Can the BeagleBone Black be used for industrial designs?


I am new to BBB, I have several questions regarding this.

  1. I currently develop industrial control systems using micro-controllers. I would like to use the BBB for some of my control applications. I read in the BBB home page that the BBB is a development platform, does this mean this system can only be used for development and not professional or industrial use ??

  2. Can the BBB be used for applications that do not require visual interface like LCD or keyboards ? Like controlling a stepper motor, accepting logic signals from external hardware ??

  3. A basic scheme I have in mind is, when BBB boots on power up, instead of desktop or a command line begin loaded an application (code by me) will be loaded, this application will then manage various tasks like monitoring input ports, flashing some LEDs etc.

Is the above scheme possible with the BBB ??

Please be patient with me as I am new to embedded linux and to BBB…


  1. You can use it for whatever you want to use it for.Yes, ican be used in an industrial application.
  2. Of course. Been doing that for a long time.
  3. Not am issue. You can program it to do pretty much whatever you need.

Yes. Check out and you will see a device that runs under water, has no display, has no keyboard, and runs motors.


Thanks for the reply.

Can you also suggest some software development IDE or compiler for the BBB. I know python is used, but I would like to develop the program on my linux laptop using an IDE preferrably, then cross-compile it and then transfer the program to BBB. I currently use FreePascal- Lazarus IDE for development on PC. If freepascal were available for BBB it would be great.


Here is a link to a video I found pretty interesting:

I realize this is C/C++ and Eclipse instead of FreePascal and Lazarus but it could have some useful information for you.

If you are using debian or ubuntu on the BBB, you can just

apt-get install fpc

If you are running Angstrom, you can download the fpc source package and do the build on the target (I would guess 1-2 hours on the BBB).

I have not tried running Lazarus on the BBB, but fpc works well and I have not had any problems with a moderately complex application (10K lines, Firebird + low level socket + multithreaded).

I just do development and testing on a notebook under Lazarus, then check the code into subversion. Check it out on the BBB (we are using AM335X Variscite modules, but it is the same deal) and use FPC to build a binary. It is also possible to do a cross compile and build ARM binaries on the notebook but that is a little more complex to set up. I have tested FPC on the BB and BBB under debian 3.2 and 3.8 with no issues.

My projects do not need desktop, they have to start running when BBB is powered up. Is this possible with debian or ubuntu ??

I’ve got FPC and Lazarus running on the BBB using Angstrom. It works well, installed the fpc arm binaries and compiled the lazarus source without any changes. The only thing that was needed was setting up a swap partition (I used 512k on the SD card) since 512k RAM is apparently insufficient to build lazarus. It runs in fact quite well over ssh -X or vnc and is especially nice if you want to debug software that uses the BBB-specific hardware (IO) and/or things attached to it

Best regards,


WIth Wheezy, you can create a service / init script that can pretty much do whatever you like. Although any distro should be able to do this.

I talk about this a little in one of my blog posts here:

This information I got from spending a little time on’s information pages.

As has been mentioned, while it was developed as a community supported platform, the BeagleBone can be used for any application you choose. For a time, there was a lack of sufficient supply to meet the demands of larger scale projects, but that is generally no longer the case. The topic of utilizing BBB for industrial applications is explored further here -

As for industrial projects that do not require graphical interface, we’re currently working with a number of clients developing embedded solutions based on the BBB. We’ve outlined the basic building blocks for many of the type of projects we’re seeing being developed on our BeagleBone resource site Inspire -

I hope your project has taken off in the last year.