Beagleboard:BeagleBone Black FAQ

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Why is the BeagleBone Black only $45?
There are several reasons for this. We removed some expensive components, added a few low cost components, purchased in lots of 100K instead of 2K (MAJOR cost reduction),
automated the testing (MAJOR cost reduction), and upgraded the manufacturing process with automated assembly techniques removing a lot of manual labor. And as usual, all
parts are bought through distribution. There is no subsidy on the board by anyone. Everyone makes a few bucks, except We don't take money out of the community.


I see that you are moving to the AM3358BZCZ100 device in a future version. What features are lost when this happens?
You will be losing support for Ether-Cat, an interface not supported on the BeagleBone Black. We used the AM3359 because that is what we had access to as an 
early adopter of the 1GHz version. The plan all along was to use the AM3358.
I received my BeagleBone Black and the uSd card is missing. How do I get one?
The BeagleBone Black does not come with a uSD card. It boots from the onboard eMMC device when shipped from the factory.
My board works fine under DC power but I am having issues powering the board using USB power. Is my board defective?
The board current usage can vary depending on the peripherals you have connected and what applications you are running. The board can easily exceed the 500mA
of a typical USB port. If this happens, then it is suggested that you switch to the DC jack in order to give the board more current in order to perform the desired tasks.
Why isn't the serial port recognized when I install the serial port drivers when connected over USB?
That is because there is no FTDI chip on the board. There is no USB device to be found for use by that driver that should not be installed in the first place.

It only works with an external USB to Serial cable that you provide and whose drivers are provided by the seller of that cable.

What is the polarity of the DC power jack?
Center positive. Refer to section 7.2 of the System Reference Manual for more information.
I want to set up wifi on my BBB. How do I do this?
 If you want to move away from Ethernet and use WIFI on your BBB, visit this website to set it up.
Where can I create Schematics or a PCB layout for the BeagleBone Black?
Follow this guide to get it all set up: BeagleBoard Black on Fritzing
How can I use a uSD in the uSD slot as extra storage on my BeagleBone Black?
Instructions on how to setup a microSD card to use in the microSD slot as extra storage can be found here


What is the process to update the SW in the board?
How can I just boot from the microSD instead of the eMMC?
Can someone please explain the Device Tree to me?
Take a look at Beaglebone and the 3.8 Kernel.
Another good source is Introduction to the BeagleBone Black Device Tree
Where can I find Android for the BeagleBone Black?
 You can install Android at the following link:
How do I get the BeagleBone Black Drivers to work on my Windows 8 computer?
There is an explanation of how to get them working here.


Why does my monitor detect a signal on HDMI, but there is no picture?
It is asleep. As the RTC is not initialized it thinks it has been asleep for years when it gets the time from the time server when the Ethernet is connected.
Connect a keyboard or mouse to the board and move or type something. That will bring it out of sleep. Or, try not connecting the Ethernet cable.
If you are connected over serial or ssh you may enter "echo 0 > /sys/class/graphics/fb0/blank" to wake the screen up.
I don't seem to get a picture on my display. What should I do?
Go to this website for further instructions.
What is the process to disable the HDMI framer so I can use the SPI pins for a cape?
There is no need to disable the HDMI framer to use the pins. The HDMI framer cannot be disabled via SW and if you do not plug a HDMI cable into the connector it
has nothing to do. There is no disable pin for the HDMI framer or any way to power it off. To use the SPI pins, just change just change the pin mux and use them as you choose with your software.
How do I to disable the HDMI framer so I can use the LCD pins for other purposes?
There is no need to disable the HDMI framer to use the pins. The HDMI framer cannot be disabled via SW and if you do not plug a HDMI cable into the connector it has
nothing to do. There is no disable pin for the HDMI framer or any way to power it off. To use the LCD pins, just change just change the pin mux and use them as you choose with your software.
No HDMI Output with my HDMI Adapter. Am I using the right adapter?
Solution: You may be using the wrong adapter. Try using the verified adapters here.
Credit: Juan Cortez
Is there a way to prevent my HDMI monitor from sleeping while using my BBB?
If you add optargs="consoleblank=0" to your uEnv.txt file, it will keep the HDMI interface from shutting off after 10 minutes of operation.
Credit: Andrew Henderson
You can also wake up the HDMI display remotely through this command:
echo 0 > /sys/class/graphics/fb0/blank
Credit: Charles Steinkuehler

Cloud9, GateOne SSH, Bonescript, & C/C++

Is my version of Bonescript up to date?
If you are looking to update to the latest revision, use 'opkg' to perform the update. Make sure you connect an ethernet 
cable to your BeagleBone and in your terminal shell, type in:
opkg update
opkg install bonescript
Cloud9 IDE and GateOne SSH Client not accessible.
Solution: The /var/lib/cloud9 library was missing so we need to make the directory.
Install and Configure PuTTy:
Type: root
Type: mkdir /var/lib/cloud9
Reboot your BBB and your Cloud9 Programming Space will come back.
Credit: Uncle Joe
GateOne SSH Client not working because of "too many redirects." What do I do?
Solution: Click the 'Set Date' Button on the "Getting Started Page" for it to work.
Credit: Willfredo Nieves

Alternate Solution: You can also set the date using a terminal emulator such as PuTTy. Type the following to set the date:
date -s "May 21 22:49 UTC 2013"
Credit: Juan Cortez
Cloud9 Not Running Properly. How do I fix this?
Solution: There is a bug in cloud9 when using it in "Debug" mode.
Fix: Click on the "Run" icon on the left side of the IDE. There should be a dark grey gear icon that lets you set some preferences,
click it and disable the "Debug" mode. You should be able to press "run" on the top instead of "debug."
Credit: Eric Brundick

Is there a way to test all the major functions provided in the Bonescript release?
1) Update to the latest software image here.
2) Make sure your version of Bonescript is up to date by performing 'opkg.' Instructions are provided here.
3) Visit the following website and follow the build instructions. Run the code. If the console outputs, ***PASS***, 
all the BoneScript functions are working properly.
Where can I find problems and solutions for bonescript?
Bonescript issues and some solutions can be found in the following links:
Why am I unable to SSH to my BBB or run the 'Getting Started' page with it?
Delete the file called "dropbear_rsa_host_key" in the location of /etc/dropbear/. Then you need run the
command '/etc/init.d/dropbear start'.  
You should then be able to SSH to your BBB as well as get it connected to's 'Getting Started' page.
For more information see this thread.
Credit: Glen H
How can I create a C/C++ Program on my BeagleBone?
Visit this link to get started. 


Where can I find pre-existing capes?

I am wondering if a particular cape is compatible with the BeagleBone Black. Where do I find the answer?

Where can I find FREE PCB Design Software?

You can also follow this wiki to get it all set up and running. You can also use: Eagle or KiCad
Credit: Juan Cortez

What do each of the expansion headers on the Beagle Board Black do?

Visit this wiki to find out more information.
Credit: Juan Cortez

What is the process for disabling the HDMI and eMMC Virtual Capes?

Is there a way to disable the HDMI and eMMC Virtual Capes if there is a conflicting pin with my cape?

Yes, there is an example of disabling the virtual capes on this wiki, using the weather cape as an example.
Credit: Juan Cortez

Audio Cape: Beagle Bone Black

I am having trouble getting my Audio Cape to work. How do I disable the HDMI interface?

Modify your uEnv.txt file to this: optargs=quiet capemgr.disable_partno=BB-BONELT-HDMI,BB-BONELT-HDMIN capemgr.enable_partno=BB-BONE-AUDI-01.
Credit: Gregory
A more detailed answer can be found in the following wiki, using the weather cape as an example.  Click here.
Credit: Juan Cortez

How do you permantly configure bone_capemgr.*/slots on boot time?

You can replicate the "echo" command on your uEnv.txt file:
Terminal: $echo bone_pwm_P8_13 > /sys/devices/bone_capemgr.*/slots
uEnv.txt File: optargs=run_hardware_tests quiet capemgr.enable_partno=test1,bone_pwm_P8_13
Credit: Robert Nelson