Angstrom vs Debian

Dear Group,
As I wait for my BBB to arrive I’m reading up on the available software distributions. Being a Debian user I’m tempted to flash Robert Nelson’s Wheezy image right away. But before I do this, are there any particular advantages to sticking with and getting to know the default Angstrom distro? I’ll be using the BBB as a headless home server, attached to a pile of USB disks. CPU & memory loads will be fairly high.
thanks for any tips or advice,

Headless server == go with Debian. Now if you needed a desktop on the BBB then maybe Angstrom or even Ubuntu.

Also forgot to mention. You can leave Angstrom on the eMMC, and boot Debian off an uSD card. That way, if you ever decide to check out Angstrom, it’ll still be there.

That’s pretty much what I’m doing. I’ve got debian installed on the uSD and left Angstrom alone. Read some stuff about bricking the beaglebone if you try to update the Angstrom installation on the eMMC.

If you wish to use WiFi Debian mentioned here ( is a very good option. You can also install the LXDE desktop mentioned on that page if you really want a desktop. The Wifi dongles I have personally tested that work out of the box with LXDE on Debian from a microSD are listed here

Thanks for the comments. I think I’ll go directly for Debian. There’s not a lot of info about Angstrom that I could find, beyond some rather vague remarks about it being optimised for ARM.

I have also gotten full GNOME desktop running on Debian booted from a micro SD card. If that sounds more appealing to you. LXDE is a lighter, smoother desktop on the BBB, though. I should be posting the tutorial on how to to the GNOME desktop later today if you are interested. It does require 8 GB or great micro SD though.


the wiki seems to be under a fair bit of flux…should someone search the group here’s the correct link (26jun2013)

Yes. It is updated everyday in one place or another!