absolute beginner stuff

sorry to bother you guys with some basic questions,
I just got my BB, (I have experience with Linux and microcontrollers
so is really exiting!)
OK, so I don't have yet my power supply but connected my pc monitor
(recommended Dell monitor) with HDMI-DVI cable with the mini usb cable
from the pc as power supply?
connected it an set the screen to digital input, but only got a black
so can I power the board from the mini usb port?

also I have seen that you can connect the BB to the pc, is this with a
serial-serial cable? (what kind of cable?), can I make this cable?
(pin out as serial- serial?)

as I understand it the BB should just boot up with the provided micro
sd card (but works better with higher class micro sd), is this

ok thanks
good day

You don't say what version of the BeagleBoard you have. Perhaps the xM? If you have the xM then you should look over the System Reference Manual for that version:


There are System Reference Manuals for the older boards, too.

Follow the validation procedure given here:


Bob Cochran

LordMaKo, welcome to the group!

Here is a good place to start if you have a rev. C board:

If you have an xM (the one with a USB hub and ethernet port resident on the board) let me know - someone wrote a companion article for the xM and I can get you a copy :slight_smile: It will be posted on developerWorks hopefully in the next week or two.

Meanwhile, to answer your questions - the monitor is probably black because the board isn’t booted. Why that is depends on which board you have.

The rev. C boards have the required bootloaders x-loader and u-boot resident in NAND memory on the board, so you should get at least an orange screen with the HDMI-DVI cable and a DVI-D capable monitor.

The fact that you don’t have that leads me to suspect you have an xM. xM boards do not boot completely using a USB cable in the OTG port. To boot it, insert the SD card that came with the board and apply power.

In order to see what is going on with either board you will have to have a serial cable, as described in the article. For the rev. C, you’ll also need a cable that can connect to the 10-pin serial header on the board, and a null-modem serial cable to plug into your PC. For the xM, all you need is a serial cable or serial-USB cable. Set up minicom to look at serial port /dev/ttyS0 for serial, /dev/ttyUSB0 for USB - settings are 115200 N81, no flow control.

I hope that gets you a bit farther down the road. Holler if that doesn’t help.