I’ve downloaded bone-debian-7.9-lxde-4gb-armhf-2015-11-12-4gb.img.xz from beagleboard.org/latest and made an SD card. I then installed the stuff I thought my newbie friend should start with – node-red, mosquitto, etc. Its current with apt-get update apt-get upgrade through today. There are a few “bogus” capemgr and bonescript error messages when starting node-red with node-red-pi or running the bonescript example blinkled.js but things seem to otherwise work as expected.
If anyone knows how to feedback corrections to the beaglebone node-red installation instructions ( http://nodered.org/docs/hardware/beagleboneblack.html ) I’d like to point out that they are clear except for one key step:
cd ~/.node-red npm install node-red-node-beaglebone
The .node-red directory doesn’t exist until the node-red-pi script is run. So you have to start none-red and then stop it with Ctrl-C before you can npm install the beaglebone specific bits. This threw me, I suspect it would be a showstopper for someone who buys a board and stumbles around the “top level” beaglboard.org links to get started.
Booting this SD card on the BBG, the USB gadget and webserver seems to work fine when its plugged into Windows 7 or Ubuntu 15.10. However moving this SD card to my A5A BBB, it doesn’t work on Windows7 because of a device driver error, even though the Windows drivers were installed when the BBG was plugged it. The A5A BBB does seem to work correctly when plugged into my Ubuntu 15.10 system. Is this a problem specific to the A5A revision? Is my BBB hardware “flaky”? or something else? Since the BBB fat partition doesn’t mount, things are DOA on WIndows 7. OTOH, the old Angstrom that came in the 2GB eMMC of my A5A BBB seems to still work as well as ever on Windows 7 if I remove the SD card and boot it over the USB connection.
In the interest of improving Beaglebone newbie out of the box experience, I’d like to suggest making node-red, the beaglebone extensions, and mosquitto part of the “latest” images. My only complaint about node-red in terms of getting a non-programmer started with their IOT ideas is there seems to be no way to stop a buggy runaway “deploy” short of Ctrl-C in the root terminal that launched node-red (via node-red-pi). This does play OK with using the Cloud9 root terminal to start node-red and then doing node-red in another browser window or tab. But some “top level” documentation and examples linked from beaglebone.org would sure help a lot.
While having the OS in the eMMC is convenient, the version that came pre-installed on my BBG would be IMHO a disservice to a rank beginner.