BBB booting to a usb hard drive

This is sort of an announcement and perhaps a query to Robert Nelson to see if he could
incorporate this in his “Demo Image” distribution at

I’m using his shell script with some changes; the diffs are below. I also
diddled with his uEnv.txt file.

I ran his script with the drive connected to my laptop running debian.
It does all the usual stuff but does it on a usb hard drive instead of an SD flash card.
I ran it as root with

./ --mmc /dev/sdb --uboot bone

The changes to the script are to add a swap partition, change the root
partition from mmcblk0p2 to /dev/sda3, take out the noatime option for the root partition,
add an entry for the swap partition to /etc/fstab, and for debugging purposes my version
of the script has verbose turned off on the tars. There wasn’t an obviously nice place to
put the mkswap call so I just jammed it into where the root filesystem is initialized.

It may seem weird to some to have the swap partition in front of the root partition but for
minimizing head movement it might be a better location. But I put it there because it
made the partitioning straightforward.

After running the script with a hard drive all that’s left to do is tweak the uEnv.txt file on the
hard drive’s DOS partition and then copy it to the DOS partition on the flash card.

I couldn’t have done this without the help from William Herman’s The EmbeddedHobbyist
web page, and with Robert Nelson’s highly modular script. A big thanks

to William and Robert.

===> diffs <===

< ${conf_boot_startmb},${conf_boot_endmb},${sfdisk_fstype},*