v2.6.32.7-l7.1/linux-image-

Demo Image

Karmic 9.10

Built with:

sudo ./rootstock --fqdn beagleboard --login ubuntu --password temppwd --imagesize 2G \
--seed wget,nano,linux-firmware,wireless-tools,usbutils --dist karmic --serial ttyS2 \
--kernel-image http://rcn-ee.net/deb/kernel/beagle/karmic/v2.6.31.6-x6.0/linux-image-

Get prebuilt image:

wget http://rcn-ee.net/deb/rootfs/ubuntu-9.10-minimal-armel-1.1.tar.7z   (Mirror's welcome)

or from mirror:

wget http://ynezz.ibawizard.net/beagleboard/ubuntu-9.10-minimal-armel-1.1.tar.7z

or from mirror:

wget http://vivaphp.net/beagle/ubuntu-9.10-minimal-armel-1.1.tar.7z

Unpack it:

7za x ubuntu-9.10-minimal-armel-1.1.tar.7z
tar xf ubuntu-9.10-minimal-armel-1.1.tar

md5sum: 574a61b92481b1c86246e018ceb76fd6 ubuntu-9.10-minimal-armel-1.1.tar.7z


1.1 - Switched to based kernel

Lucid 10.04 (alpha-3)

Requirements to Build on your own:

Built with:

sudo ./rootstock --fqdn beagleboard --login ubuntu --password temppwd --imagesize 2G \
--seed wget,nano,linux-firmware,wireless-tools,usbutils --dist lucid --serial ttyS2 --script fixup.sh \
--kernel-image http://rcn-ee.net/deb/kernel/beagle/lucid/v2.6.32.9-l9.1/linux-image-

Get prebuilt image:

wget http://rcn-ee.net/deb/rootfs/ubuntu-lucid-alpha3.1-minimal-armel.tar.7z (Mirror's welcome)

or from mirror:

wget http://ynezz.ibawizard.net/beagleboard/ubuntu-lucid-alpha3.1-minimal-armel.tar.7z

or from mirror:

wget http://vivaphp.net/beagle/ubuntu-lucid-alpha3.1-minimal-armel.tar.7z

Unpack it:

7za x ubuntu-lucid-alpha3.1-minimal-armel.tar.7z
tar xf ubuntu-lucid-alpha3.1-minimal-armel.tar
cd ubuntu-lucid-alpha3.1-minimal-armel

md5sum: 57dd370ca7660f55ae809d631b3e89c8 ubuntu-lucid-alpha3.1-minimal-armel.tar.7z

Development PC: Format SD Card

You will need a 1GB SD card or greater.

Standard Console System : ~286MB
+ Desktop environment (lxde,gdm) : ~479MB

Starting with an empty SD card and using gparted, create:

50 MiB Primary Partition, fat16/fat32
Rest as ext2/ext3

Gparted Example: http://nishanthmenon.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-to-boot-beagle.html

For Reference:

Disk /dev/sdd: 2038 MB, 2038431744 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 247 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0008e471

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdd1               1           6       48163+   6  FAT16
/dev/sdd2               7         247     1935832+  83  Linux

Development PC: Setup SD Partition's


sudo apt-get install uboot-mkimage

Create uImage for U-Boot

U-Boot needs a compatible kernel image to boot. To do this, we are using mkimage from (uboot-mkimage) to create an image from the vmlinuz kernel file.

mkimage -A arm -O linux -T kernel -C none -a 0x80008000 -e 0x80008000 -n "Linux" -d ./vmlinuz-* ./uImage

Create U-Boot boot image

The version of U-Boot installed or recommended to install uses boot scripts by default. This allows users to easily switch between multiple SD cards with different OS's with different parameters installed. Ubuntu/Debian requires a slight modification to the bootargs line vs. Angstrom, 'ro' vs 'rw'.

Add/Edit ubuntu.cmd

setenv bootcmd 'mmc init; fatload mmc 0:1 0x80300000 uImage; bootm 0x80300000'
setenv bootargs 'console=ttyS2,115200n8 console=tty0 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootwait rootfstype=ext3 ro vram=12M omapfb.mode=dvi:1280x720MR-16@60'

Note: If you created an ext2 root filesystem then change "ext3" above to "ext2"

Use mkimage create to actual *.scr file for U-Boot:

mkimage -A arm -O linux -T script -C none -a 0 -e 0 -n "Ubuntu 9.10" -d ./ubuntu.cmd ./ubuntu.scr

Copy uImage and boot.scr

Mount your SD card fat32 partition (assuming /dev/sdX1) and copy the uImage and boot.scr to the first partition.

Note: if your system automounts the mmc card, just issue "sudo umount /dev/sdX1 && sudo umount /dev/sdX2"

mkdir -p ./tmp
sudo mount /dev/sdX1 ./tmp
sudo cp ./uImage ./tmp/uImage
sudo cp ./ubuntu.scr ./tmp/boot.scr
sudo umount ./tmp

Copy the Ubuntu rootfs

Mount your SD card's ext3 partition (assuming /dev/sdX2) and 'untar' the rootfs into it.

mkdir -p ./tmp
sudo mount /dev/sdX2 ./tmp
sudo tar xfp armel-rootfs-*.tgz -C ./tmp
sudo umount ./tmp

Karmic: (9.10) boot fixup

util-linux-ng 2.16 causes this

Edit /etc/fstab

mkdir -p ./tmp
sudo mount /dev/sdX2 ./tmp
sudo gedit ./tmp/etc/fstab
/dev/mmcblk0p2   /   ext3   errors=remount-ro   0   1

Note change the above "ext3" to "ext2" if the root filesystem is ext2

Add/Edit /etc/e2fsck.conf

sudo gedit ./tmp/etc/e2fsck.conf

# Superblock last mount time is in the future (PR_0_FUTURE_SB_LAST_MOUNT).
0x000031 = {
    preen_ok = true
    preen_nomessage = true

# Superblock last write time is in the future (PR_0_FUTURE_SB_LAST_WRITE).
0x000032 = {
    preen_ok = true
    preen_nomessage = true

Add karmic updates to /etc/apt/sources.list

sudo gedit ./tmp/etc/apt/sources.list
deb http://ports.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-ports karmic-updates main universe


cd ./tmp
cd ..
sudo umount ./tmp

You can now place the SD card into the BeagleBoard and start up the BeagleBoard.

Please be patient as the first boot can take a couple of minutes.

You should be presented with a x-window login screen. If you logged into X windows but do not get a full desktop with window management then execute the command "x-session-manager" at the terminal.

Development PC or Beagleboard: System Setup on the (ext2/ext3) Partition

Enable Network Access

Modify /etc/network/interfaces

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

Manual: From the Command line

sudo ifconfig eth0 up
sudo dhclient eth0


sudo ifconfig -a
sudo dhclient ethX

Additional Network Setup Information can be found HERE


Install Kernel Image

Script File

Every Kernel upload going further on rcn-ee.net will now have an 'install-me.sh' file in the same directory..

example: http://www.rcn-ee.net/deb/kernel/beagle/karmic/v2.6.32.7-x7.1/

wget http://rcn-ee.net/deb/kernel/beagle/karmic/v2.6.32.7-x7.1/install-me.sh
sudo /bin/bash install-me.sh

Note: vmlinuz symbolic link (yes <or> no)...

Reboot with your new uImage

Upgrade U-Boot

Note: C4 ehci compatible

Using gparted, create a new 50MB Primary fat32 Partition on a blank SD card, or use your existing fat32 partition.

cd /media/XXXX-XXXX
sudo wget http://rcn-ee.net/deb/tools/u-boot-beagleboard-2009.11-rc1+r42+gitra5cf522a91ba479d459f8221135bdb3e9ae97479-r42.bin
sudo mv u-boot-beagleboard-2009.11-rc1+r42+gitra5cf522a91ba479d459f8221135bdb3e9ae97479-r42.bin u-boot.bin

Insert SD Card, boot Beagleboard and stop U-Boot from booting

mmc init (or if an really old u-boot) mmcinit
fatload mmc 0:1 0x80300000 u-boot.bin
nand unlock  (old command, removed in later u-boot's)
nandecc sw
nand erase 80000 160000
nand write 0x80300000 80000 160000
nand erase 260000 20000   (Clear old U-boot environment, this enables 'boot.scr' scripts)

SGX Video Acceleration

Use a "corporate email" and download the latest (


Kernel Modules

An older version of these instructions was adapted for the IGEPv2 platform - if you are following this tutorial and have an IGEPv2, consider using http://wiki.jmaustin.org/wiki/IgepSGXUbuntu instead

Use the "build_sgx_module.sh" script in 2.6-stable, module source is now in the *.bin



bzr branch lp:~beagleboard-kernel/+junk/2.6-stable
cd 2.6-stable
. build_kernel.sh
. build_sgx_modules.sh

Copy uImage and modules from the deploy directory to your SD card.

Copy the GFX_Linux_SDK.tar.gz examples to either your SD card or another media (large file) then boot your omap board.

Run depmod:

sudo depmod -a omaplfb

Tweak System Libraries:

sudo ln -sf /usr/lib/libXdmcp.so.6.0.0 /usr/lib/libXdmcp.so.0
sudo ln -sf /usr/lib/libXau.so.6.0.0 /usr/lib/libXau.so.0

Startup Script


Copy /opt/pvr/pvr script:


sudo cp /opt/pvr/pvr /etc/rcS.d/S60pvr.sh
sudo chmod +x /etc/rcS.d/S60pvr.sh


sudo cp /opt/pvr/pvr /etc/init.d/pvr
sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/pvr
sudo update-rc.d pvr defaults

Note, if your updating..

cat /opt/pvr/pvr | sudo tee /etc/init.d/pvr > /dev/null

Test SGX with a DEMO

In GFX_Linux_SDK:

cd OGLES/SDKPackage/Binaries/CommonX11/Demos/ChameleonMan

Trouble Shooting

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


This is still a major work in progress...

Xorg omapfb Drivers

By default Ubuntu will try to use the FBDEV video driver, however for the beagleboard we can take advantage of a more software optimized driver (still not using the sgx video hardware) using the NEON extensions of the Cortex-A8 core.

cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep FBDEV

(II) FBDEV: driver for framebuffer: fbdev
(II) FBDEV(0): using default device
(II) FBDEV(0): Creating default Display subsection in Screen section
(==) FBDEV(0): Depth 16, (==) framebuffer bpp 16
(==) FBDEV(0): RGB weight 565

Login into Ubuntu and open a new terminal, xorg has to be running..

xvinfo -display :0.0

X-Video Extension version 2.2
screen #0
 no adaptors present


Note: Backport from Karmic

Note: These are built with neon optimizations: http://git.debian.org/?p=collab-maint/xf86-video-omapfb.git;a=blob;f=debian/rules;h=c2f0d5391c96c5abb60b1e691ad86bb27e0c17d8;hb=HEAD (line 48/49)


wget -c http://rcn-ee.homeip.net:81/dl/deb-sbuild/jaunty/xorg-drivers/xserver-xorg-video-omap3_0.1.1-2_armel.deb
sudo dpkg -i xserver-xorg-video-omap3_0.1.1-2_armel.deb


sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-omap3



Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "Configured Monitor"

Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Default Screen"
    Device "Configured Video Device"
    #Limited by SGX?
    DefaultDepth 16

Section "Device"
    Identifier "Configured Video Device"
    Driver "omapfb"
    Option "fb" "/dev/fb0"

To verify it was correctly installed, reboot and:

cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep omapfb

(II) LoadModule: "omapfb"
(II) Loading /usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers//omapfb_drv.so
(II) Module omapfb: vendor="X.Org Foundation"
(II) omapfb: Driver for OMAP framebuffer (omapfb) and external LCD controllers:
(WW) Error opening /sys/devices/platform/omapfb/ctrl/name: No such file or directory
(II) omapfb(0): VideoRAM: 1800KiB (SDRAM)
(II) omapfb(0): Creating default Display subsection in Screen section
(**) omapfb(0): Depth 16, (--) framebuffer bpp 16
(==) omapfb(0): RGB weight 565
(==) omapfb(0): Default visual is TrueColor
(--) omapfb(0): Virtual size is 1280x720 (pitch 1280)
(**) omapfb(0):  Built-in mode "current"
(==) omapfb(0): DPI set to (96, 96)
(II) omapfb(0): DPMS enabled
(II) omapfb(0): Video plane capabilities:
(II) omapfb(0): Video plane supports the following image formats:
(II) omapfb(0): XVideo extension initialized

Login into Ubuntu and open a new terminal, xorg has to be running..

xvinfo -display :0.0

X-Video Extension version 2.2
screen #0
  Adaptor #0: "OMAP XV adaptor"
    number of ports: 1
    port base: 56
    operations supported: PutImage 
    supported visuals:
      depth 16, visualID 0x21
    number of attributes: 1


Sorry I don't have an S-Video TV, and this is documented in the source, so it would be really great if someone could fill this section in... --RobertCNelson 21:32, 13 July 2009 (UTC)


Please use v2.6.29-oer44.1:


Please use v2.6.29-oer44.1:

Building Kernel


Register on launchpad.net, install bzr

sudo apt-get install bzr

Download SRC

bzr branch lp:~beagleboard-kernel/+junk/2.6-stable (2.6.32)
bzr branch lp:~beagleboard-kernel/+junk/2.6-dev (2.6.32)

Build Kernel

. build_kernel.sh

Build SGX Modules

. build_sgx_modules.sh

Build Deb File

. build_deb.sh

Bugs & Workarounds


Root on external USB, fsck always errors's on boot, fsck.ext3 never fixes it, and no real time clock on board (Rev Bx and C2 (C3 has backup battery hookup))

mount -o remount,rw /

Script found here:

nano /etc/e2fsck.conf


# Superblock last mount time is in the future (PR_0_FUTURE_SB_LAST_MOUNT).
0x000031 = {
    preen_ok = true
    preen_nomessage = true

# Superblock last write time is in the future (PR_0_FUTURE_SB_LAST_WRITE).
0x000032 = {
    preen_ok = true
    preen_nomessage = true