EBC Exercise 03 Installing a Beagle OS

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thumb‎ Embedded Linux Class by Mark A. Yoder

In this class we run The Ångström Distribution on the BeagleBoard. Ångström is a stable and user-friendly distribution of Linux for embedded devices like handhelds, set top boxes and network-attached storage devices and the BeagleBoard.

Here's how to load the Ångström image we'll be using on an SD card. First get a microSD card that holds at least 4G.

Download and write a copy of the Ångström image


I'm presently running the SD image that comes with BeagleBone Rev A6. Release Notes.

host$ cd Downloads
host$ wget http://circuitco.com/support/files/BeagleBone-A6/BeagleBone_Rev_A6_Production_06_18_2012.7z
host$ wget http://circuitco.com/support/files/BeagleBone-A6/BeagleBone_Rev_A6_Production_06_18_2012.md5

The first wget command copies the disk image. The second gets the checksum. First verify that your image was downloaded correctly.

host$ cat 
host$ sudo apt-get install p7zip-full
host$ 7z e BeagleBone_Rev_A6_Production_06_18_2012.7z  (takes about 2.5 minutes)
host$ sudo dd if=BeagleBone_Rev_A6_Production_06_18_2012.img of=/dev/sdX bs=8M  (takes about 6.5 minutes)

Plug the card into your BeagleBone and boot. Try the following commands.

beagle$ uname -a
Linux beaglebone 3.2.18 #1 Thu Jun 14 23:26:20 CEST 2012 armv7l GNU/Linux
beagle$ cat /proc/cmdline
console=ttyO0,115200n8 run_hardware_tests quiet root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 ro
rootfstype=ext4 rootwait ip=none


Download a copy of the image here. You'll see several files here. You want to download ETC2012.img.bz2 and ETC2012.img.bz2.md5. The first is some 1.5G, so it will take a while. The second is a check sum file for the first.

Once you have the two files and the card, what you do with them depends on what OS you are running.

host$ md5sum ETC2012.img.bz2
host$ cat ETC2012.img.bz2.md5

The two command should show the same thing

6610e1ea35febc5e9016734213bdba68  ETC2012.img.bz2

If your results match you have successfully downloaded the image and can move on. If they don't match, try downloading again.

Next uncompress the image.

host$ bunzip2 -k ETC2012.img.bz2 

The -k says to keep the compressed file. This will take a few minutes.

Insert your microSD card in a reader/writer and find the path to it by running System:Administration:Disk Utility. You will see

Screenshot-Disk Utility.png

The path is in the upper right.

Then enter (if you're using Ubuntu, note the use of the sudo command):

host$ sudo dd if=ETC2012.img  of=/dev/sdX bs=256M
host$ sync

Where /dev/sdX is the path to your SD card. This may take 10 minutes. Mine took about 7.5.

An alternative recipe is to uncompress and write the content to your SD card all in one move (again, if you're using Ubuntu, note the need for sudo):

host$ bunzip2 -c ETC2012.img.bz2 | sudo dd of=/dev/sdX bs=256M

so that you don't have to uncompress the image file first.

Writing an SD card via Windows

The following instructions come from here.

To initialize your card under Windows, you can do the following:

  1. Download and install Ubuntu's Win32DiskImager (also known as the win32-image-writer).
  2. Download and install 7-zip compression software. (Or use winRAR)
  3. Decompress ETC2012.img.bz2 image file using 7-zip (or winRAR).
  4. Insert >=4GB SD card into the reader/writer.
  5. Start the Win32DiskImager.
  6. Select ETC2012.img and correct SD card location.
  7. Click on Write.

After the image writing is done (this will take some 10 minutes), eject the SD card.

Boot your Beagle

You should now have a functioning SD card image. Plug it into your BeagleBoard and boot it up.

While the root password used to be test, there appears to be no password on the root account in this image.

thumb‎ Embedded Linux Class by Mark A. Yoder