BeagleBoardUbuntu

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(For BeagleBoardAngstrom, click here.) (Should Beagleboard:Ubuntu On BeagleBone Black be merged into this page?)

This page is about running a Linux distribution (ARM EABI) Ubuntu on the BeagleBoard. BeagleBoard will boot the (ARM EABI) Ubuntu distribution from the SD card. Since much of this page is generic, it has also been extended to help support devices such as the PandaBoard and BeagleBone.

  • For the best experience, make sure you have an LCD/HDMI monitor attached to the BeagleBoard's HDMI port, 2 GB/4 GB/8 GB SD card, and a known good USB 2.0 hub with mouse and keyboard.

Help

If you need any help:

  • Ubuntu related help:
    • #ubuntu-arm: Ubuntu's ARM IRC on Freenode (logs -> year -> month -> day -> #ubuntu-arm.html)
  • When requesting help, please provide some debugging information:
    • U-Boot Version installed on board
    • Kernel Version: uname -a
    • pastebin dmesg
      • Copy from serial port or use "dmesg | pastebinit" (sudo apt-get install pastebinit)

Required Beagle Software

Mainline U-Boot:

  • All older BeagleBoard (classic) Ax, Bx, Cx and Dx boards are required to upgrade to at least these U-Boot versions
  • XM Boards have no NAND, so MLO/u-boot.img is always required on the first partition
  • Directions: Upgrade X-loader and U-Boot

Omap Serial Changes

boot.scr/boot.cmd changes:

With 2.6.35:

console=ttyS2,115200n8

With 2.6.36/37+:

console=ttyO2,115200n8

Serial console login: /etc/init/ttyO2.conf

start on stopped rc RUNLEVEL=[2345]
stop on runlevel [!2345]

respawn
exec /sbin/getty 115200 ttyO2

Method 1: Download a Complete Pre-Configured Image

Demo Image

git clone https://github.com/RobertCNelson/armv7-multiplatform.git
cd armv7-multiplatform
git checkout origin/v4.5.x -b tmp
./build_kernel.sh
git clone https://github.com/RobertCNelson/ti-linux-kernel-dev.git
cd ti-linux-kernel-dev
git checkout origin/ti-linux-4.4.y -b tmp
./build_kernel.sh

Ubuntu (xenial)

Default username/password:

  • username: ubuntu
  • password: temppwd

Image Updated:

  • 2016-04-07
    • BeagleBoard xM: v4.5.0-armv7-x2 kernel
    • BeagleBone White/Black/Green: v4.4.6-ti-r15 kernel
    • OMAP5432 uEVM: v4.4.6-ti-r15 kernel
    • BeagleBoard-X15: v4.4.6-ti-r15 kernel
  • 2016-03-11
    • BeagleBoard xM: v4.4.4-armv7-x5 kernel
    • BeagleBone White/Black/Green: v4.1.18-ti-r52 kernel
    • OMAP5432 uEVM: v4.1.18-ti-r52 kernel
    • BeagleBoard-X15: v4.1.18-ti-r52 kernel

Services Active:

Note: Depending on your internal network these may work out of the box
Apache, Port 80: http://arm.local/ (Bone: via usb) http://192.168.7.2
SSH, Port 22: ssh ubuntu@arm.local (Bone: via usb) ubuntu@192.168.7.2
Getty, Serial Port

Default user: ubuntu pass: temppwd

Get prebuilt image:

wget https://rcn-ee.com/rootfs/2016-04-07/elinux/ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07.tar.xz

Verify Image with:

sha256sum ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07.tar.xz
3fdc2ea80d1beb8cfa7d8ed4dff5784813f35ff2a7bcda416d72991925b27d41  ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07.tar.xz

Unpack Image:

tar xf ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07.tar.xz
cd ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07

If you don't know the location of your SD card:

sudo ./setup_sdcard.sh --probe-mmc

You should see something like:

Are you sure? I don't see [/dev/idontknow], here is what I do see...

fdisk -l:
Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes <- x86 Root Drive
Disk /dev/sdd: 3957 MB, 3957325824 bytes <- MMC/SD card

lsblk:
NAME   MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda      8:0    0 465.8G  0 disk 
├─sda1   8:1    0 446.9G  0 part /  <- x86 Root Partition
├─sda2   8:2    0     1K  0 part 
└─sda5   8:5    0  18.9G  0 part [SWAP]
sdd      8:48   1   3.7G  0 disk 
├─sdd1   8:49   1    64M  0 part 
└─sdd2   8:50   1   3.6G  0 part 
  • In this example, we can see via mount, /dev/sda1 is the x86 rootfs, therefore /dev/sdd is the other drive in the system, which is the MMC/SD card that was inserted and should be used by ./setup_sdcard.sh...

Install Image:

Quick install script for [board]

sudo ./setup_sdcard.sh --mmc /dev/sdX --dtb board

board options:

  • BeagleBoard Ax/Bx/Cx/Dx - omap3-beagle
  • BeagleBoard xM - omap3-beagle-xm
  • BeagleBone White/Black/Green - beaglebone
  • OMAP5432 uEVM - omap5-uevm
  • BeagleBoard-X15 - am57xx-beagle-x15

So for the BeagleBoard xM:

sudo ./setup_sdcard.sh --mmc /dev/sdX --dtb omap3-beagle-xm

Advanced: Build Image:

git clone https://github.com/RobertCNelson/omap-image-builder.git
cd omap-image-builder
git checkout v2016.04 -b tmp

Stable:

./RootStock-NG.sh -c rcn-ee_console_ubuntu_xenial_armhf

Flasher

eMMC: BeagleBone Black/Green

This image can be written to a 2GB (or larger) microSD card, via 'dd' on linux or on windows: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Win32DiskImager First press and hold the boot select button (next to the microSD card), then apply power. On bootup the board should indicate it has started the flashing procedure visually via a Cylon Sweep pattern shown on the 4 LED's next to the ethernet jack. Progress is reported on both the serial debug and hdmi connectors, once completed all 4 LED's should be full ON. Simply remove power, remove the microSD card and Ubuntu will now boot directly from eMMC.

Script for reference: (this is the script that writes to the eMMC)

https://github.com/RobertCNelson/boot-scripts/blob/master/tools/eMMC/init-eMMC-flasher-v3.sh

This script will only take about 5-6 Minutes after power on.

Notes:

  • If only two LED's stay lit and nothing happens, the board has crashed due to lack of power. Retry with a 5Volt DC power supply connected.
  • If the 4 LED's blink a constant pattern, the eMMC write has failed. First REMOVE ALL capes, then retry again.

User: ubuntu pass: temppwd

Image Updated:

  • 2016-04-07
    • BeagleBone Black/Green: v4.4.6-ti-r15 kernel
  • 2016-03-11
    • BeagleBone Black/Green: v4.1.18-ti-r52 kernel
  • 2016-02-11
    • BeagleBone Black/Green: v4.1.17-ti-rt-r47 kernel

Get prebuilt image:

wget https://rcn-ee.com/rootfs/2016-04-07/flasher/BBB-eMMC-flasher-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz
wget https://rcn-ee.com/rootfs/2016-04-07/flasher/BBB-eMMC-flasher-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.bmap

Verify Image with:

sha256sum BBB-eMMC-flasher-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb*
682c37c07837bbecfa4e50014f6e628f909524e248af2cc1bf51e6323795494a  BBB-eMMC-flasher-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.bmap
775569ebedf81a72ae9881497c373c7b8aa34604e84f2b5658d5182106a856cc  BBB-eMMC-flasher-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz

Linux: (bmaptool 3.2)

sudo bmaptool copy BBB-eMMC-flasher-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz /dev/sdX

Linux: (dd)

xzcat BBB-eMMC-flasher-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz | sudo dd of=/dev/sdX

eMMC: BeagleBoard-X15

This image can be written to a 2GB (or larger) microSD card, via 'dd' on linux or on windows: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Win32DiskImager First press and hold the boot select button (next to the microSD card), then apply power. On bootup the board should indicate it has started the flashing procedure visually via a Cylon Sweep pattern shown on the 4 LED's next to the ethernet jack. Progress is reported on both the serial debug and hdmi connectors, once completed all 4 LED's should be full ON. Simply remove power, remove the microSD card and Ubuntu will now boot directly from eMMC.

Script for reference: (this is the script that writes to the eMMC)

https://github.com/RobertCNelson/boot-scripts/blob/master/tools/eMMC/init-eMMC-flasher-v3.sh

This script will only take about 5-6 Minutes after power on.

Notes:

  • If only two LED's stay lit and nothing happens, the board has crashed due to lack of power. Retry with a 5Volt DC power supply connected.
  • If the 4 LED's blink a constant pattern, the eMMC write has failed. First REMOVE ALL capes, then retry again.

User: ubuntu pass: temppwd

Image Updated:

  • 2016-04-07
    • BeagleBoard-X15: v4.4.6-ti-r15 kernel
  • 2016-03-11
    • BeagleBoard-X15: v4.1.18-ti-r52 kernel
  • 2016-02-11
    • BeagleBoard-X15: v4.1.17-ti-rt-r47 kernel

Get prebuilt image:

wget https://rcn-ee.com/rootfs/2016-04-07/flasher/bbx15-eMMC-flasher-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz
wget https://rcn-ee.com/rootfs/2016-04-07/flasher/bbx15-eMMC-flasher-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.bmap

Verify Image with:

sha256sum bbx15-eMMC-flasher-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb*
044106b7e4c4d879f5e6c39dce48e02210038e2aff2da16bacc07ca64420aacb  bbx15-eMMC-flasher-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.bmap
66bf9f82b1f6b89b78891dcf63ec8626911f76d22df44d8f1da9891f29c3c6e9  bbx15-eMMC-flasher-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz

Linux: (bmaptool 3.2)

sudo bmaptool copy bbx15-eMMC-flasher-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz /dev/sdX

Linux: (dd)

xzcat bbx15-eMMC-flasher-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz | sudo dd of=/dev/sdX

raw microSD img

BeagleBoard xM

This image can be written to a 2GB (or larger) microSD card, via 'dd' on linux or on windows: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Win32DiskImager

User: ubuntu pass: temppwd

Auto partition resize:

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

Image Updated:

  • 2016-04-07
    • BeagleBoard xM: v4.5.0-armv7-x2 kernel

Get prebuilt image:

wget https://rcn-ee.com/rootfs/2016-04-07/microsd/bbxm-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz
wget https://rcn-ee.com/rootfs/2016-04-07/microsd/bbxm-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.bmap

Verify Image with:

sha256sum bbxm-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb*
044106b7e4c4d879f5e6c39dce48e02210038e2aff2da16bacc07ca64420aacb  bbxm-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.bmap
66bf9f82b1f6b89b78891dcf63ec8626911f76d22df44d8f1da9891f29c3c6e9  bbxm-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz

Linux: (bmaptool 3.2)

sudo bmaptool copy bbxm-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz /dev/sdX

Linux: (dd)

xzcat bbxm-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz | sudo dd of=/dev/sdX

BeagleBone White/Black/Green

This image can be written to a 2GB (or larger) microSD card, via 'dd' on linux or on windows: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Win32DiskImager

User: ubuntu pass: temppwd

Auto partition resize:

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

Image Updated:

  • 2016-04-07
    • BeagleBone White/Black/Green: v4.4.6-ti-r15 kernel
  • 2016-03-11
    • BeagleBone White/Black/Green: v4.1.18-ti-r52 kernel
  • 2016-02-11
    • BeagleBone White/Black/Green: v4.1.17-ti-rt-r47 kernel

Get prebuilt image:

wget https://rcn-ee.com/rootfs/2016-04-07/microsd/bone-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz
wget https://rcn-ee.com/rootfs/2016-04-07/microsd/bone-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.bmap

Verify Image with:

sha256sum bone-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb*
5eca13e8872fe3e0ebd1f910f8f207e2c83592e89d5c5a0db2abdb21740f51da  bone-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.bmap
eb4e8eed169d4dc860634b4776dc0c2bfa9236349943829335f78e35b676651e  bone-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz

Linux: (bmaptool 3.2)

sudo bmaptool copy bone-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz /dev/sdX

Linux: (dd)

xzcat bone-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz | sudo dd of=/dev/sdX

OMAP5432 uEVM

This image can be written to a 2GB (or larger) microSD card, via 'dd' on linux or on windows: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Win32DiskImager

User: ubuntu pass: temppwd

Auto partition resize:

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

Image Updated:

  • 2016-04-07
    • OMAP5432 uEVM: v4.4.6-ti-r15 kernel
  • 2016-03-11
    • OMAP5432 uEVM: v4.1.18-ti-r52 kernel
  • 2016-02-11
    • OMAP5432 uEVM: v4.1.17-ti-rt-r47 kernel

Get prebuilt image:

wget https://rcn-ee.com/rootfs/2016-04-07/microsd/omap5-uevm-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz
wget https://rcn-ee.com/rootfs/2016-04-07/microsd/omap5-uevm-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.bmap

Verify Image with:

sha256sum omap5-uevm-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb*
12528e9842b7560263a89664a8ecf314e126e3c2df6adfaabfbc837357f339fc  omap5-uevm-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.bmap
9ab1c2de910dcfcd8e53991f08bf8ec608b38004ea4e8bc5054ac99795f51a05  omap5-uevm-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz

Linux: (bmaptool 3.2)

sudo bmaptool copy omap5-uevm-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz /dev/sdX

Linux: (dd)

xzcat omap5-uevm-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz | sudo dd of=/dev/sdX

BeagleBoard-X15

This image can be written to a 2GB (or larger) microSD card, via 'dd' on linux or on windows: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Win32DiskImager

User: ubuntu pass: temppwd

Auto partition resize:

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

Image Updated:

  • 2016-04-07
    • BeagleBoard-X15: v4.4.6-ti-r15 kernel
  • 2016-03-11
    • BeagleBoard-X15: v4.1.18-ti-r52 kernel
  • 2016-02-11
    • BeagleBoard-X15: v4.1.17-ti-rt-r47 kernel

Get prebuilt image:

wget https://rcn-ee.com/rootfs/2016-04-07/microsd/bbx15-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz
wget https://rcn-ee.com/rootfs/2016-04-07/microsd/bbx15-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.bmap

Verify Image with:

sha256sum bbx15-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb*
27d8cf300ebcebeb7a83a353863810dcd9b53b93accffa04c1ab14b7802c2ed8  bbx15-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.bmap
325573c02428768ba134dbd5a9ae3208bd9dd90579e8fffb3730462599ae7089  bbx15-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz

Linux: (bmaptool 3.2)

sudo bmaptool copy bbx15-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz /dev/sdX

Linux: (dd)

xzcat bbx15-ubuntu-xenial-console-armhf-2016-04-07-2gb.img.xz | sudo dd of=/dev/sdX

Method 2: Use the NetInstall method

You will need a 1GB/2GB/4GB/8GB SD card or greater.

Standard system : ~700 MB

Report Bugs/Issues to: https://github.com/RobertCNelson/netinstall/issues (anywhere else will be ignored..)

Download the netinstall script:

git clone https://github.com/RobertCNelson/netinstall.git
cd netinstall

Currently supported Ubuntu distributions:

--distro oneiric (11.10)
--distro precise-armhf (12.04)
--distro quantal (12.10)
--distro raring (13.04)
--distro saucy (13.10)

Device: <board> selection:

*BeagleBoard Ax/Bx/Cx  - omap3-beagle
*BeagleBoard xMA/B/C   - omap3-beagle-xm
*BeagleBone Ax         - am335x-bone-serial
*BeagleBone (DVI cape) - am335x-bone-video
*BeagleBone Black      - am335x-boneblack
*PandaBoard Ax     - omap4-panda
*PandaBoard A4+    - omap4-panda-a4
*PandaBoard ES     - omap4-panda-es

Installation script for new <board> selection: (slowly migrating all devices to this method)

sudo ./mk_mmc.sh --mmc /dev/sdX --dtb <board> --distro <distro>

So for the xM: with quantal:

sudo ./mk_mmc.sh --mmc /dev/sdX --dtb omap3-beagle-xm --distro quantal
  • Other Options:
    • --firmware : installs firmware
    • --serial-mode : debian-installer uses Serial Port

Place SD card into BeagleBoard and boot:

Configure the network:

usb0: USB net <- (usually the OTG port)
eth0: USB net <- (usually the smsc95xx adapter on the BeagleBoard and PandaBoard)
wlan0: Wifi <- Your USDB-Wi-Fi device.. 

See my notes for my testing procedure: https://github.com/RobertCNelson/netinstall/blob/master/test.Ubuntu

Troubleshooting: If booting fails..

  • Hold the user button down to force booting from MMC
  • Upgrade X-loader and U-boot Upgrade X-loader and U-Boot
  • Clear U-boot's Environment Variables in NAND:
nand erase 260000 20000

NetInstall assumptions:

Assume asll <default>'s... Thanks you preseed.conf!!!

Method 3: Manual Install (no automatic scripts)

Note, this section used to have a lot of details, but maintenance of the two wiki's became a pain, so for now on we will just link to my other pages:

Beagle/Beagle xM

http://eewiki.net/display/linuxonarm/BeagleBoard

BeagleBone

http://eewiki.net/display/linuxonarm/BeagleBone

BeagleBone Black

http://eewiki.net/display/linuxonarm/BeagleBone+Black

Panda/Panda ES

http://eewiki.net/display/linuxonarm/PandaBoard

Advanced

Install Latest Kernel Image

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 ./update_kernel.sh <OPTIONS>

3.8.x

This is the first beagleboard.org long term kernel tree with capemanager support, it's been the default install for Debian Wheezy

beagleboard.org patchset: https://github.com/beagleboard/linux/tree/3.8
3.8.x BeagleBone/BeagleBone Black FULL Cape Support
--bone-channel --stable
3.8.x BeagleBone/BeagleBone Black FULL Cape Support + Xenomai
--bone-xenomai-channel --stable

4.1.x-ti

This is slated to replace the v3.8.x tree in Debian Jessie, cape manager support is enabled.

beagleboard.org patchset: https://github.com/beagleboard/linux/tree/4.1
Based on: http://git.ti.com/gitweb/?p=ti-linux-kernel/ti-linux-kernel.git;a=shortlog;h=refs/heads/ti-linux-4.1.y
4.1.x-ti BeagleBone/BeagleBone Black/BeagleBoard-X15
--ti-channel --stable
4.1.x-ti BeagleBone/BeagleBone Black/BeagleBoard-X15 + RT
--ti-rt-channel --stable

Mainline (lts)

4.1.x BeagleBone/BeagleBone Black + SGX
--bone-kernel --lts
4.1.x BeagleBone/BeagleBone Black + RT + SGX
--bone-rt-kernel --lts

Mainline

4.3.x BeagleBone/BeagleBone Black
--bone-kernel --testing

Debian 8: jessie

sudo apt-get install linux-image-armmp

Reboot with your new Kernel Image.

Xorg Drivers

Script:

cd /opt/scripts/tools/
git pull

BeagleBoard/PandaBoard:

cd /opt/scripts/tools/graphics/
./ti-omapdrm.sh

BeagleBone/BeagleBone Black:

cd /opt/scripts/tools/graphics/
./ti-tilcdc.sh

SGX Drivers

SGX BeagleBone/BeagleBone Black

Note, these are FBDEV only, no xorg/x11/etc...

Install the "4.1.x" lts/bone kernel: http://elinux.org/BeagleBoardUbuntu#Mainline_.28lts.29

Build SGX userspace for 4.1.x (must be done on an x86, due to the TI 5.01.01.02 blob extractor)

git clone https://github.com/RobertCNelson/bb-kernel.git
cd bb-kernel/
git checkout origin/am33x-v4.1 -b tmp-sgx
./sgx_create_package.sh

Copy ./deploy/GFX_5.01.01.02.tar.gz to BeagleBone/BeagleBone Black and install

sudo tar xfv GFX_5.01.01.02.tar.gz -C /
cd /opt/gfxinstall/
sudo ./sgx-install.sh
sudo reboot

Verify omaplfb & pvrsrvkm loaded

debian@arm:~$ lsmod | grep omaplfb
omaplfb                12065  0 
pvrsrvkm              178782  1 omaplfb

Xorg Drivers

Script:

cd /opt/scripts/tools/
git pull

BeagleBoard/PandaBoard:

cd /opt/scripts/tools/graphics/
./ti-omapdrm.sh

BeagleBone/BeagleBone Black:

cd /opt/scripts/tools/graphics/
./ti-tilcdc.sh

Swapfile

Using a File for Swap Instead of a Partition

On the Beagleboard you should expect to require a swap file given the limitation of how little RAM is available (between 256 MB and 512 MB). Some system programs like apt-get will only run properly when some swap space is present (due to 256 MB not being enough RAM).

Some images (such as those from Linaro.org) do not come with a swap partition or any swap space allocated.

Under Linux, swap space can be either a dedicated partition or a swap file. Both can be mounted as swap which the OS can access.

Creating a Swapfile

The following commands will create a 1 GB file, limit access only to root, format it as swap and then make it available to the OS:

sudo mkdir -p /var/cache/swap/   
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/var/cache/swap/swapfile bs=1M count=1024
sudo chmod 0600 /var/cache/swap/swapfile 
sudo mkswap /var/cache/swap/swapfile 
sudo swapon /var/cache/swap/swapfile 

To tell the OS to load this swapfile on each start up, edit the /etc/fstab file to include the following additional line:

/var/cache/swap/swapfile    none    swap    sw    0   0

To verify that the swapfile is accessilble as swap to the OS, run "top" or "htop" at a console.

Ubuntu Software

Wi-Fi Networking (command line)

/etc/network/interfaces

It is relatively easy to configure a Wi-Fi card from the command line.

You will need to edit the /etc/network/interfaces file. There are several guides available via Google.

This is a particularly useful guide https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=202834

A sample /etc/network/interfaces file for a WPA2 encrypted access point is:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
wpa-driver wext
wpa-ssid <NAME OF AP>
wpa-ap-scan 1
wpa-proto RSN
wpa-pairwise CCMP
wpa-group CCMP
wpa-key-mgmt WPA-PSK
wpa-psk <INSERT KEY XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX>

Your Wi-Fi card will automatically load these settings upon startup and initialize wireless network access.

Lightweight window managers

If you intend to use Ubuntu on the BeagleBoard you can install JWM or IceWM to improve performance.

JWM in particular uses little RAM. On a BeagleBoard with 256 MB, using JWM will leave about 60 MB free in which to run applications.

Web Apps

Midori

Given that the BeagleBoard has fewer resources than a desktop a lightweight browser is more responsive. Midori is a lightweight browser that still supports flash, etc. It is available from the standard repositories: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midori_%28web_browser%29

Surveillance

Motion

If you have a video source (webcam, IP cam, etc.) which appears as /dev/video0, etc. then you can use the Linux surveillance software "motion" to monitor the video stream and record periods of activity.

Motion is also available from the standard repositories: http://www.debian-administration.org/article/An_Introduction_to_Video_Surveillance_with_%27Motion%27 Using a 960x720 resolution webcam with a 15 fps rate under the UVC driver the Rev C BeagleBoard under Xubuntu reports ~60% CPU utilisation.

To make the BeagleBoard automatically start recording on boot, do the following:

  • Auto Login - run "gdmsetup" from a terminal and select a user to automatically login
  • Sessions - make sure you don't save any previous X Windows sessions so that it doesn't prompt you for which one you want
  • motion.conf - edit /etc/motion/motion.conf to use the settings you want (that is, video output directory, record only video, record in MPEG-4, set frame rate, etc). Do this with "sudo medit /etc/motion/motion.conf" at a prompt.
  • Boot script - create a new script in /etc/rc2.d called "S65motion_client" and set permissions appropriately ("sudo chmod 777 /etc/rc2.d/S65motion_client"). Then edit the file so it contains the following lines:
#! /bin/sh
/usr/bin/motion -c /etc/motion/motion.conf

This will now launch the motion client as root when you boot up.

Also note that unless your BeagleBoard can remember the time (battery backed up clock installed), the timestamps will not be correct until you update the time. If your BeagleBoard has an Internet connection this can be achieved using the ntpdate application.

Robotics

ROS

ROS (Robot Operating System) provides libraries and tools to help software developers create robot applications. It provides hardware abstraction, device drivers, libraries, visualizers, message-passing, package management, and more. ROS is licensed under an open source, BSD license.

There are currently builds of ROS for Ubuntu Trusty armhf. These builds include most but not all packages, and save a considerable amount of time compared to doing a full source-based installation:

http://wiki.ros.org/indigo/Installation/UbuntuARM

Alternatively ROS can be installed from source and is generally easy to do so (although slow).

For more information about ROS, see www.ros.org.