help install debian on beagle bone with windows box

Just got a 16GB microSD card to load debian on my bone. Can someone point me toward build instructions that can be used to get at least a basic bootable rootfs image onto this card that work completely under windows XP, Vista, or windows 7? from there I ought be able to finish the job via netinstall of packages.


Well fire up, debian/ubuntu using Virtualbox/VMware on your windows device... :wink:

Then follow:


I don’t have a linux option at present and installing virtualization is not an option. either I don’t have rights to install it or on the boxen I do the bone will be an upgrade in performance (from a p3 550), thus I need to do this under windows :frowning: . only host option remotely unixish I can think of atm is cygwin. also, a method usable completely under windows could be quite useful for those lacking any linux build platform. any help, hints, suggestions?


Linux Live CD?

Or you could just boot the beaglebone with angstrom, attach a usb-sd
card adapter and reformat that 2nd card with the elinux directions...

The script dependices are usually, git, parted, fdisk, mkimage...


Ok, thanks for the pointer. one usually doesn’t think to use the target to build the target. that’s usually a chicken eggI situation. 'll try using the bone.


One other option would be to boot an ubuntu live cd, and use that to
build it ( It does require installing some dependancy's but you can do
that in the live enviroment if you have enough ram )


Working on doing this on the bone. I finally got a SD card adapter for usb that would work with SD cards over 2GB. (beware older adapters have problems with new larger cards)

I’m following the directions at

when I execute:

./ --mmcroot@beaglebone:~/debian-wheezy-minimal-armhf-2012-03-29# ./ --mmc /dev/sda --uboot bone --swapfile 512

I get:

I see…
fdisk -l:
Disk /dev/mmcblk0: 3904 MB, 3904897024 bytes
Disk /dev/sda: 16.0 GB, 15997075456 bytes

/dev/root on / type ext4 (rw,relatime,user_xattr,acl,barrier=1,data=ordered)
tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,relatime,gid=5,mode=620)
mqueue on /dev/mqueue type mqueue (rw,relatime)

Are you 100% sure, on selecting [/dev/sda] (y/n)? y

Debug: ARM rootfs: armel-rootfs-201203291836.tar
Debug: image has initrd.img: HAS_INITRD=1
You’re missing command mkimage (consider installing package uboot-mkimage)
You’re missing command mkfs.vfat (consider installing package dosfstools)
You’re missing command mkfs.btrfs (consider installing package btrfs-tools)
You’re missing command pv (consider installing package pv)

Your system is missing some dependencies
Ubuntu/Debian: sudo apt-get install uboot-mkimage wget pv dosfstools btrfs-tools parted
Fedora: as root: yum install uboot-tools wget pv dosfstools btrfs-progs parted
Gentoo: emerge u-boot-tools wget pv dosfstools btrfs-progs parted


So I login as root and try to install the needed dependencies:

login as: root
root@’s password:
root@beaglebone:~# opkg update
Updated list of available packages in /var/lib/opkg/lists/base.
Updated list of available packages in /var/lib/opkg/lists/beaglebone.
Updated list of available packages in /var/lib/opkg/lists/debug.
Updated list of available packages in /var/lib/opkg/lists/gstreamer.
Updated list of available packages in /var/lib/opkg/lists/no-arch.
Updated list of available packages in /var/lib/opkg/lists/perl.
Updated list of available packages in /var/lib/opkg/lists/python.
root@beaglebone:~# opkg install uboot-mkimage dosfstools btrfs-tools pv
Unknown package ‘uboot-mkimage’.
Unknown package ‘dosfstools’.
Unknown package ‘btrfs-tools’.
Unknown package ‘pv’.

Collected errors:

  • opkg_install_cmd: Cannot install package uboot-mkimage.
  • opkg_install_cmd: Cannot install package dosfstools.
  • opkg_install_cmd: Cannot install package btrfs-tools.
  • opkg_install_cmd: Cannot install package pv.

Where can I get the dependencies I need to install for angstrom. They don’t seem to be in the repo by the names called for. If they are in the repo what are they called?


I have the same problem- same missing dependencies- plus it appears that the SDcard-USB adapter isn’t seen by the Beaglebone (/dev/sdX does not appear). I know the SD card adapter works because I’ve been using it in Windows well enough so far. What could cause this, what should I look for?

Thanks in advance,
Mihai Pomarlan


when you insert the SD card adapter into the Bone usb, what do you see for the last 10 lines or so of dmesg? also what size SD card are you using and does the adapter you’re using have markings on it that say either SDHC or SDXC?


The card itself is a 4GB microSD HC. The adapter doesn’t mention either SDHC nor SDXC.

And while the console eats the first lines I think the ones you want are

[ 6259.849890] usb 1-1: USB disconnect, device number 2
[ 6271.496886] usb 1-1: new high-speed USB device number 3 using musb-hdrc
[ 6271.639012] usb 1-1: New USB device found, idVendor=14cd, idProduct=6700
[ 6271.639039] usb 1-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=3, SerialNumber=2
[ 6271.639059] usb 1-1: Product: USB 2.0 SD/MMC READER
[ 6271.639074] usb 1-1: Manufacturer: SDMMC M121
[ 6271.639089] usb 1-1: SerialNumber: 845310470656
[ 6271.642782] scsi0 : usb-storage 1-1:1.0

But, ls /dev only shows

autofs ircomm11 ircomm29 loop5 random tty17 tty34 tty51 ttyO2 vcs6
block ircomm12 ircomm3 loop6 rfkill tty18 tty35 tty52 ttyO3 vcsa
btrfs-control ircomm13 ircomm30 loop7 rtc tty19 tty36 tty53 ttyO4 vcsa1
bus ircomm14 ircomm31 mapper rtc0 tty2 tty37 tty54 ttyO5 vcsa2
char ircomm15 ircomm4 mem shm tty20 tty38 tty55 ttyS0 vcsa3
console ircomm16 ircomm5 mmcblk0 snd tty21 tty39 tty56 ttyS1 vcsa4
core ircomm17 ircomm6 mmcblk0p1 stderr tty22 tty4 tty57 ttyS2 vcsa5
cpu_dma_latency ircomm18 ircomm7 mmcblk0p2 stdin tty23 tty40 tty58 ttyS3 vcsa6
disk ircomm19 ircomm8 mqueue stdout tty24 tty41 tty59 uinput watchdog
fd ircomm2 ircomm9 net tty tty25 tty42 tty6 urandom zero
full ircomm20 kmem network_latency tty0 tty26 tty43 tty60 usbdev1.1
fuse ircomm21 kmsg network_throughput tty1 tty27 tty44 tty61 usbdev1.3
i2c-1 ircomm22 log null tty10 tty28 tty45 tty62 usbdev2.1
i2c-3 ircomm23 loop-control ppp tty11 tty29 tty46 tty63 vcs
initctl ircomm24 loop0 psaux tty12 tty3 tty47 tty7 vcs1
input ircomm25 loop1 ptmx tty13 tty30 tty48 tty8 vcs2
ircomm0 ircomm26 loop2 pts tty14 tty31 tty49 tty9 vcs3
ircomm1 ircomm27 loop3 ram0 tty15 tty32 tty5 ttyO0 vcs4
ircomm10 ircomm28 loop4 ram1 tty16 tty33 tty50 ttyO1 vcs5

so no /dev/sdX

The 4GB card is big enough (over 2GB) to require a SDHC capable reader. I had the same problem with having an old card reader that only did SDSC cards. Try using a card reader that specifically states SDHC compatability. I ended up going to amazon and buying one.

is known to work with agstrom on beaglebone, it’s what I’m using and it works fine. well worth the $5 spent.


There are electronics shops nearby and they must have something like this, but the thing is that this SD-USB adapter works with windows. That’s how I can get the latest image of Angstrom on an SD card, for example.