Beagleboard:BeagleBoneBlack Debian

Revision as of 13:27, 19 June 2014 by RobertCNelson (Talk | contribs) (FAQ: add note about kernel upgrades)

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This page is about running the armhf port of Debian distribution at BeagleBoard. The latest image can be found at:

Checking The Debian Image Version

You should check the version of the image on the microSD/eMMC by opening the ID.txt file in the FAT partition.

root@beaglebone:~# cat /boot/uboot/ID.txt BeagleBone Debian Image 2014-03-19

This file can also be accessed via a PC (Windows/Mac/Linux) via either mounting the FAT partition directly off the microSD card or via the usb interface (flash drive).


Installing Java

Download: (jdk-8-linux-arm-vfp-hflt.tar.gz)


sudo tar xfv jdk-8-linux-arm-vfp-hflt.tar.gz -C /opt/

Setup Environment Variables:

export JAVA_HOME=/opt/jdk1.8.0/
export JRE_HOME=/opt/jdk1.8.0/jre/
export PATH=$PATH:/opt/jdk1.8.0/bin/:/opt/jdk1.8.0/jre/bin/


debian@arm:~$ java -version
java version "1.8.0"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0-b132)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 25.0-b70, mixed mode)


Expanding File System Partition On A microSD

By default the microSD image is only about 2GB in size, to fully expand the partition to the full size of your microSD card simple run.

cd /opt/scripts/tools/
git pull
sudo ./
sudo reboot

On the next reboot, [df -h] should show the full microSD card size.

Kernel Upgrade

We can't ship support for everything on release day, so we push out new kernels as fixes, support for new capes, etc are posted on the mainline list.

cd /opt/scripts/tools/
git pull
sudo ./
sudo reboot

Loading custom capes

Due to limitations in debian wheezy's userspace, the use of an initramfs, and having firmware builtin to the kernel. It is currently not possible to load "custom" capes via: capemgr.enable_partno=xyz. Instead an init script has been setup to load the cape/capes as soon as possible.

Built-in Cape:


slot #7: Requesting part number/version based 'BB-SPIDEV1-00A0.dtbo
slot #7: Requesting firmware 'BB-SPIDEV1-00A0.dtbo' for board-name 'Override Board Name', version '00A0'
slot #7: dtbo 'BB-SPIDEV1-00A0.dtbo' loaded; converting to live tree

Custom External Cape:


slot #7: Requesting part number/version based 'BB-SPI1-01-00A0.dtbo
slot #7: Requesting firmware 'BB-SPI1-01-00A0.dtbo' for board-name 'Override Board Name', version '00A0'
failed to load firmware 'BB-SPI1-01-00A0.dtbo'
loader: failed to load slot-7 BB-SPI1-01:00A0 (prio 0)


add "CAPE=BB-SPI1-01" to /etc/default/capemgr

Privileged echo

As a normal user, you can not "sudo echo 'something' >> /etc/privilegedfile"

sudo sh -c "echo 'something' >> /etc/privilegedfile"


By default this image is setup to display time in utc mode. If you would like to change this to your local region.

dpkg-reconfigure tzdata


echo "Europe/Zurich" > /etc/timezone 
dpkg-reconfigure -f noninteractive tzdata

Debian Build Instructions

You'll want a fairly beefy ARM system to run this script.

git clone git://
cd image-builder

Debian Releases



md5sum BBB-eMMC-flasher-debian-7.5-2014-05-14-2gb.img.xz
74615fb680af8f252c034d3807c9b4ae  BBB-eMMC-flasher-debian-7.5-2014-05-14-2gb.img.xz


md5sum bone-debian-7.5-2014-05-14-2gb.img.xz
35877ce21e8ed0eb1bdc6819ad71c317  bone-debian-7.5-2014-05-14-2gb.img.xz

2014-05-14 changes

Improved flashing script
kernel update: v3.8.13-bone50



md5sum BBB-eMMC-flasher-debian-7.4-2014-04-23-2gb.img.xz
29c1e9c3e745a3966f9e749b6a89ea50  BBB-eMMC-flasher-debian-7.4-2014-04-23-2gb.img.xz


md5sum bone-debian-7.4-2014-04-23-2gb.img.xz
b38f107faea671fc9074de5012ef82cb  bone-debian-7.4-2014-04-23-2gb.img.xz