Cross compiling for Debian on BBB from Ubuntu PC

So if seems like Debian is the more popular choice for distributions on the BBB, but it seems like I might like Ubuntu better on the PC. I want to set up Linux for dual boot on my Windows 7 machine for purposes of developing for the BBB. My question is will I run into many problems developing for Debian on the BBB if I install Ubuntu on the PC? Any good or bad experiences one way or the other?

Thanks in advance.

I can tell you that DR Molloy’s video while slightly outdated for the BBB works fine. I set this up myself using Lubuntu 14.10, and the cross gcc tools from the APT repo’s “just work”. However, having had many years of experience with Debian, and a few ( off and on ) with Ubuntu, and usually end up getting bitten by Ubuntu in the long run.

I think i can offer you better advice though. Instead of dual booting, perhaps get, install, use virtualbox, until you figure things out for yourself. This is to say, play with ubuntu in a virtual machine, until you’re comfortable enough to make this call on your own. In this scenario, you could also instal Debian command line only in a virtual machine. I did this for about a year myself, until getting a busted eeepc, which i promptly fixed well enough to work as a headless debian development workstation. Prior to that, I also used a dual boot setup, but was Win7 x64 and Debian 7 i386. I found this inconvenient though, and wound up just using a virtual machine.

For the record, in case it is not known. Lubuntu, and Ubuntu are the same. Except Lubuntu is Ubuntu using the LXDE Windows manager, instead of that crappy Unity garbage :wink:

I believe this is the video I followed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzZHcH5quow

Not sure which blog post if any corresponds to this video. But as usual, DR Molloy does, and uploads great videos. Also, despite the fact that I’m still dubious where Ubuntu is concerned. DR Molloy seems to have been using it for several years.

Err, oops ! That is debian he’s using in that video. But there is a video in his playlist somewhere ( probably like a year or more ago ) where he walks through using Ubuntu as a cross dev machine for the BBB.

Thanks for all the info. I just wanted to report that I have successfully completed the cross-compile toolchain test example in chapter 7 of Prof Molloy's Exploring Beaglebone from Ubuntu 14.04 LTS installed as dual boot next to Windows 7. Everything worked well on the first try following the instructions even though I was using Ubuntu instead of Debian. I have Debian 2015-03-01 on the BBB.

heh, I was just talking to my buddy here about that video. He was telling me that emdebians wheezy repo’s got compromised, and the Jessie repo also seems to be AWOL . . . So probably best you went with Ubuntu for now. However, there is also Linaro’s toolchain, which I personally use on a fairly frequent basis.

The main reason emdebian existed as a separated(-ish) project was to support
small (hundreds of MB) storage with stripped down packages: there is no
need for it on a board where more than 1GB of storage is easily available
for the OS.

The other reason, crosscompilers, have been integrated into the main
archive: https://wiki.debian.org/CrossToolchains

Hi Elena, nice to see you here again.

Anyway, I just meant in the context of DR Molloys instructions - As far as setting up a cross toolchain goes. As he has like 3-4 different videos / setups he talks about.

Truth be told, when it comes to cross compiling, I typically don’t. The only real case I’ve run into so far is the kernel from sources. Where, I just follow Robert Nelson’s instructions. Since he’s done the work already, and his instructions are very clear.

if you do run into any problems cross compiling on the Debian PC then might I suggest looking into distcc and “compiling” on your BBB but let the PC workhorse do the actual compile.

Over on the Machinekit forum I’ve setup Machinekit to compile on my BBB but it took over an hour. After setting up the cross compiler on my laptop and putting distcc on both PC and BBB, I cut compile time down to 34 minutes. And the nice part is, I keep the BBB with the build packages and my PC just pounds on the compiled files sent over the network to it.

Doug