BeagleBone Black, Updating Latest Image Without MicroSD Card?

I ordered my BBB a couple weeks ago, and have been playing around with the pre-installed factory Angstrom distribution. I’m at the point now where I need to update to the latest image, Angstrom Distribution (BeagleBone Black) 2013-06-06, I was following the Adafruit tutorial, BeagleBone Black: Installing Operating Systems, I actually ordered the board from Adafruit. During the install it calls for inserting the microSD card. However, my BBB didn’t come with one. The “microSD Card” slot on the board is empty. I take it they are not included? Is there anyway to install the latest image without the microSD card? If not, would this be the one to order, Thanks.

No they are not included with the black, as a way to keep the price down. With the proliferation of smartphones and other small media devices, alot of which DO come with their own microsd card included, the idea is that, while not EVERYONE will have a spare microsd laying around, most people do, and the rationale is there is no reason to pay $20 more to include a $10 microsd with the board when you already have one at home anyways. And if you dont have one, it is honestly cheaper for you to go buy your own than it would be for them to include one with the board… Is there another way? Short answer is, not really. Any other way is going to take way more time and effort than I would be willing to waste, as opposed to just spending $10 for an sdcard. I mean i bet you could do it with a thumb drive if you had one but i cant say how easy or hard it might be to point the BBB to the thumb drive at boot…the “boot button” lets you select between booting from the eMMC or microSD, but i think those are the only two options, so i wouldn’t know how to get the installer to boot from another location…Id say microsd definitely the easiest way to go about it… The one you posted the link to will do just fine.

Any 4G or larger micro SD card should work for upgrading and I’ve noticed that local retail pricing really isn’t that bad on these cards. my local Radio Shack seems to have these cards regularly in the circa $8 range and Target, Walmart, etc seem to have them at well. The Adafruit link below would do fine though shipping on just that alone would likely exceed the pricing. My recommendation - go the instant gratification route… buy one locally. just ask for a 4GB or larger micro SD card and you’ll be on your way.

You can also follow the process described at


Thanks to all for the feedback. I ran down to the local Target and picked up a microSD/Adapter pack, and successfully updated to the latest distribution, Cloud9 GNOME Image 2013.06.20, and all is working great!

Glad to hear it!