Actually up-to-date tutorial/primer on Beaglebone Black?

Hi, folks,

Is there any actually up-to-date tutorial/primer on the Beaglebone Black using a recent Debian (within the last year)?

I’ve got a newbie here who keeps getting turned around because everything is out of date and starts talking about things like Angstrom Linux or device tree overlays.

Any help would be deeply appreciated.


everything is out of date

I think the wiki is pretty recent, but without knowledge of what you’ve looked at and referencing directly I can be too certain nor am I in a position to look myself right now. Perhaps you could elaborate some.


*can’t be too certain…

Apologies for the autocorrect and proof read fail

Basically there was a huge burst of activity and books in the 2015 timeframe. Sadly, those are basically all useless since everything is now Debian and Linux had some major upheavals since then. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to see anything since.

Even worse, I can’t exclude those results so something up-to-date may be hiding in the morass, but I can’t seem to find it.

What I’m looking for is:

  1. A newbie-level tutorial on the level of the stuff like Derek Molloy does

  2. That has been updated to deal with Debian in something like the last year

  3. That explicitly DOESN’T mention any of Yocto, Angstrom or Device Tree Overlays as they don’t have any application to the Beaglebone Black anymore and only serve to confuse people who aren’t extremely familiar with the Beaglebone ecosystem already.


(Sorry about the fumbling messages. I think I got it right this time.)

On Thu, 21 Jun 2018 19:39:38 -0700 (PDT), "Andrew P. Lentvorski"
<> declaimed the following:

3) That explicitly *DOESN'T* mention any of Yocto, Angstrom or Device Tree
Overlays as they don't have any application to the Beaglebone Black anymore
and only serve to confuse people who aren't extremely familiar with the
Beaglebone ecosystem already.

  Device Tree (Overlays) DO still have some applicability (just look at
some of the messages over the last few months trying to get some of the
more obscure configurations working).

  What has changed is that they are no longer loaded (unloaded) by the
kernel after initial booting with the CapeManager -- they now get loaded
during initial boot by u-Boot. And between the various "universal" DT and
config-pin, many uses may not need custom device trees.

  I'll admit the feuding PRU programming could use an understandable set
of documents. However, Debian is Debian -- it doesn't really have anything
board specific (that's all back to the device tree and add-on libraries:
BoneScript for node.js, Adafruit_BBIO for Python -- both of which seem to
be in a catch-up mode for the changes in how the special peripherals are
accessed); proposed changes in the file-system (I recall a post a few weeks
ago about a replacement for the tedious/slow sysfs calls to access the
GPIO/peripherals). The biggest change in Debian would be the conversion
from sys-V init to systemd style.

... and a non-newbie echoes this problem, loudly!

Is there any actually up-to-date tutorial/primer on the Beaglebone Black using a recent Debian (within the last year)?

There are a few posts that I’ve made which may help. Some of which describe how to grab a recent image, booting up for the first time, etc. For example:

Setting Up A BeagleBone Black Wireless (BBBW)

BeagleBone images

Setting Up A BeagleBone Green Wireless (BBGW)

A number of other posts are linked here, but some are programming specific, like hooking up and accessing a LCD cape to a Beaglebone:


Those tutorials are based around Jessie and Kernel 3.16 while current is something like Stretch and 4.9.

3.16 to 4.9 is an enormous difference in the kernel handling of devices in the ARM world. Even the jump for Buster to 4.16 is going to be non-trivial. People need some stability and time to catch their breath on this.

What makes this particularly bad is that the whole raison d’etre of using something like the Beaglebone is that you are doing something at the device level and interacting with the Linux kernel at a fairly deep level.

I don’t know what a good solution is for this problem. :frowning:

I feel you. As a newb myself, I am finding no way to really learn this platform. Tutorials are mostly useless. I find that step by step instruction only works if all of the steps can be followed but every time I go to follow a tutorial, It usually brakes halfway through and since a tutorial is not an explanation you end up just lost and frustrated.

I can program in C++ and I can program an Arduino but this thing might as well be a paperweight. I never could learn Linux much for the same reasons above. It just never seem to follow any convention that I can learn and build from.

If you are familiar to arduino, i think the best tutorial is readmefile in the BBB. It describes up-to-date install instruction and how to work with the Bonescript, which is the easy language for workimg with BBB.

Android용 Outlook 다운로드


See here:


  • and has some useful tips on specific issues/tutorials.
    For recent adventures in the BBB/BBBW/BBG/BBGW/Pocket Beagle and so on, there is a config-pin utility which can be found here:
# Configure a pin for a specific mode
config-pin P8.07 timer

# Configure a pin as gpio output and setting the state
config-pin P8.07 hi
config-pin P8.07 low

# Configure a pin as a gpio input
config-pin P8.07 in

# List the valid modes for a specific pin
config-pin -l P8.07

# Query the status of a pin (note the appropriate universal cape
# must be loaded for this to work)
config-pin -q P8.07

# Complete usage details
config-pin -h

Changes are hard on everyone but I think that the initial idea was to make things easier. Oh and once you set up that utility on your BBB or other variation, create a service so that it boots w/ that specific config-pin set up.

This will create a surefire way to keep your configuration after a reboot or when you boot back up.


P.S. If this is lame and does not help, I understand. If you need additional support for making things work, please chat w/ me some more. Some people have been kind to me over the years while I read up/while things changed. I have learned some things.

I went and bought that book. It started out really good. Unfortunately at chapter two it began to break down. The Cloud9 IDE does not run my code and the console in Cloud9 is also broken, The Beaglebone web interface examples also do not work constantly. just getting an LED to blink is so hit or miss. If I try something after a fresh reboot it usually works once but then it just seem to lock up after that. And I mean the simplest examples from the bonescript web page too. At this point i have spent more time pouring through Google searches trying to figure out why things dont work instead of learning anything.

I would almost pay someone to sow my how to do the project that i want to do. Please, anyone. here is money, just take it please!


Oh? I am sorry that book cannot do it for you. Hey Mr. Powers, did you ever try to use PuTTY or another terminal emulator? If not and if Cloud9 does not work for you, there are many other ways to use the BBB outside of the Cloud9 IDE.

Setting up a Linux Distro (Ubuntu or Debian) on your hard drive and just typing up the software for your hardware on the terminal works too.

Mr. Powers, what image are you using on your BBB?

Do you use your config-pin utility to set the pins?

Do you set up a service or a bash script to run when you boot to make sure your pins are set every time?

I am asking b/c the config-pin utility does not stick after reboot/boot.

You said something about money. I do not want your money but I am willing to help you for fun. Please reply and we can get cracking on this project(s) that you are currently involved in.


P.S. If you want to deal w/ me, go to the Freenode chat, #beagle, and look for another person called set_. That is me. We can chat all day about the BBB and what you need to have happen.

That is very generous of you to offer help. If you really want to I would like to just publish my project somewhere on the web as opensource. I’ve never done that before so not sure where would be the best place. I like GitHub but I’ve only ever look at other folks stuff. I have no idea how to start a project on GitHub. Ethat or maybe publish it in Google+ .Of course all I have is the idea and no code yet.

Do you want to give any suggestions? I like the idea having collaboration kept in record. I do not really like to IRC too much.

Regardless , Thanks for your replies!


Sign up for a account. silver2row: This is my name on that “show.” You can find me there. We can use each other for new ideas and work together if necessary.

I do not have all the time in the world but maybe we could learn something from each other and collaborate some on info, software, and the BBB.


P.S. If you want me to start a repo there, let me know. I can do that but you will have to then be invited to “my” repo. I will invite you and we can help each other after that takes place. Send in some ideas as to what you are doing first, e.g. what board, which image, what language, and/or what other hardware will you be using. I will have to check to see if I have that hardware and then if not, I will most likely have to purchase it (which may take me a bit longer than expected). Okay…shoot!

I spent half the day learning GitHub. I created a repository and sent you an invite. badfrogg is who i am there.


Hello Sir, is okay. I use it. I accepted your invite. Thank you. I have about 20 books on these subjects. I usually use Python and Adafruit_BBIO for PWM. I will learn something new for this project.


P.S. So, there is some hardware (I see). I will look into this hardware quickly and get back to you on If you need to reply or create issues, please allow for us to convene on that page(s).