Note there’s now a semi-automated script to do this. However I liked doing it the way below better.
You need AT LEAST a 4GB micro SD card to do this!
This procedure assumes you’re on a Linux laptop.
1) on your laptop PC, download the Debian Beaglebone Black (BBB) image. To be safe, get the “all revs” 2GB image in case you have a pre-Rev C BBB that only has 2GB eMMC. You can easily expand the partition after install if you have a Rev C BBB with 4GB eMMC.
2) [optional] check that md5 sum is correct by typing in Terminal:
this should match the md5 given at the download page.
lsblk, note which drives are listed, then insert the SD card into your laptop and type
lsblk again–the new item is your SD card. Let’s say it was /dev/mmcblk0 (check on your PC!!)
4) type in Terminal:
xz -cd BBB-eMMC-flasher-debian*2gb.img.xz > /dev/mmcblk0
5) This operation takes about 5 to 20 minutes. You’re writing data to the SD card at say 2MB/sec if using a Class 4 SD card, and say 6MB/sec if using a Class 10 SD card, and you’re writing uncompressed about 2GB to the SD card. For fun, you can open another Terminal window and type
sudo iotop or
indicator-multiload to monitor the data writing.
6) insert this micro SD card into the (non-powered) BBB and then apply the power. The BBB’s four onboard LEDs flash back and forth in a “cylon” or “knight rider” pattern. During this time, the micro SD card program is flashing the onboard eMMC automatically for you. If you have an FTDI to USB adapter that fits onto J1, you can watch this process via the screen program.
This automatic flashing to eMMC process should complete in about 10-20 minutes. When it’s done, the BBB shuts itself down (no LEDs on).
7) Once the BBB has shut down, REMOVE the micro SD card from the BBB.
8) Unplug/plug the power or just push the onboard POWER button next to the BBB Ethernet jack.
Note, you might be one of those whose microHDMI adapter/monitor combo doesn’t work with the BBB. Well, it’s OK, since there is an SSH server running by default available through the mini-USB port.
Now power up the BBB by plugging in a mini-USB cable from your laptop to the Beaglebone Black, or use the standard DC power adapter.
You do need to know the IP address of the BBB on your LAN (plug the BBB into your Ethernet).
Then, on your laptop Terminal, (assuming your local network IP addresses are like 192.168.xxx.xxx) type:
nmap -v -sP 192.168.0.0/24 | grep -B1 up
This will list everything on your network. Do it once with the BBB unplugged from the network, then again with the BBB plugged in. Let’s say the BBB is at 192.168.0.5
8) in Terminal on your laptop, type:
Change this password now by typing
passwd at the
Now you’re running with the latest kernel off the eMMC. When I type
I see I have 89% free eMMC space, using
the 3.8.13-bone70 kernel.