Boot from SD card, what image to use?

I have been using Win32 Disk Imager to flash the SD card with BBB-blank-debian-**** images. Then, I insert the SD card, hold the S2 button and plug in the power cord (until the LED’s start flashing). This flashes BBB and gives me a fresh BBB ran from eMMC.

Now, I want to boot BBB from SD card, and I have tried various methods to no avail.

Methods:

  1. Renaming bbb-uEnv.txt on eMMC and/or the SD card to uEnv.txt then reboot with SD card plugged in does boot from SD card. However, it keeps reflashing the eMMC and does not run off the SD card as desired.

  2. Renaming MLO (option 2, as per this guide: http://www.erdahl.io/2016/12/beaglebone-black-booting-from-sd-by.html) gets BBB to boot off the SD card. Then, it attempts to reflash the eMMC, and gets stuck at ‘Setting LEDs to.’ Not sure how I can fix this problem.

  3. Following eewiki guide (https://eewiki.net/display/linuxonarm/BeagleBone+Black) previously got me a BBB running on SD card. However, it is a minimalist debian (debian-9.3-minimal-armhf-2017-12-09.tar.xz), and not one with GUI. I am trying to redo that
    with debian-9.3-lxqt-2gb-armhf-2017-12-24.tar.xz, but I need to rebuild everything again, as TI BSP for 4.9 real-time kernel broke and just got fixed hours ago. (As per https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/beagleboard/"not$20you"|sort:date/beagleboard/puF5-A3hp44/TbN7HYNyBQAJ)

Questions:

  1. Are the problems I encounter in methods 1 and 2 are because the bone-debian-**** images being flashing images, and not meant to create bootable SD cards?

  2. I previously tried flashing with bone-debian-**** images and they did not work. Any idea on this?

  3. How can I fix problem in method 2 above?

  4. Is there any image on http://rcn-ee.net that can be used to create a readily bootable SD card the way the BBB-blank-debian-**** images are flashed with Win32 Disk Imager? It seems to be the easiest way but not sure why it is not done.

Thank you.

I have been using Win32 Disk Imager to flash the SD card with
BBB-blank-debian-**** images. Then, I insert the SD card, hold the S2
button and plug in the power cord (until the LED's start flashing). This
flashes BBB and gives me a fresh BBB ran from eMMC.
Now, I want to boot BBB from SD card, and I have tried various methods to no
avail.

Don't use Win32 Disk Imager, grab:

https://etcher.io/

Methods:
1. Renaming bbb-uEnv.txt on eMMC and/or the SD card to uEnv.txt then reboot
with SD card plugged in does boot from SD card. However, it keeps
reflashing the eMMC and does not run off the SD card as desired.

Don't use that file, it's not for that.

2. Renaming MLO (option 2, as per this guide:
http://www.erdahl.io/2016/12/beaglebone-black-booting-from-sd-by.html) gets
BBB to boot off the SD card. Then, it attempts to reflash the eMMC, and
gets stuck at 'Setting LEDs to.' Not sure how I can fix this problem.

That's not the problem. :wink:

3. Following eewiki guide
(https://eewiki.net/display/linuxonarm/BeagleBone+Black) previously got me a
BBB running on SD card. However, it is a minimalist debian
(debian-9.3-minimal-armhf-2017-12-09.tar.xz), and not one with GUI. I am
trying to redo that
with debian-9.3-lxqt-2gb-armhf-2017-12-24.tar.xz, but I need to rebuild
everything again, as TI BSP for 4.9 real-time kernel broke and just got
fixed hours ago. (As per
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/beagleboard/"not$20you"|sort:date/beagleboard/puF5-A3hp44/TbN7HYNyBQAJ)

Questions:
1. Are the problems I encounter in methods 1 and 2 are because the
bone-debian-**** images being flashing images, and not meant to create
bootable SD cards?

They are meant to be bootable....

2. I previously tried flashing with bone-debian-**** images and they did not
work. Any idea on this?

Show us your serial boot log...

3. How can I fix problem in method 2 above?

4. Is there any image on http://rcn-ee.net that can be used to create a
readily bootable SD card the way the BBB-blank-debian-**** images are
flashed with Win32 Disk Imager? It seems to be the easiest way but not sure
why it is not done.

"if" only the blank ones boot, we might have a bigger issue, please run:

sudo /opt/scripts/tools/version.sh

Regards,

  1. Renaming MLO (option 2, as per this guide:

http://www.erdahl.io/2016/12/beaglebone-black-booting-from-sd-by.html) gets
BBB to boot off the SD card. Then, it attempts to reflash the eMMC, and
gets stuck at ‘Setting LEDs to.’ Not sure how I can fix this problem.

That’s not the problem. :wink:

—> I suppose the ‘sync’ command cause the MLO to be renamed in the SD card and causes the problem? I reflash the SD card and the eMMC can be reflashed as normal.

  1. Are the problems I encounter in methods 1 and 2 are because the
    bone-debian-**** images being flashing images, and not meant to create
    bootable SD cards?

They are meant to be bootable…

—> I unpacked the image from a bone-debian-**** image with Etcher, and plug into a BBB. It did not boot from the SD card. I suppose

  1. I previously tried flashing with bone-debian-**** images and they did not
    work. Any idea on this?

Show us your serial boot log…

—> How do I retrieve this boot log?

Don’t use Win32 Disk Imager, grab:

https://etcher.io/

I got Etcher, and it can read img.xz. However, the speed is slower (by half from what I see) compared to unpacking to an img file, then use it. Considering the img file will be used over and over again, this seems worth it.

On the other hand, Win32 Disk Imager can be used to image the SD card content to be unpacked to another one later. I wish not to go through the exercise on eewiki, so I am imaging the newly prepped SD card to an img file. Will have to see if this prepped SD card is bootable, then I will use the img to clone other cards.

Speedwise, Win32 Disk Imager write an image at ~27MB/s whereas Etcher gives ~9.5MB/s. After the write, Etcher has a validating steps which runs at ~31MB/s. The SD card is a Samsung Evo (orange one). The image is ‘bone-debian-9.3-lxqt-2gb-armhf-2017-12-24-2gb’, and an SD card slot is use for the task.

Etcher has a nice and simple interfaces, and is open source. However, Win32 Disk Imager is faster and can image an SD card. Seems like Etcher leaves a lot to be desired.

So, do we have images to make bootable SD cards (be it mininal or LXQT)? I think they would be useful. Do let me know. Thanks.

https://elinux.org/Beagleboard:BeagleBone_Black_Serial

Regards,

Yes, we've always had them.

Section 6:

https://elinux.org/Beagleboard:BeagleBoneBlack_Debian

Regards,

I just realize that Etcher can take ISO file, while Win32 Disk Imager cannot. One reason to keep it.
Also, thank you for pointing out that image section. You have been so helpful.

By the way, what is the difference between 4gb and 2gb images?

First generation BBB had only a 2GB eMMC..

Thus the 2GB image has less extra stuff..

Regards,

So what are the extra stuffs?

I just realize my glaring error: all this time I never expanded the partition to reclaim unused space on the SD card after flashing. When it boots from the SD card, I see little space left and assume I am running on eMMC. Noob mistake.