Flashing BBB eMMC without using uSD card

Hi all,

I have new Beagle bone black with me now and I am wandering is it possible to flash the integrated eMMC with MLO, U-Boot, kernel and file system images without using the uSD card?

Could this be done from host PC (Linux running) via UART or USB?


If there's something in the eMMC already (so the system boots), you
could write a self-programming application that flashed the internal
eMMC with data from the UART or USB, but it would have to run out of ram.

If the eMMC is unprogrammed or corrupt, you can boot from UART or USB
and then program the eMMC (you may need to pull some boot mode pins high
or low at power-on to select the correct boot mode).

Both options probably involve a fair amount of software development, but
should be possible.

Is there a specific reason you not want to program via an SD card?


Thanks for the answer.
I was looking for some ready tool for direct flashing of completely empty or corrupted eMMC to speed up the flash process.
No particular reason to skip the SD flashing.

As I understand I have to build the tool myself. I did not find anything in TI wikis for AM335x processors also.


There is work going on to create such a tool. It just sin’t ready, And no, I have mo idea when it will be ready. We uses the SD card to flash the eMMC and a flashing tool already exists for the SD card.


Hi Gerald,

Thanks for the info. I will wait for the tool (not in a hurry anyway).


Just FYI, the eMMC flasher is currently slightly broken (in the 8/21 version at least). It’s missing the blockdev & kpartx tools …

Do you have any more information on this? Is it a way to flash the BBB via USB from a Linux system? Plugging in a USB cable burning the boot & rootfs images directly somehow seems quicker than creating a flasher image, burning the micro-SD, inserting it, powering it up with the boot button pressed etc.


Not at the moment.


Hi ,
can we do the flashed images on the emmc as secured.(means not to hack by any one through any method like mmc, usb, uart)

I want to keep my os and rootfs on emmc along with my application.
now i want to make them secured [not to hack by any methods].
and also i need the option that i can able to update the application.

how can this possible on beaglebone black?

can you please help me on this issue.

Thanks and Regards,