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BeagleBone Black

This page collects information about's range of BeagleBone boards based on the TI Sitara AM335x, an application processor SoC containing an ARM Cortex-A8 core. The range currently consists of the original BeagleBone and the upgraded but lower cost BeagleBone Black.

Most features are common to the two models. The differences between them are described in each section under a BeagleBone Black subheading.


Sponsered events by Element 14


The two models of BeagleBone share most features in common through employing only slightly different versions of the same TI Sitara SoC. In addition they both adhere to the same standard for expansion and interfacing through "cape" daughterboards.

BeagleBone (original)

The BeagleBone is a low-cost, high-expansion board from the BeagleBoard product line. It uses the TI AM3358/9 SoC based on an ARM Cortex-A8 processor core using the ARMv7-A architecture. It is similar in purpose to earlier BeagleBoards, and can be used either standalone or as a USB or Ethernet-connected expansion for a BeagleBoard or any other system. The BeagleBone is small even by BeagleBoard standards yet still provides much of the performance and capabilities of the larger BeagleBoards.

BeagleBone ships with a 4GB micro-SD card preloaded with the Angstrom ARM Linux distribution.

The board uses a TI TPS65217B PMIC to generate stable supply voltages regardless of input power variation. +5V DC power can be supplied to the BeagleBone through a barrel connector or from the mini-USB, both of which are located near the large RJ45 Ethernet connector.

The mini-USB type-A OTG/device client-mode socket is multi-functional. In addition to providing an alternative source of power, it gives access to an on-board front-end two-port USB client-side hub. (This is not related to the separate host-mode USB socket described later). One port of the hub goes directly to the USB0 port of the TI AM3358/9 SoC, while the other port connects to a dual-port FTDI FT2232H USB-to-serial converter to provide board-to-external-host serial communications and/or JTAG debugging. The BeagleBone's Linux serial console is available through this USB serial connection.

The SoC's USB0 connection to the front-end hub works in one of two modes, and you can toggle between them at any time: it either presents the SD card as a mountable USB storage device to the host, or it provides an Ethernet-over-USB networking interface which yields a simple method of quick-start. The Ethernet-over-USB facility is additional to the BeagleBone's normal 10/100 Ethernet interface, which is directly implemented in the SoC rather than hanging off USB as in some other designs. Full IPv4 and IPv6 networking is provided by the supplied Linux system out of the box.

In addition to the USB OTG Device or client-mode facilities already described, BeagleBone also provides one host-mode USB type-A socket on the other end of the board. This is driven from the USB1 connection on the AM3358/9 SoC, and provides access to USB host peripherals such as mice, keyboards, storage, and wifi or Bluetooth dongles, or a USB hub for further expansion.

BeagleBone Black

On 23rd April 2013, Beagleboard officially announced BeagleBone Black at a price approximately half that of the original BeagleBone.

The new board's most important new features include a AM3358 SoC upgraded to 1GHz, doubling of memory to 512MB, use of faster DDR3 memory in contrast to the DDR2 of the original BeagleBone, and a new HDMI audio/visual output. (The original BeagleBone required an additional cape daughterboard for graphic output).


The two boards are very similar in those features provided directly by the SoC. Despite the original BeagleBone being specified as using "AM3358/9", in practice most boards are believed to have shipped with the AM3359 generic part. BeagleBone Black has therefore upgraded only the specific device selected to the AM3358 chip, and hence the differences are few. In contrast, the boards have significantly different designs but a high degree of compatibility.

Original BeagleBone

  • Up to 720 MHz superscalar ARM Cortex-A8 AM3358/9
  • 256 MB DDR2 RAM
  • 10/100 Ethernet RJ45 socket, IPv4 and IPv6 networking
  • MicroSD slot and 4GB microSD card supplied
  • Preloaded with Angstrom ARM Linux Distribution
  • Single USB 2.0 type A host port
  • Dual USB hub on USB 2.0 type mini-A OTG device port
  • On-board USB-to-serial/JTAG over one shared USB device port
  • Storage-over-USB or Ethernet-over-USB on other USB device port
  • Extensive I/O: 2 I2C, 5 UART, SPI, CAN, 66 GPIO, 8 PWM, 8 ADC
  • +5V DC power from barrel connector or USB device port
  • Power consumption of 300-500mA at 5V
  • Two 46-pin 3.3-V peripheral headers with multiplexed LCD signals
  • Board size: 3.4" × 2.1" (86.4mm x 53.3mm) -- fits in an Altoid tin

BeagleBone Black (differences)

Updated 5-2020

  • 1 GHz superscalar ARM Cortex-A8 AM3358
  • 512 MB DDR3 RAM 800 MHZ
  • On-board 4 GB eMMC flash, preloaded with Debian ARM Linux Distribution
  • MicroSD slot for additional user data or operating systems (no card supplied)
  • USB 2.0 type A host port
  • USB 2.0 mini client port
  • New micro-HDMI audio/visual output
  • USB-to-serial and USB-to-JTAG interfaces now on 6 pin header and pads
  • Battery charging on pads
  • Lower power consumption of 210-460 mA at 5V

Expansion Connectors

The BeagleBone provides two 46-pin dual-row expansion connectors "P9" and "P8" which are also known as "Expansion A" and "Expansion B", respectively. The location and pinout of these connectors is illustrated below (click tables to enlarge). All signals on expansion headers are 3.3V except where indicated otherwise.

P9 and P8 - Each 2x23 pins

P9 Header

BeagleBone P9 + P8 P8 Header

In addition to the two large headers above, a small 10-pin dual-row connector "P6" provides a "PMIC Expansion" that brings out some additional signals from the TPS65217B Power Management IC, using the following pinout:

P6 - 2x5 pins

P6 MPIC Expansion Header

NB. P6 is not available on BeagleBone Black


This diagram of P6 provides an UNDERSIDE PINOUT view.

It is therefore laterally inverted relative to the photograph.

To obtain the top-side pinout that corresponds to the physical orientation shown in the photograph, swap the two rows of pins so that odd-numbered pins are on the left of even-numbered pins.

USB 2.0 Powered Hubs

Updated 5-2020

USB 2.0 Powered Hub connects multiple USB devices i.e. Keyboard , Mouse ,etc to the Single USB Host Port on the BBB Device. The Advantage a Powered USB Hub provide VS USB Port is the Power draw available for device connected to the Hub.

  • USB 2.0 Speeds up to 480 Mbps (This is the speed on a Beaglebone USB port)
  • 4 Ports
  • Self powered to off-load drain on Beaglebone
  • Reverse voltage protected
  • Blue LED power bar
  • Includes USB cable
  • This means you could have 2 USB sticks plugged in and a WiFi dongle all at the same time
  • This works on Beaglebone running Debian and can also be used on a Windows machine
  • These people stand behind their product

Expanded Hub Features
  • 4 Port Powered USB 2.0 Hub
  • Plug and Play
  • includes Micro USB Cable
  • Includes Power Adaptor which is Made In China and provides 5V 2.6A Power Supply
  • lsusb Info - ID 05e3:0608 Genesys Logic Inc. USB-2.0 4-Port Hub
  • NO LED Indicator for Activity / Plugged In Display
  • Packaging indicates Part # - F4U040SA
  • Packaging does not mention Linux Kernel compatibility OR Power in Amps provided by the Hub
  • Packaging indicates compatibility with Windows 7 & Mac OS 9.2 and Above

Expansion Boards and Accessories


Updated 5-2020

A BeagleBone Cape is an expansion board which can be plugged into the BeagleBone's two 46-pin dual-row Expansion Headers and which in turns provides similar headers onto which further capes can be stacked. Up to four capes at a time can be stacked on top of a BeagleBone. An expansion board which can be fitted only at the top of a stack of capes (usually for physical reasons) is a special case of "cape", but this usage is common for display expansion boards such as LCDs (see next section).

Capes are required to provide a 32Kbyte I2C-addressed EEPROM which holds board information such as board name, serial number and revision, although this is typically omitted on simple prototyping capes. Capes are also expected to provide a 2-position DIP switch to select their address in the stack, although this too is often omitted in prototyping capes.

The Capes Registry seeks to index all existing capes and cape concepts, including private projects. A registration page is available to help add capes to the list.

This section lists only those capes which are available commercially or which are close to a production release, as well as open hardware designs as of 4-2020. Support the vendors.


Updated 4-2020

These USB Wifi modules have been tested and validated to work with the BeagleBone Black. See comments below.

Dated Information


Updated 5-2020

See here for how to use the I2S interface for audio. It includes a complete schematic for building a DAC.

Battery Power, Charging and Power Management

The BeagleBone Black has a built-in power management IC (PMIC) which generates and controls all of the voltage levels used by the board. The PMIC contains Li-Po / Li-Ion battery charging capability which means that it is extremely simple (and low cost) to enable portable use. There is also a built-in push-button on the BBB which can be used to soft power on/power off the board. See ==>this link<== for information.

Intelligent Power Switch

The Pi Supply Switch v1.1 was originally designed for use as an automatic on off power supply switch for the Raspberry Pi which includes on, off and soft shutdown switches. The soft shutdown switch is fully programmable using software on the Pi to control the GPIO.

However the Pi Supply Switch v1.1 is also compatible with BeagleBone boards (both the classic and black) as well as the OLIMEX A13-OLINUXINO single board computer.

A very useful add on to help you manage power on your BeagleBone.

PowerBar "Micro Cape"

Updated 5-2020

The AndiceLabs PowerBar is a power supply micro cape for the BeagleBone Black. It sports a buck/boost regulator designed to provide 5V power from almost any battery source (3VDC to 12VDC). Project files are available to build your own or you can purchase one from ==>AndiceLabs<==.

PowerCape LiPo Supply and Charger

The PowerCape uses the same regulator as the PowerBar but adds a LiPo charging circuit and AVR power supervisor in a full cape format. It can power the BeagleBone from a DC source, a LiPo battery, or a combination of both allowing for use cases such as an integrated UPS, solar-powered node, car computer, etc. Applications can monitor battery voltage and current via an INA219 on the battery input and can schedule BeagleBone power-up conditions and/or timeout via the AVR.

LCD Displays and Other Expansions

Updated 5-2020

LCD displays for the BeagleBone are typically implemented as capes which plug in as the top board in a stack of capes, for reasons of visibility. Such displays are often larger than the BeagleBone itself, so the normal physical relationship in which a daughterboard is smaller than its host board is inverted. In this arrangement it is the expansion board that provides the physical support for the BeagleBone.

  • 7" 800 x 480 TFT LCD screen
  • PWM backlight control
  • 24-bit true color
  • Secondary BeagleBone Cape slot
  • 5-point, multi-touch capacitive touch panel
  • Beaglebone mounts on the back
  • 7.0" 800 x 480 TFT LCD screen
  • 7 push buttons including LEFT, RIGHT, UP, DOWN, ENTER, RESET and POWER
  • 2 LED Lights for Power and User
  • 2x2 Jumper with shunts for EEPROM CAPE ID selection
  • Beaglebone mounts on the back
  • 4.3" TFT LCD screen with seven buttons
  • Resistive Touch Screen
  • 7 push buttons including LEFT, RIGHT, UP, DOWN, ENTER, RESET and POWER
  • 2 LED Lights for Power and User
  • 2x2 Jumper with shunts for EEPROM CAPE ID selection
  • Beaglebone Black mounts on the back
Expanded Hardware Features:
  • 7" 800x480 TFT LCD screen
  • PWM Backlight control
  • Resistive touch panel
  • Plastic frame
  • 256MB Nand flash(K9F2G08)
  • RS232 serial ports(UART1 w/ CTS&RTS)
  • Stereo audio out
  • Micro-phone in
  • 6 x USER buttons
  • PWM Beeper
  • RTC with Battery(DS1302)
A compact color OLED graphic display (source code and schematic) are available here. It includes a simple library for text and some primitives.
  • A very low cost LCD implementation for the BeagleBone Black using the PRU-ICSS is ==here==.
  • It requires a graphics library to be written; currently it just displays a couple of lines on the screen.
3.5" TFT LCD screen, resolution 320x240, 4-wire resistive touchscreen, seven buttons at finger-friendly positions.
4" TFT LCD screen, resolution 480x272, 4-wire resistive touchscreen, seven buttons at finger-friendly positions.
7" TFT LCD screen, resolution 800x480, 4-wire resistive touchscreen, rear mount for BeagleBone and capes.
7" LCD screen, resolution 1024*600, 5 point Capacitive touchscreen, 5 user keys, audio in/out, RS232/485/CAN, 3 axis accelerometer. Available at Logic Supply US and Logic Supply EU (Retired).


BeagleBone Operating Systems

BeagleBone's default operating system is Debian, which ships with the board. You can find more information in BeagleBone Operating Systems section.

For the BeagleBone Black, see its [Debian Official documentation].

Board recovery and Flashing Images on BeagleBone

Software Development

Software development on the BeagleBone is normally no different to any other Linux platform, and typically varies with language and with the IDE used, if any. This section deals only with development issues that are specific to BeagleBone, or mostly so.

Cloud9 IDE and Bonescript

..... description here .....

Dart and BeagleBone (Retired)

Directions for installing Dart on Beaglebone

BeagleBone JTAG Debugging

..... description here .....

The BeagleBone White is the developers paradise in terms of debugging. You just need to plug a single usb connector to get a serial + JTAG. There is the openocd package with basic support for the Cortex-A8 read BeagleBoardOpenOCD but if you want to get some work done you are probably better of using Code Composer Studio. Here is a video about using Code Composer Studio on the BeagleBone White MINIX3 on ARM : BeagleBone White && Code Composer studio debug

Using Netbeans to remotely compile and debug C/C++

When developing c/c++ on a linux desktop, a toolchain is available for cross-compiling the code for arm. However no such toolchain is readily available for windows. Netbeans can be used to write the code on your desktop, save it in a location accessible to the beagle, and then automatically compile it on the beagle itself using ssh and the built in compiler on the beaglebone's OS.

Netbeans can also use GDB for remote debugging over ssh.


  • Set up a samba / smb network share through which code can be shared between both desktop and beagle
  • Give netbeans the SSh login details of the beagle
  • Give netbeans the path mapping so it can translate between the desktop code folder and beagle code folder
  • Setup only takes a few minutes.

More info


BlackLib library is written for controlling Beaglebone Black's feature with C++. It is created for reading analog input, generating pwm signal, using gpio pins, and communicating with other devices over uart, spi and i2c. In addition to them, it includes debugging feature. So you can check errors after call any function in the library. It also takes parallel programming, mutex usability, realization of directory operation and realization of time operation ability with the last update(BlackLiv v3.0).

Building for BeagleBone

To know how to build u-Boot, Kernel and other softwares see


Getting the Right Kernel

The modern BeagleBone kernels are Maintained by Robert C Nelson and are available on the 4+ branch at

Beaglebone Github

This repo contains a set of patches and a script which downloads a mainline kernel and then patches it appropriately. Exact steps for building it are in the README.

Step-by-step guide to building a BBB kernel

There is a step-by-step guide to building a BeagleBone Black (BBB) kernel at

Device Tree

The 3.5 and newer BeagleBone kernels make use of Device Tree. A Device Tree is a text file which describes the layout of a machine, commonly the combination of a system-on-chip (SoC) and a board, so that the kernel can know at what addresses and on which buses hardware is located. The BeagleBone kernels make use of an extension called Capemgr which allows dynamic loading and unloading of device tree fragments both at compile time and from userspace post-boot. Learning about the Device Tree is very essential, if you wish to be able to manipulate pins and be able to use them as inputs/outputs. There is a short guide to it here (part-way down the page). In a nutshell, the device tree can be manipulated by creating a text 'fragment' file that can be converted into a .dtbo file using a program called dtc which is already installed on the BeagleBone Black. The .dtbo file can then be installed and uninstalled as desired. The procedures to install and uninstall are at that link:

echo cape-bone-name > $SLOTS to install, and

echo -<slotnum> > $SLOTS to uninstall, but read through the web page and comments section first to see what $SLOT is set to).


For BeagleBoard frequently asked questions (FAQ) see community FAQ and "official" FAQ.



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