Beagleboard:3.2 SDK On BeagleBone Black

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Installing 3.2 Kernel SDK On BeagleBone Black

This section shows how to boot the SDK with the 3.2 Kernel from a microSD on the BeagleBone Black. It will show you how install the SDK on a Ubuntu Linux machine and then how to connect to the BeagleBone Black from that machine. More information on the SDK can be found here.

You will need:

  1. Linux 64-bit computer, preferably with Ubuntu 10.04 or later installed (the SDK will work on other distributions as well).
  2. The installer, named ti-sdk-am335x-evm-, which can be found on this page.
  3. BeagleBone Black
  4. miniUSB cable (provided with the BeagleBone Black)
  5. Power supply for BeagleBone Black (either by USB or 5V wall wart)
  6. 4 GB or greater microSD card
  7. FTDI Cable for serial connection (USB cable will not suffice)
  8. Ethernet Cable
NOTE: There is no HDMI support in this package. There is no LED activity on the board when running this package.
You must use the external serial cable to get any use out of this package.

Installing the SDK

For this section, you will only need your Linux machine and to have downloaded the installer (found here).

1. Open a Terminal and navigate to the folder where you have downloaded the installer
2. Execute the following command to grant yourself full access to the installer

sudo chmod a+x ti-sdk-am335x-evm-

3. Now start the installer being sure to use "sudo" access

sudo ./ti-sdk-am335x-evm-

4. This will begin the installation process

  • Be sure to install the SDK somewhere under "/home/username/" in a folder of your choice. This is so it isn't installed with root-only access
  • For this installer, you should un-check "Install Code Composer" as it shouldn't be included in the installer you downloaded.
  • If you will need Code Composer Studio you can download it from this page. It is named "CCS-".

After stepping through the installer, you should have the SDK installed on your Linux computer.

Setting Up the microSD

This section assumes you have already installed the SDK on your Linux computer (described in the steps above).

1. Insert the microSD into your computer. Using a uSD-to-SD or uSD-to-USB adapter is fine.
2. Open a terminal and navigate to the folder where you have installed the SDK.
3. Within that folder there should be a directory named "bin". Navigate into that directory.
4. Once you are in the bin directory run the following command to grant yourself full access to the script.

sudo chmod a+x

5. Now run that script (with sudo access) to create the microSD card.

sudo ./

6. First it will prompt you to choose the drive you wish to use to create your sd card. Use the number keys to enter the drive you would like to use and press enter.
7. The next selection asks if you want to repartition the drive. For safe measures, type 'y' and hit enter
8. It will then ask you if you want 2 or 3 partitions for your SD card and explain the difference. Chances are you will want 2 partitions so type 2 and press enter.
9. After partitioning finishes it will prompt you to continue installing the file system. Type y and hit enter.
10. The next menu will ask where you want to install files from. An easy option is to select 1 and install prebuilt images from the SDK.
If you have different boot and rootfs files you wish to use you can select 2 and it will ask you for the file path. This is also a good option if option 1 fails.
11. The files should then be copied to the microSD in their appropriate partitions and the microSD card creation will be complete.

Connecting the BeagleBone Black To the Host Machine

This section assumes you have already created your microSD as described in the section above.

1. Insert your microSD into your BeagleBone Black (BBB should be powered off at this point).
2. Connect your BeagleBone Black to your Linux machine via the FTDI cable.
3. Connect your BeagleBone Black through the Ethernet and miniUSB cable as described in step 2 here
4. While holding down the boot button, apply power to your BeagleBone Black. This should boot from the SDK on the microSD.

  • IMPORTANT: You will not see any of the 4 USER LEDS light up. Do not assume it has not worked because you do not see the LEDS flashing. In fact, if they are flashing, that is bad because it most likely means the board is booting from the eMMC.

5. Now return to the terminal on your Linux computer that is connected to the BeagleBone Black and navigate to the directory where you installed the SDK.
6. While in that directory, grant yourself access to the script with the following command:

sudo chmod a+x

7. Then run the script with sudo access

sudo ./

8. It will first ask you for your Linux username. Type your username and hit enter.
9. It will then ask where you want to install the target filesystem. The default is in the same directory you installed the SDK. Anywhere that doesn't require root access is fine.
10. The next few steps will just let you know some information about the setup you are running through. You can just hit Enter to continue to the next step.
11. One step will ask you where you would like to install the tftp root directory. It is recommended to choose somewhere that doesn't require root access (such as anywhere under "/home/username/"). The default is in /tftpboot
12. The following step will require you to choose the serial port your BeagleBone Black is connected to. To determine which port this is, follow these steps:

1. Open another terminal
2. Enter the command ls /dev/ttyUSB*
3. This will print out a list of ports. Because you are using the FTDI cable, chances are you will see a port by 
   the name of "ttyUSBX". Where 'X' is some number like 0 or 1. This is the port you will tell the 
   setup script to use.

13. Type, /dev/ttyUSBX (or whatever port you decided your BBB is connected to), being sure to replace the 'X' with the correct number, and hit enter. If you mess up here, this is easily changed later.
14. The next step should automatically detect the IP address of your Linux machine but you should change it if you think it is wrong.
15. It will then prompt you to choose the location of the Linux kernel. This will depend on your use of the SDK but chances are option 1 (TFTP) is what you will want.
16. Next it will prompt you for the root file system. Again, this will depend on your use of the SDK but chances are option 1 (NFS) is what you will want.
17. After you have made your selections you will be shown the available kernel images to boot from the location you selected. Choose the one you would like and press enter.
18. If you have connected your BeagleBone Black properly you should now be prompted with a message saying that it detected a BeagleBone device. If this the case type 'y' and hit enter. If it doesn't detect your BeagleBone Black retrace your steps and try again.
19. It will then tell you your BeagleBone Black will use these settings the next time you boot. It will ask you if you want to reboot. Enter 'y' and the board will reboot.This should take you through u-boot and when it's finished you will be prompted with a login. You can enter root to sign on as root user.

Using minicom After Initial Setup

Minicom is the program used by the SDK to connect to your BeagleBone Black. When you run the mentioned in the section above it sets up the settings for minicom to connect to your BeagleBone Black. After running the setup script the first time it should open minicom with a connection to your Beaglebone Black.

Here are some common tips for using minicom after the initial setup

I exited out of my minicom session, how do I reconnect to my BeagleBone Black?

First you have to make sure your BeagleBone Black is properly connected to your Linux machine. This means power source, FTDI cable, miniUSB cable, Ethernet, and power cables are all connected. Then, it's as easy as typing minicom. This should open minicom; you should then be able to hit enter and be prompted to log into your BeagleBone Black. Typing 'root' and pressing enter should log you in.

I opened minicom and nothing is showing up

If this is the case you should first make sure your BeagleBone Black is properly connected to your Linux computer. Try hitting enter after that. This should prompt you for a log in if you haven't already done so. If that doesn't work you should try hitting the reset button on the board. This should start putting information from u-boot up on your terminal and eventually will prompt you for a log in. If none of these things work you may have to adjust settings (see the next tip section directly below).

I think I need to change the minicom settings

There are two main ways you can edit the minicom settings. You should first attempt to adjust the settings the easier way by typing the command, 'minicom -ws'. This will open a settings menu for minicom. Chances are your issue may be located in "Serial port setup". This is where you can change your baud rate or the serial port. Setting 'E' should be 115200 8N2. The serial device is going to depend on your setup. The other way to adjust your settings is to re-run the script. You can follow the instructions above and use different settings. You may check to make sure no folders are installed in root-only access directories.