New Pocketbeagle Setup

I just got a new gift in the mail of the Pocketbeagle Grove Kit from Seeed Studio through Digikey which I am excited to play with.

Although this information is available elsewhere, actually a variety of places elsewhere, I thought I would give back a little by doing a quick write up on my process of setting up a new pocketbeagle (PB).

First and foremost, do yourself a big favor and get Derek Molloy’s “Exploring Beaglebone.” Make sure you get the latest edition. As of this write-up, it’s the Second Edition.

Of course, most of this is also directly adaptable to the beaglebone black (BBB), but the BBB can have the image flashed to the chip and then your SD card can be set up as storage only. If I feel motivated this weekend, I’ll write that process up.

  1. Download the latest image from - latest-images to your computer.
    Unless you are doing something special, which would indicate you don’t need these instructions, use the recommended “Buster IoT (without graphical desktop)”.

Quick aside/Pet peeve: Please note that in writing the use of parenthetical expressions is only appropriate for the introduction of a new abbreviation as I used it above to indicate PB for a pocketbeagle and BBB for a beaglebone black. In all other cases it is simply an indication that the writer is too lazy to form a correct sentence or phrase. It’s use in the descriptions on the latest images page actually serves no useful purpose whatsoever as the statement is wholly correct without their inclusion. If you are a young engineer or scientist eliminate this poor use of the English language, or feel free to keep using emoji’s in your professional work. Your bosses and customers will love your smiley faces.

  1. Format a 32 GB SDcard as FAT32. Use a high quality card. You can use as small as a 8GB, but use a 32GB, and you’ll see why soon. No, you can not use a 64GB. 32GB is the maximum size.

  2. Transfer the image from your computer to the SD card using Win32 disk imager, Balena Etcher, or similar. I like Win32, but I think Balena is the easiest to use.
    balenaEtcher - Flash OS images to SD cards & USB drives

  3. Insert the SD card into the PB and plug the PB into your computer with the usb cable. Give it a couple minutes to boot.

  4. If using a Windows 10 PC:
    Settings >> Network & Internet >> Change adapter options

    Name your pocketbeagle whatever you would like. I suggest using something systematic. For
    example: PJB-PB-01 which is my initials followed by the type of sbc followed by it’s number

    Right click your network source >> Properties >> Sharing tab >> check Allow… >> Select what to
    share it with >> OK
    If you have already shared this to a device previously, you’ll want to unclick the share and hit ok, then
    do the share.

    Right click on your newly named pocketbeagle >> Properties

    double click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
    click Obtain an IP address automatically & Obtain DNS server automatically

  5. Open your web browser and got to

  6. Switch to root user:
    su root
    root (default root pw)
    Please note: There are consequences when making mistakes as the root user and in general it is not
    recommended, but at this stage of the game there isn’t much risk as we can just start over if

  7. Establish interconnection with the PB
    /sbin/route add default gw
    echo “nameserver” >> /etc/resolv.conf
    If its connected correctly you’ll see it repeatedly send 64 byte packets up to the website and report
    the roundtrip time.
    ctrl+C to stop.
    Every time you reboot the PB you will have to redo this step.

  8. apt update

  9. apt upgrade

  10. Reboot - give it a couple minutes

  11. Steps 7 & 8 again

  12. cd /opt/scripts/tools
    git pull || true

  13. /opt/scripts/tools/ You will need to enter a Y for yes at some during this operation.

  14. Reboot

  15. Steps 7 & 8 again

  16. cd /opt/scripts/tools/
    ./ This expands the SDcard available space to the PB

  17. Reboot

Your PB is now ready to conquer the world.

Good luck and have fun!

1 Like

Hello Patrick. I wanted to confirm whether 32GB is really the maximum that you can have for the SD Card. Thanks.

Most 64G and 128G microSDXC work fine… Just not at the newer/faster SDXC speed/voltage…


Sorry, I won’t use any emojis in technical writing.

The parenthetical expressions you mention are meant to introduce the abbreviations or terms used in the image names, such as “IoT”. It isn’t a particularly good introduction to the the term as I have attempted to be as terse as possible on this page, but the usage matches your expectations for parenthetical expressions.

I do appreciate you bringing up pet peeves such that they can be addressed and everyone can have the most productive experience possible. If you have any constructive advice on how to define “IoT”, “XFCE” and “IoT TIDL” in better ways for new users to understand, I’m happy to put in some effort to improve the page.

Below is a preview of our updated website currently under development and I honestly don’t feel the latest-images page is much of an improvement.


I think what might help would be some graphics that included:

  • a collection of representative board graphics to indicate AM3358, AM5729, TDA4VM or other SoC that is compatible with the image,
  • a screenshot from the board to indicate which GUI or command-line UI is included, and
  • a screenshot from the host computer to indicate the IDE and application binaries included.

This, however, could be a fair bit more work than we can take on to launch this new site. Wordpress hacks are welcome as is any constructive criticism.

Thanks for the reply Jason. It really made me chuckle This is a pretty old post. I’ve been buried in some new process engineering work and entertaining my blue heeler. So, I haven’t been playing with my beagles much.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things Tizen Development Language (IoT TiDL)

Xfce is outside my realm of knowledge but after a very superficial search is no longer an abbreviation per wikipedia: Xfce - Wikipedia. The suggestion that it stands for X Freakin Cool Environment humors me.

Concerning the look of the page, none of the parentheses used in the descriptions are neccesary or correct. The descriptions are fully correct without them.

All of you at beaglebone are awesome and I appreciate the committment to the open source and the mutual development and assistance philosophy.

While catchy graphics may be a hook to some, I do appreciate the minimalist approach. The minimalist approach screams to me that your focus is on what matters, specfically the development and production of the best truly open souce single board computers. For multifaceted or multilined descriptions, I suggest short single line bullet point statements.

Best regards and wishes,