Clean up default software to get to a (mostly) standard distro?

Hi everyone!

I just got my BBB rev C in the mail on Tuesday! Super excited about it too :smiley:

What I’m wondering is - there’s a lot of extra software on the system that I don’t really need. Is there a list somewhere of all of the specialized software that’s installed, so that I can take the system back to a more standard setup? Eg., I’d rather have Apache serve out over port 80, rather than whatever’s doing so currently, and I don’t need the developer tools on the board itself (I’ll put them on my other computer.) I don’t really need all the X stuff either. For the most part, I just want a basic server (that I can install some additinoal software to) that can be used to access all the GPIO, UARTs, etc.


Well, the factory image was based on this image:

So, reflashing that image would be easier then to tell you which of
the 600 packages was added :wink:


I have found this site to be useful
Enjoy and be prepared to re-flash and re-install software several times.

Those are some good links. One of the new BBB Rev C units I just got had a bad HDMI port and so I had to send it back for RMA. When I got the repaired unit back it had angstrom on it so i had to figure out how to flash it back to debian.

The instructions here:

Updates seem to happen on a monthly basis:

  • 2014-06-05
    • BeagleBone Black: v3.8.13-bone56 kernel
  • 2014-05-06
    • BeagleBone Black: v3.8.13-bone49 kernel
  • 2014-04-18
  • BeagleBone Black: v3.8.13-bone47 kernel

One of the nice benefits of this experience (ordeal?) is that I got a base or bare minimum debian install with none of the fluff and there was even some hardening done as far as the usernames and passwords go.

Below I will share some of the details for your consideration.

Here is the disk usage with the original factory image: 44% full using 1.4G of the 3.4G on board flash.

Factory image:

root@beaglebone:~# df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
rootfs 3.4G 1.4G 1.9G 44% /
udev 10M 0 10M 0% /dev
tmpfs 100M 632K 99M 1% /run
/dev/disk/by-uuid/8aecba16-c811-47ee-86ed-78588c08ce2a 3.4G 1.4G 1.9G 44% /
tmpfs 249M 0 249M 0% /dev/shm
tmpfs 249M 0 249M 0% /sys/fs/cgroup
tmpfs 100M 0 100M 0% /run/user
tmpfs 5.0M 0 5.0M 0% /run/lock
/dev/mmcblk0p1 96M 72M 25M 75% /boot/uboot
/dev/mmcblk1p1 63G 5.1G 58G 9% /media/NO NAME


Base image:

root@arm:~# uname -a
Linux arm 3.8.13-bone56 #1 SMP Wed Jun 4 23:59:23 UTC 2014 armv7l GNU/Linux

root@bbb1:~# df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
rootfs 3.4G 630M 2.6G 20% /
udev 10M 0 10M 0% /dev
tmpfs 100M 1.5M 98M 2% /run
/dev/disk/by-uuid/ae487a65-a8c7-44e8-a20f-acadab4e5fb5 3.4G 630M 2.6G 20% /
tmpfs 249M 0 249M 0% /dev/shm
tmpfs 249M 0 249M 0% /sys/fs/cgroup
tmpfs 100M 0 100M 0% /run/user
tmpfs 5.0M 0 5.0M 0% /run/lock
/dev/mmcblk0p1 96M 79M 18M 82% /boot/uboot

I also restored the password settings so I could login with no password.

passwd -d root # to clear the password
vi /etc/pam.d/common-auth # change the line below nullok

vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config # To enable empty passwords, change to yes
PermitEmptyPasswords yes

If a minimal system is what your after I recommend buildroot. It takes some effort but it can be made very minimal…

Or one could always use Robert Nelsons barefs and just replace the rootfs / install what you want / need via apt-get install.