Beagleboard:BeagleBoneBlack Debian

Jump to: navigation, search

This page is about running the armhf port of Debian distribution at BeagleBoard. The latest release 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 /etc/dogtag 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).


TI PRU Code Generation Tools


sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ti-pru-cgt-installer

Older rootfs (when above package doesn't exist):

chmod +x
sudo ./


PocketBeagle Support

Any images after 2017-09-21 will have support for the PocketBeagle

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 || true
sudo ./
sudo reboot

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

Flashing eMMC

To set up the standalone microSD image to automatically flash the eMMC on powerup. Login as debian (password = temppwd) and edit /boot/uEnv.txt with nano (sudo nano /boot/uEnv.txt) or your preferred editor.

In /boot/uEnv.txt:

##enable BBB: eMMC Flasher:

Change to:

##enable BBB: eMMC Flasher:

Optional, update Flasher Scripts:

cd /opt/scripts/
git pull

and reboot the system, it'll flash the eMMC on the next bootup. (make sure to remove the microSD after flashing is complete, otherwise it'll just keep on re-flashing the eMMC)

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

Installing kernel headers

If you want to build a kernel module natively, you'll need to install the correct kernel headers.

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`

In a Makefile, perform:

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(shell uname -r)

Loading custom capes

WARNING, this is now deprecated, please use U-Boot overlays

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 set up 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 set up 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

Jessie Timezone

List of available timezones:

timedatectl list-timezones

Set timezone:

sudo timedatectl set-timezone America/North_Dakota/Center

W: GPG error: wheezy-bbb

W: GPG error: wheezy-bbb Release:
The following signatures were invalid:
KEYEXPIRED 1418840246 KEYEXPIRED 1418840304 KEYEXPIRED 1418840246 KEYEXPIRED 1418840246 KEYEXPIRED 1418840304

Note this directions are version dependent, so double check your version:

debian@beaglebone:~$ cat /etc/dogtag BeagleBone Debian Image 2014-05-14

2014-05-14 GPG error: Disable: repo:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list


deb [arch=armhf] wheezy-bbb main
#deb-src [arch=armhf] wheezy-bbb main


#deb [arch=armhf] wheezy-bbb main
#deb-src [arch=armhf] wheezy-bbb main
sudo apt-get update

2014-05-14 GPG error: Optional enable:

Download archive-keyring:

sudo dpkg -i rcn-ee-archive-keyring_*_all.deb

Add repo to /etc/apt/sources.list

sudo sh -c "echo 'deb [arch=armhf] wheezy main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list"
sudo sh -c "echo '#deb-src [arch=armhf] wheezy main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list"

Update packages:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install npm c9-core-installer --reinstall

Adding to jessie console image

Currently by default, the console image doesn't include the *.dtbo overlays.

Install build requirements: (add's 145Mb to the console image)

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install build-essential git-core device-tree-compiler

Clone repo:

git clone
cd ./

i take full responsibility for knowing my beagle is now insecure

as of 2017-02-19, BeagleBoard images now longer enable these insecure options by default, you are free to recreate them as you wish.

remove root password

root_password=$(cat /etc/shadow | grep root | awk -F ':' '{print $2}')
sed -i -e 's:'$root_password'::g' /etc/shadow

ssh root@beaglebone.local

sed -i -e 's:PermitEmptyPasswords no:PermitEmptyPasswords yes:g' /etc/ssh/sshd_config
sed -i -e 's:UsePAM yes:UsePAM no:g' /etc/ssh/sshd_config
sed -i -e 's:PermitRootLogin without-password:PermitRootLogin yes:g' /etc/ssh/sshd_config

sudo no password required

echo "debian  ALL=NOPASSWD: ALL" >>/etc/sudoers

U-Boot Overlays

Check via serial

U-Boot SPL 2019.04-00002-g07d5700e21 (Mar 06 2020 - 11:24:55 -0600)
Trying to boot from MMC1

U-Boot 2019.04-00002-g07d5700e21 (Mar 06 2020 - 11:24:55 -0600), Build: jenkins-github_Bootloader-Builder-137

Check via system

debian@beaglebone:~$ cd /opt/scripts/tools/
debian@beaglebone:/opt/scripts/tools$ git pull
debian@beaglebone:/opt/scripts/tools$ sudo ./ | grep bootloader
bootloader:[microSD-(push-button)]:[/dev/mmcblk0]:[U-Boot 2019.04-00002-g07d5700e21]:[location: dd MBR]

To upgrade your version of U-Boot:

debian@beaglebone:~$ cd /opt/scripts/tools/developers/
debian@beaglebone:/opt/scripts/tools/developers$ sudo ./
debian@beaglebone:/opt/scripts/tools/developers$ sudo reboot

U-Boot Capes added:

NHD-7.0CTP-CAPE Family
BB-BONE-NH7C-01-A0.dtbo (first added in: 2017.05-rc2-00002-g86566339a9 (Apr 28 2017 - 10:18:57))

U-Boot /boot/uEnv.txt configuration



U-Boot Disable on-board devices

To Disable eMMC:




To Disable HDMI AUDIO:


To Disable WL1835:


To Disable BB-ADC: (first added in: 2017.05-rc1-00002-g35aecb22fe (Apr 05 2017 - 16:51:58))


U-Boot Override external capes

Cape device tree overlays (src):
Debian package: bb-cape-overlays

If for some reason you need to disable the auto-loading of any of ^ those, use the option that matches your addrX: (first added in: 2017.03-00002-gbfe60d6057 (Mar 28 2017 - 15:32:51))


4 more capes can be loaded via: (first added in: 2017.03-00002-gbfe60d6057 (Mar 28 2017 - 15:32:51))


Plus one custom cape:


U-Boot PRU Options

With v4.4.x-ti PRU via remoteproc can be enabled by:


With v4.9.x-ti PRU via remoteproc can be enabled by:


With v4.14.x-ti PRU via remoteproc can be enabled by:


With v4.19.x-ti PRU via remoteproc can be enabled by:


With (all (minus bugs)): PRU via uio:


U-Boot Cape Universal

Utilize config-pin.

Cape Universal Supported Boards:

BeagleBone Black
BeagleBone Black Wireless
BeagleBone Green
BeagleBone Green Wireless
Element14 BeagleBone Black Industrial
MENTOREL BeagleBone uSomIQ
SanCloud BeagleBone Enhanced

Not Supported needs work/testing/etc

Arrow BeagleBone Black Industrial (different video phy)
Neuromeka BeagleBone Air (untested)

To enable, in /boot/uEnv.txt add:


U-Boot Overlays, which got loaded

debian@beaglebone:/opt/scripts/tools$ sudo ./ | grep UBOOT
UBOOT: Booted Device-Tree:[am335x-boneblack-uboot-univ.dts]
UBOOT: Loaded Overlay:[AM335X-PRU-RPROC-4-14-TI-00A0]
UBOOT: Loaded Overlay:[BB-ADC-00A0]
UBOOT: Loaded Overlay:[BB-BONE-eMMC1-01-00A0]
UBOOT: Loaded Overlay:[BB-HDMI-TDA998x-00A0]

Where did the slots file go?

Kernel Overlays are going bye-bye, too many bugs, too many race conditions, no kernel maintainers interested. We've said our farewells and U-Boot Overlays is the way forward: With multiple parties working on the U-Boot infrastructure.

The rough transition plan is:

Stage 1: Disable Kernel Overlays (bone_capemgr.uboot_capemgr_enabled=1 is passed thru /proc/cmdline)
Stage 2: Disable the slots file (/sys/devices/platform/bone_capemgr/slots) (v4.4.x -> 4.14.x)
Stage 3: Disable bone_capemgr dir (/sys/devices/platform/bone_capemgr/) (v4.15.x+)

Stage 1 is complete, all current images use U-Boot Overlays by default. Stage 2 is currently in progress, as it is not recommended to "load" anything into the slots file while U-Boot Overlays are in control. Stage 3, will take longer, as many applications only need to know the "bone_capemgr" directory is available.

If you don't like the direction we are heading, simply disable, "enable_uboot_overlays=1" in /boot/uEnv.txt..

#I will be on my own with Kernel Overlays:

Debian Build Instructions

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

git clone git://
cd image-builder

Output of the autobuilder can be found at

Debian Releases

Debian Image Testing Snapshots

Moved to:

Kernel Options

General apt syntax for searching and installing a specific kernel:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-cache search linux-image | grep <branch>
sudo apt-get install linux-image-<specific version>
sudo reboot

Latest kernel script

cd /opt/scripts/tools/
git pull
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ <OPTIONS>

4.14.x-ti patchset:
4.14.x-ti All BeagleBone Variants and BeagleBoard-X15
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ --ti-channel --lts-4_14
4.14.x-ti All BeagleBone Variants and BeagleBoard-X15 + RT
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ --ti-rt-channel --lts-4_14

4.19.x-ti patchset:
4.19.x-ti All BeagleBone Variants and BeagleBoard-X15
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ --ti-channel --lts-4_19
4.19.x-ti All BeagleBone Variants and BeagleBoard-X15 + RT
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ --ti-rt-channel --lts-4_19

5.4.x-ti patchset:
5.4.x-ti All BeagleBone Variants and BeagleBoard-X15
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ --ti-channel --lts-5_4
5.4.x-ti All BeagleBone Variants and BeagleBoard-X15 + RT
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ --ti-rt-channel --lts-5_4

5.10.x-ti patchset:
5.10.x-ti All BeagleBone Variants and BeagleBoard-X15
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ --ti-channel --lts-5_10
5.10.x-ti All BeagleBone Variants and BeagleBoard-X15 + RT
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ --ti-rt-channel --lts-5_10

Mainline (4.14.x lts)

4.14.x All BeagleBone Variants
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ --bone-kernel --lts-4_14
4.14.x All BeagleBone Variants + RT
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ --bone-rt-kernel --lts-4_14

Mainline (4.19.x lts)

4.19.x All BeagleBone Variants
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ --bone-kernel --lts-4_19
4.19.x All BeagleBone Variants + RT
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ --bone-rt-kernel --lts-4_19

Mainline (5.4.x lts)

5.4.x All BeagleBone Variants
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ --bone-kernel --lts-5_4
5.4.x All BeagleBone Variants + RT
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ --bone-rt-kernel --lts-5_4

Mainline (5.10.x lts)

5.10.x All BeagleBone Variants
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ --bone-kernel --lts-5_10
5.10.x All BeagleBone Variants + RT
sudo /opt/scripts/tools/ --bone-rt-kernel --lts-5_10