Absolute newbie: confused with the getting started procedure and DSP

Hello everyone,

I have purchased a new BBB, as a hobby as well as educating myself about linux and embedded programming.
I’m a electrical engineer with a power concentration, but I have done some HDL programming and worked with MSP430’s.

I was looking at many of the getting started tutorials online, and it all got me confused, as all of them were written at different points of time, with most of them not aware of the new linux versions as well as the TI SDK.

I wanted to know whats my best option at getting started with this board, without completely messing up the on-board image and being stranded.

There seems to be newer versions of Ubuntu and the TI SDK, but I couldnt find much on if they are working properly and how I can install them on the BBB.

My purpose for this board for starters is, that I want to SSH through my windows 7 machine to the BBB and run the on board G++ compiler to do some basic C++ programming and getting the GPIOs to work according to my needs.

Please guide me to a tutorial that has the guidance for installation of the latest and most stable OS for the BBB.

My second query was that, is it possible to do Audio processing on the BBB, if so, how? Are there addons to the default Angstrom OS or any other OS that can help me process Audio. I was planning on using the Tiva C launchpad’s ADC, but I dunno how feasible this all is.

I suggest that you start at http://circuitco.com/support/BeagleBoneBlack which is the support Wiki. There is a lot of good information, links, tutorial, how to flash the eMMC,and FAQs located there.

Make sure you look under the section 7 at “Extremely Useful Links”


If you use any web browser to go to the IP address of your BBB, there should be a “Getting Started” page with links to the IDE etc.

Thank you for the reply guys.

Second query was that, is necessary to have the 5v power adapter ? I read on a lot of discussions that the OS is very shaky and crashes without the external power, especially with USB peripherals connected.

Also, which USB hubs you all recommend? That is, if I have an external power source, does the USB hub need to be powered? Or can I use a normal passive USB hub?

I currently have the Logitech Keyboard and mouse, with the Unified USB receiver, so I think I should be fine, but I’m planning to add the wifi dongle.

USB is only 500mA, so as long as you have no USB peripherals and Ethernet, you should be fine. I recommend the 5V supply.

Most USB hubs should work. There is a list on the link i sent you of the ones we know work.

USB Hub may not need to be powered depending on what you plug in. As long as it does not exceed 500mA on the USB, it will be fine. Those devices you mentioned will be under the 500mA.


My BBB just arrived through UPS. I ordered on Amazon.

I received the A5C version, I read a little bit and found that the A6 is the latest revision.
Are there any known problems with the A5C or any improvements with the A6.
If so, I will have have to return it and get the latest one.

As I am new, I have no clue if these revisions will have any impact on my application.

Also, I noticed there is a tiny white sticker on the back of the board with Pink dot on it. Now I was wondering if that is one those water damage markers, and because there is a pink dot, I was just worried if it is showing water damage or something.


The A5C and A6 are equivalent and the changes do not affect the way it operates and is not for any known issues. We are just trying the keep the design up to date. We just made a few tweaks to comply with an errata that TI sent out. You can find information on the Wiki that describes the changes. http://circuitco.com/support/index.php?title=BeagleBoneBlack#Revision_A6_.28Production_Version.29

As to a white sticker with a pink dot, we did not put that there. We have had several reports of questionable boards from Amazon. We are not sure where the boards are coming from and in a lot of cases, no idea who the supplier is supposed to be. We have no way to track it for sure nor do the suppliers. I have heard this story from other board makers as well. That is why Amazon is not listed as a supplier by us.


I have uploaded images of the board it self. I dont know how helpful this will be.
Do you know if the BBB boards sold by amazon are legitimate? Or chinese knockoffs?
I mean are they known to fail or be defective?

Amazon claimed that the seller was Logic Supply. I check their website and the beagleboard website. Logic supply is one of the distributors listed on the beagleboard website.

photo (1).JPG


I doubt they are knock offs. What happens is that sometimes a person will buy a board, blow it up, send it back and gets a new one. The blown up board ends up in somebody else UPS box.

There is a way we can tell if it is knock off, but we have to have it, not just pictures.

But, as long as your board is working and boots up, you should be OK. You might send an email to Logic and ask them about the red dot.

Check the board and see if everything is working.



I tried to use the getting started process and everything went well till the SD flashing part.

I mounted the image on the uSD card as instructed on the circuitco, beagleboard, and adafruit websites, using the win32 installer.

I put the uSD into the BBB and as instructed, held down the boot button before pluging in the uUSB cable. I kept holding the boot button for close to 20seconds, none of the user LEDs would light up.
I just had the power LED light up, but none of the other four. I disconnected and tried this several times with no luck.

Since I read about the USB power problem, I even resorted to use my Iphone USB charger to plug in the uUSB cable, this charge is rated at 1Amp.
Still I couldnt get the LEDs to light up.

As for the image, I mounted the Angstrom distribution image that was provided through the links from one of the websites you suggested

If the LEDs are not starting then it is not reading the SD card correctly or something was not done correctly in that process Maybe you did not unzip the image before you coped it to the card. The image size should be about 3.8MB in size when you copy it over to the card. The instructions on the Wiki talk about the unzip process.


Hi Gerald,

I followed the whole process. I unzipped it using 7zip. I got the .img file and mounted it on the SD using the win32 application. I even tried to plug it in with a DC source and it still didnt work.
However when I power it on on its own, it does work. I can go into Amstrong and use the OS normally through HDMi

I actually found out what the problem was.
It was my rookie mistake.
What I did was, I opened the zip archive that had the image and only extracted the .img file and mounted it. I thought the other accompanying files were just readme or something.
Now that I extracted the entire zip archive and mounted it. It started updated the image. I’m seeing all the Leds busy doing things.
I’ll report on after an hour or so, once I actually get the new image running.