Frequently Asked Questions
General Board Questions
What are the Beagles?
- BeagleBone Black BeagleBone Black is the newest member of the open hardware Beagle family. Incorporating Texas Instruments’ 1GHz AM335x ARM® Cortex-A8 processor, plus new HDMI functionality for $45, this tiny “pup” has a very big bark. Additional expanded peripherals, low power consumption and open-source software compatibility make this Beagle stand out among the pack.
- BeagleBone Black page - quick overview
- Circuitco BeagleBone Black support wiki - additional details
- BeagleBone Black section of the Forums - ask questions and find the latest answers
- BeagleBone BeagleBone is a bare-bones Beagle board that acts as a USB or Ethernet connected expansion companion for physical computing. BeagleBone is small even by BeagleBoard standards and with the high-performance ARM capabilities you expect from a BeagleBoard, the BeagleBone brings full-featured Linux to places it has never gone before.
- BeagleBoard-xM Designed with the community inputs in mind, this open hardware design improves upon the laptop-like performance and expandability, while keeping at hand-held power levels. Direct connectivity is supported by the on-board four-port hub with 10/100 Ethernet, while maintaining a tiny 3.25" × 3.25" footprint.
- BeagleBoard The USB-powered Beagle Board is a low-cost, fan-less single board computer utilizing Texas Instruments' OMAP3530 processor that unleashes laptop-like performance and expansion without the bulk, expense, or noise of typical desktop machines.
Using the IRC Channel Live Chat and Mailing List (Forums)
- Use site search and explore the forums to see if the support question has been previously asked and answered.
- Visit the IRC Channel for interactive support from fellow community members. As this is an all-volunteer effort, it may be necessary to try at a few different times throughout the day and stay logged in to see any responses. If you have a large amount of text to share, use a tool such as Pastebin.
- If search and utilizing the IRC Channel do not result in a solution to your support problem, post to the forums. Provide information on your project's goal/objective as well as all pertinent details about current results, but avoid communicating any extraneous information. For best results, follow these guidelines for asking questions when participating in the Beagle community.
- A final option for obtaining support is contacting commercial operating system vendor. The Texas Instruments Design Network and OMAP/Sitara/DaVinci Support and Training Resources. The forums may also assist in answering requests for paid support.
Are Beagles Linux only?
- Beagles run on a variety of operating systems including but not limited to Linux.
- BeagleBoard.org gives links and pointers (including source) for data related to Beagle products. If a Beagle project, etc. with some instructional value has been completed with a propriety OS, links may be included to their site from BeagleBoard.org. However, it is the decision of that project owner whether or not to open their source.
Can software be downloaded directly from BeagleBoard.org?
- Software is not generally hosted directly on BeagleBoard.org. Instead, a diagnostic image is hosted on http://code.google.com/p/beagleboard and links to projects that provide additional Beagle software are housed on the Beagles Projects page.
- The kernel at http://code.google.com/p/beagleboard is called "diagnostic" because this kernel is simply a reference to evaluate the board. New development should be done against the linux-omap git tree kernel.
After building a custom kernel from mainline, a particular function doesn't seem to work. How can the problem be solved?
- Specific patches may be required to make the kernel aware of different types of boards/configure the chips properly. These patches may not be merged into mainline for various reasons and could be automatically applied when a kernel is built for Beagle with OpenEmbedded. Quilt can assist in applying these patches to a kernel.
Is feature X possible with my Beagle on Linux?
- The Beagles are capable of anything normally possible on a regular Linux system.
Other Software Topics
What power peripherals are required/desirable?
- There are several ways to power a Beagle. The option exists to feed the on-board regulators through either the 5V barrel connector input or USB input. When powered up over USB, the regulators are somewhat limited in what they can supply the system. Power over USB is sufficient as long as the software and system running perform some management to keep it under the USB current limit threshold. For simplicity and maximum capability, powering over the 5V barrel connector is typically recommended.
- The power adapter is required to provide 5V over a 5.5mm outer diameter and 2.1mm inner diameter barrel connector (a barrel connector length of 9.5mm is more than sufficient). The recommended supply current is at least 1.2A (or 6W), but at least 2A (or 10W) is recommended if you are going to connect up anything over the USB. The actual power consumption will vary greatly with changes on the USB load.
What are recommended LCD to add-ons?
How can a keyboard and mouse be connected?
- Use a mini-A to standard-A USB adapter when attempting to do so via the OTG port. Mini-B adapters will not work without additional hardware modifications. Recommended peripherals can be found on product pages.
- It is also necessary to build support for USB OTG host mode into your kernel.
- The port can only supply 100mA, so a powered hub may be necessary for power-hungry keyboards and mice.
- What are some sources for further peripheral exploration?
- What is required to run software on BeagleBoard-xM Rev C?
- The revision ID on the board and the control signal for powering the USB hub on the board changed between BeagleBoard-xM Rev B and BeagleBoard-xM Rev C. Older versions of x-loader/MLO, u-boot and the Linux kernel did not properly utilize the revision ID settings on the board, so BeagleBoard-xM Rev B didn't include settings different than BeagleBoard-xM Rev A due to this issue. On BeagleBoard-xM rev C, with the USB hub changes on the board, it became necessary to change the board revision ID, resulting in incompatibility with older software. See the forum posts on this topic for further details.
- If the latest mainline x-loader and u-boot are utilized, including the variations shipped on the microSD card on the board (available at circuitco.com/support), the revision will be properly detected.
- The mainline kernel does not yet include the patch required to utilize the proper polarity for the USB hub power enable. Explore this candidate patch for information on what to fix and potentially apply it. If an image of Angstrom is assembled using Narcissus, the result will be a working kernel using the sources in OpenEmbedded.
- Can the BeagleBoard or BeagleBoard-xM be powered over USB?
- Unfortunately, no. First, the validation image shipped with the board is based on a 2.6.32 kernel with a bug in the USB interrupt management. This bug has been fixed on newer kernels, but those kernels have not yet been added to the BeagleBoard's validation image. A patched version of the 2.6.39 kernel is currently being implemented to support BeagleBoard validation and is expected to provide the solution.
- Second, the default boot condition of the kernel is to power up peripheral interfaces like the EHCI-based USB host on the BeagleBoard-xM and DVI-D on both pre-xM and xM boards. The USB specification requires devices to power up under 100mA (~500mW) and the USB hub circuit on the BeagleBoard-xM may consume around 100mA itself. Modification is required to the kernel to avoid powering up this section of the board until sufficient current is confirmed by the software. In practice, most host machines will provide sufficient power, despite this violation of the specification. Consider power requirements before attempting to utilize USB to power the BeagleBoard or BeagleBoard-xM.
- Can the Beagle OTG port work in host mode?
- The jumper on the back of the board can be used to attach some solder to, or a cable that has the pins shorted. Read more about this in the System Reference Manual.
- Why is there no output? Why is it not possible to type into the serial port?
- For original BeagleBoard, purchase the recommended serial adapter. The
BeagleBoard-xM utilizes a straight-through DB9 male-to-female serial cable.
Ensure that you are connecting:
RX to pin 2
TX to pin 3, and
GND to pin 5.
Follow the steps outlined by the community FAQ and the system reference manual.
- For original BeagleBone, a USB-to-serial adapter is built-in. Install the drivers for your operating system using the instructions on the Getting Started page.
- For BeagleBone Black, you need to buy a 3.3V serial adapter. See the Circuitco BeagleBone Black Accessories page on the support wiki to find a suitable adapter and to get it connected.
Why are no boot messages visible on a custom kernel?
- Passing the wrong bootargs to the kernel is a possible cause. Linux kernels >= 2.6.36 are using ttyOn instead ttySn for the serials on OMAP, so set console=ttyO2,115200n8 in U-boot.
Last updated by dbutler on Wed May 15 2013 13:41:02 GMT-0500 (CDT).