BBGW MAC address is DE:AD:BE:EF:00:00 after update

I just updated two Beaglebone Green Wireless modules with the latest operating system (Debian 8.4 2016-05-13 4GB SD LXQT) and I find that the MAC addresses of the wlan0 interfaces of both boards show as DE:AD:BE:EF:00:00. Is there a way to automatically set them to the numbers printed on the boards? I’m pretty sure they didn’t show as DE:AD:BE:EF:00:00 before I did the upgrade because I was able to setup an ssh connection to each board independently. Now, since they both have the same MAC address, they both get the same IP address from my router and get confused. What is the best way to sort this out?

That MAC address made me laugh, so I gave it a quick look up to see if it was a known hack of some kind.

It’s apparently a TI thing.

Hope this helps.


That MAC address made me laugh, so I gave it a quick look up to see if it was a known hack of some kind.

It’s apparently a TI thing.

Hope this helps.


DEADBEEF is actually an “old school programmer thing”. But if we look into a stock debian image file . . .

$ sudo fdisk -lu cleanup/downloads/linux-images/bone-debian-7.8-console-armhf-2015-03-01-2gb.img

Disk cleanup/downloads/linux-images/bone-debian-7.8-console-armhf-2015-03-01-2gb.img: 1782 MB, 1782579200 bytes
184 heads, 31 sectors/track, 610 cylinders, total 3481600 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
cleanup/downloads/linux-images/bone-debian-7.8-console-armhf-2015-03-01-2gb.img1 * 2048 3481599 1739776 83 Linux

$ sudo mount -o loop,offset=1048576 cleanup/downloads/linux-images/bone-debian-7.8-console-armhf-2015-03-01-2gb.img /media/rootfs
william@eee-pc:~$ cat /media/rootfs/etc/network/interfaces

This file describes the network interfaces available on your system

and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

The loopback network interface

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

The primary network interface

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

Example to keep MAC address between reboots

#hwaddress ether DE:AD:BE:EF:CA:FE

The secondary network interface

#auto eth1
#iface eth1 inet dhcp

WiFi Example

#auto wlan0
#iface wlan0 inet dhcp

wpa-ssid “essid”

wpa-psk “password”

Ethernet/RNDIS gadget (g_ether)

… or on host side, usbnet and random hwaddr

Note on some boards, usb0 is automaticly setup with an init script

iface usb0 inet static

As I recall there is also a script somewhere that did, or still sets this MAC address for the ethernet interface. Granted this is not what my own beaglebones are set to . . .


But it requires 2 software packages not installed in that version.

1: bb-wl18xx-firmware, which you can install via : ( sudo apt-get
update ; sudo apt-get install bb-wl18xx-firmware )

2: a tool from TI, that i haven't packaged yet...

Or use this new image:


Hi Robert,

Thanks for your quick response. I tried the link you posted for the new image but I got a permission error.


Sorry, rsync is still running, should be fully uploaded in the next 10 minutes..


Thanks again. I downloaded and installed the new image and the MAC address seems to be correct now but I’m having another problem. I’m having trouble enabling Bluetooth. Any idea what’s going wrong?

root@beaglebone:~# bb-wl18xx-bluetooth
Wanted to write 4 bytes, could only write 0. Stop
Can’t initialize device: Success

Oh, so one of the "big" changes in 2016-08-01, bluetooth should "just
work" on startup...

Now if you run it a second time... Not sure...


Ah, so it does! Great! Thanks!