BeagleBone

BeagleBone
BeagleBone
Created by Ladyada
Last updated on 2013-07-25 06:30:32 PM EDT
Guide Contents
Guide Contents
2
Overview
3
Installing Drivers
4
Download & Install
4
Connect!
5
Ethernet
9
Terminal Software
9
dmesg
11
Ethernet Test
12
WiFi
15
Power and WiFi
15
Driver Install
16
Troubleshooting
19
Buy a BeagleBone
20
Adafruit Forums
21
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Overview
New from the fine people who have brought us the Beagle Board, we now have a smaller,
lighter, but powerful single board linux computer, Beagle Bone! We like this move to a more
compact and integrated SBC. For example, there is onboard Ethernet and USB host, as well as a
USB client interface (a FTDI chip for shell access). It even comes preloaded with Angstrom Linux
on the 4 GB microSD card!
The Beagle Bone is a great step up from micro co ntro llers (such as AVR, PIC, ARM Cortex
M3, 8051, Propeller, etc) to micro co mputers. Unlike a microcontroller, where the FLASH,
EEPROM, RAM, etc is all in one chip, a microcomputer has them separated out, like a classic
computer such as a desktop or laptop machine. The Beagle Bone has a main processor core
running at 700MHz, a chunk of 256M DDR RAM, and permanent storage onto a microSD card.
This makes for a powerful machine, that has no problems running Linux, a webserver,
Python, FTP clients, SSH, etc.
The Bone also has great accessories built in, such as onboard Ethernet with 10/100M
connectivity, mini USB port with TTL serial converter, JTAG debugger for advanced hacking, USB
A host port for connecting a hub/WiFi/etc, power management IC that keeps the board safe
from a misplugged adapter, and tons of 0.1" spaced breakouts
One of the powerful abilities of the Bone is that it has I2C, SPI, and GPIO at a hobbyist-friendly
3.3V level (instead of the more difficult to interface 1.8V) while also running complex
applications such as a webserver. This allows for more complex projects that would tax an
Arduino.
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Page 3 of 21
Installing Drivers
This section will detail how to install drivers for the USB/Serial connection (and the other USB
devices) from the Bone onto your Windows computer. We'll try to have more documentation on
using the Bone with a Mac & Linux at some point but since so many people use Windows and
its tougher to install the drives on Win than other OS's we'll start here!
For this tutorial you will need:
Beagle Bo ne (http: //adafru.it/513)
Pick these parts up at the Adafruit shop!
Download & Install
First, we'll install the Windows driver package. Download this link to
BONE_DRV.exe (http://adafru.it/aLL) and double click it.
When prompted/warned about the software, click Co ntinue Anyways - you'll need to do it 3
times - once for each driver.
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Connect!
Start by opening up your Bone packaging, and finding the MiniB USB cable
Plug the miniB side into the Bone, and the A side into your Windows computer. You'll see a
popup saying the computer found a USB serial converter.
And then an install popup. Click Install the so ftware auto matically and Next.
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Click Co ntinue Anyway when it warns you.
You should finish successfully.
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Next you'll go through the same process for the Disk Drive and Beaglebone devices.
Follow the same instructions, installing Auto matically and clicking Co ntinue Anyways.
Finally, you will have the new USB serial port. Go to the Device Manager on your computer to
find the name of the COM port. In my case its COM17.
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That's it, you've installed the drivers! Next up we'll connect via serial and log in.
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Ethernet
This mini tutorial will show you how to connect to the Bone via the serial connection to
determine the IP address, test the network connection and DNS. You'll need to know the COM
serial port address, see the Drivers (http://adafru.it/aLM) tutorial on how to determine the COM
and install drivers.
For this tutorial you will need:
Beagle Bo ne (http: //adafru.it/513)
Ethernet Cable (http: //adafru.it/730)
Pick these parts up at the Adafruit shop!
Terminal Software
To connect via the USB cable, you'll need a terminal program. Built into Windows is Hyperterm.
You can google around to find another good terminal program.
Connect to the Bone's COM port at 115200 baud, 8 bit, No parity, 1 stop bit, no flow control.
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Hit return a few times, to show the login screen.
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Log in with the user name ro o t and no password.
That's it you're logged in!
dmesg
Now we can try out the Ethernet connection. Plug a standard straight-through cable from the
Bone to your Ethernet router.
Our favorite tool is dmesg - this will tell you all the system messages, such as what hardware
was found. Type dmesg and hit return at the ro o t@beaglebo ne: ~# prompt.
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As you can see the last part of boot up is to bring the ethernet connection eth0 up.
Ethernet Test
You can verify the ethernet connection by typing in ifco nfig -a
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You can see under inet addr: the internet address of the Bone - it uses DHCP to automatically
get an IP address and this is what the router gave us back. If you don't see anything, try
rebooting the system by typing in rebo o t and hitting return. Make sure your Ethernet cable is
well connected to both the Bone and the router.
Now you can test the outgoing connection. Type in ping 18.70.0.160 and hit return.
If it works, you'll see the above. You can type Control-C to cancel.
Next you can test the DNS system, by pinging www.google.com (http://adafru.it/aLN) , which
should also succeed.
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Page 14 of 21
WiFi
This tutorial may not work on beaglebone black or the latest versions of Angstrom
(kernel 3.8+) due to changes in the OS. We're working on a new/updated tutorial,
but we don't have an ETA - we'll post it as soon as we can! Thank you for your
patience.
Now that you have your Bone up and running, and Ethernet works, wouldn't it be nice to get rid
of that Ethernet cable? Yeah, let's go WiFi! This tutorial is specifically for the verified WiFi
adapter fo r Beagle Bo ne (http: //adafru.it/814) adapter in the Adafruit shop. It will not
work with other WiFi adapters, as they all have different chipsets!
For this tutorial you will need:
Beagle Bo ne (http: //adafru.it/513)
WiFi adapter (http: //adafru.it/814)
5V 2000mA Po wer Adapter (http: //adafru.it/276)
Pick these parts up at the Adafruit shop!
Power and WiFi
The BeagleBone has the neat ability to power itself just through the mini USB port. However,
this can cause some problems because the USB port cannot supply enough power for BOTH
the Bone and a WiFi adapter.
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An external power supply is required to use WiFi, due to the power requirements.
Flaky behavior, crashes, etc will result if you do not plug in a 5V 2000mA adapter! If
you're still having problems, try an external powered USB hub!
Driver Install
You'll need to have Internet connectivity using Ethernet (http://adafru.it/ckU) , and also be
logged into the terminal to install the WiFi
adpater's driver, so make sure to complete those tutorials first!
While logged in with Internet working, run o pkg update
Then run mkdir /ho me/ro o t/tmp to make a new temp directory then run o pkg -t
/ho me/ro o t/tmp upgrade
then type in o pkg list 'linux-firmware-rt*' and hit return.
Finally type in o pkg install linux-firmware-rtl8192cu and press return. Plug in the WiFi
dongle, then type in rebo o t and return to reboot the machine.
Now that its rebooted, check dmesg - you should see the following
And if you type in ifco nfig wlan0 there should be a link, it wont be connected yet so there's a
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Page 16 of 21
lot of 0's and no inet addr
Now we can set up the connection manager to automatically manage the wifi.
Edit /var/lib/co nnman/settings (I use vi but nano is also installed) and change WiFi from
false to true, save it.
Create a file /var/lib/co nnman/wifi.co nfig with your settings as shown below, starting with
the [service_ho me] line and with a return after the Passphrase line, of course this should
match your home network, not the adafruit one!
Restart connman to get it to accept the new settings:
ro o t@beaglebo ne: ~# systemctl restart co nnman.service
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After less than 30 seconds or so, you should be connected:
ro o t@beaglebo ne: ~# ifco nfig wlan0
There should now be an inet addr You can then test pinging an IP address and a domain
name.
Finally, if you want more detailed information about your link you can o pkg install wirelessto o ls to get the iwco nfig command, which will give you tons of details.
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Troubleshooting
If you get an error device descriptor read/64, error -71, reboot and stop the boot process with
the space bar. Then add the following boot option with the follow at the U-Boot prompt
setenv bootargs irqpoll RETURN
boot RETURN
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