Beaglebone Black

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Our Beaglebone Black Products

Our BBB Products

Add 5V I/O to the BeagleBone Black.

  • BBB-GVS - 5V GVS Beaglebone cape
  • BBB-GVS-3 - GVS Beaglebone cape, Analog buffering
  • BBB-COMMS-2 - Beaglebone cape with Communications and I/O

Taking the Beaglebone Black out for a walk

Beaglebone Black is a low-cost, open source, community-supported development platform. Boot Linux in under 10-seconds and get started on Sitara™ AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processor development in less than 5 minutes with just a single USB cable. BeagleBone Black ships with the Ångström Linux distribution in on-board FLASH. (Excerpted from the TI website)


The coolest thing of all may very well be that the Beaglebone Black fits into an Altoids mint tin.


First Impressions

After working with the BeagleBone Black (BBB) for a couple of days we have some quick impressions (May 2014).

  • Although having 2 GB of flash memory available to hold the OS sounds great, it really doesn't take long to fill it up.
  • The Angstrom distribution has a log file which chatters constantly due to a debug message which was turned on. Any instructions which say to do a 'dmesg' to get a driver running may not work since it may have fallen off the back of the dmesg log.

Bad Experience with Adafruit NIC

The Adafruit's Miniature WiFi (802.11b/g/n) Module: For Raspberry Pi and more was a read dud for a bunch of reasons. They are not so much BBB issues as issues with the NIC.

  • The Adafruit site claims "its supported by the Bone's Angstrom installation that comes with each Bone" but their tutorial page says:
This tutorial may not work on Beaglebone Black or the latest versions of Angstrom (kernel 3.8+) 
due to changes in the OS. We're working on a new/updated tutorial, but we don't have an ETA - 
we'll post it as soon as we can! Thank you for your patience.
  • This message is undated so we can't tell if it's been there a while or not.
  • We do appreciate the warning but we bought the part based on the sales page and didn't see the warning before we bought the part.
  • We would have bought a part that actually worked and was supported if we knew it didn't/wouldn't work.
  • It's our pet peeve when people thank us for our patience. We are not all that patient.
  • There are a lot of people complaining about the part on the Adafruit forums.
  • Adafruit's tutorial instructions say to update the kernel but the sales page said that the module works with the kernel.
  • After hours of messing around with it, we sorta got it working. But not really. We never saw it actually connect up.
    • It may have range problems.

Here's notes (not ours) on the NIC:

I now have reliable Wifi on my BBB (A5A) with an Edimax dongle (rtl8192cu). 
The problem is not the driver/board (in my case), but it was apparently ages old 
versions of connman and wpa_supplicant. I'm using the firmware binary downloaded 
from debian repo and then compiled the latest connman (1.16 iirc) and latest 
wpa_supplicant (2.0) from sources right on the BBB itself and did a make install.

Here's another listed solution:

I discovered that I had two wpa_supplicants running!
I commented out the pre-up line from the /etc/network/interfaces as found on octopusprotos
and now things seem to be working swell.


Why not try network manager instead of connman. I was having trouble with getting 
the wifi (Linksys WUSB100v2) to work. Removed connman and installed network manager, 
installed the drivers with opkg and it worked perfect on the first try. I have had it 
running for about a week now besides the occasional reboot to get VNC back up and wifi 
is still working good. Haven't tested speed yet but it seems to be running good for
 being G and considering that my phones data connection runs circles around my home data 
connection (best i can get in BFE unless i spend almost triple for only double the speed).


(From the Beagleboard website). For an extended list of features see this site.

Processor: AM335x 1GHz ARM® Cortex-A8

  • 512MB DDR3 RAM
  • 2GB 8-bit eMMC on-board flash storage
  • 3D graphics accelerator
  • NEON floating-point accelerator
  • 2x PRU 32-bit microcontrollers


  • USB client for power & communications
  • USB host
  • Ethernet
  • HDMI
  • 2x 46 pin headers

Software Compatibility

  • Ångström Linux
  • Android
  • Ubuntu
  • Cloud9 IDE on Node.js w/ BoneScript library plus much more

I/O Connections

Where the Beaglebone Black really shines is I/O support.

  • 3 I2C buses
  • CAN bus
  • SPI bus
  • 4 timers
  • 5 serial ports
  • 65 GPIO pins
  • 8 PWM outputs
  • 7 analog inputs (1.8V max 12 bit A/D converters)

One-Wire on the Beaglebone

PWM on the Beaglebone


The Adafruit ProtoPlate is a great way to experiment with the I/O capabilities of the Beaglebone Black. We have used one of these for the Arduino and they are really handy for relatively small breadboard circuits.

Adafruit ProtoPlate.jpg

Setting a Static IP Address on the BBB

Check Current OS Version

  • The process to change the IP address depends on which version of Debian is installed
  • BBB has Debian Wheezy installed
    • Check OS Version
cat /etc/os-release
  • Returns
PRETTY_NAME="Debian GNU/Linux 7 (wheezy)"
NAME="Debian GNU/Linux"
VERSION="7 (wheezy)"

Check Current IP Address

  • To get the current IP addresses
  • Returns
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 7c:66:9d:44:f9:cf
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::7e66:9dff:fe44:f9cf/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:401 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:363 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:40945 (39.9 KiB)  TX bytes:44282 (43.2 KiB)

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback
          inet addr:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:65536  Metric:1
          RX packets:1 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:1 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
          RX bytes:79 (79.0 B)  TX bytes:79 (79.0 B)

usb0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 72:1a:3f:d0:6d:2b
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          UP BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)

Set New Static IP Address

  • Add to (or change) /etc/network/interfaces
 # The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

IP Addresses

  • BBB are located on the Secondary net at:
    • BBB Rev C -
    • BBB Rev B -


  • Our software is loaded into ~/pyBBB
  • Software consists of
drwxr-xr-x 15 root root 4096 Jun 22  2017 .
drwx------  9 root root 4096 Jan 25 22:51 ..
drwxr-xr-x  8 root root 4096 Jan 26 04:49 .git
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  483 Jul 27  2014 .gitattributes
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 2659 Jul 27  2014 .gitignore
drwxr-xr-x  4 root root 4096 Jun 22  2017 BBB-COMMS-2
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root 4096 Jun 11  2017 BBB-GVS
drwxr-xr-x  5 root root 4096 Jul 20  2017 BBB-GVS-3
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4096 Jun 22  2017 BBCape_EEPROM
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   42 Jul 27  2014
drwxr-xr-x  5 root root 4096 Jul 28  2014 X3Blink
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4096 Jul 27  2014 analog_test
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root 4096 Jul 27  2014 authoritative_tester
drwxr-xr-x  5 root root 4096 Jul 27  2014 bbbIot
drwxr-xr-x  5 root root 4096 Jul 27  2014 blink
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root 4096 Jun 11  2017 configEEPROM
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4096 Jun 11  2017 mkeeprom
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  421 Jul 27  2014
drwxr-xr-x  5 root root 4096 Jul 27  2014 switch

External Software Sites

External Sites