Newbie question


I recently purchased a new BeagleBone Black. I followed the STARTUP instructions, and was told to install a Linux image boot I must put the image on a SD card and boot from the SD card. Fair enough. Problem is, I came upon this text:

The board should have Linux installed when you get it from the distributor.
Usually the version is pretty old and you want to update it.

So you need to get an SD card and write one of the newer “image” files to it.

There are two ways you can go. Run everything off the SD card, or “flash” onto the Beaglebone eMMC.

Running off the SD card gives you a lot of flexibility to experiment simply by changing cards.
But SD cards are not the best for long-term stability.

So you develop something using the SD card, and then when all is ready you flash the eMMC.
A change to a text file is what cause the flash to happen.

The image has a root file system and that is where /boot/uEnv.txt is located.
I don’t use Windows, so I can’t tell you what tools you need to work with an image file.
But you should be able to mount the image file and see the folder hierarchy and edit files as required.

There is a simple change to cause the flash of the eMMC and this is what they are referring to with the /boot/uEnv.txt.

It sounds like you may need to use your Windows machine to re-format the SD card and write a new image to it.
After that, you plug the SD card into the Beaglebone and power it up.
Then you have to determine how to connect to and control the board.
If you see a “heartbeat” from one of the blue LEDs you are making progress.


On Sat, 10 Jun 2017 07:03:01 -0700 (PDT), declaimed the

When I click on the link I get redirected to a forum page. It says: "To set
up the standalone microSD image to automatically flash the eMMC on powerup. **Note,
img files with the words "eMMC-flasher" already had this enabled...**

  Stock images for at least the last year have not been "flashers" --
apparently too many people were reflashing the eMMC unintentionally. Now
they have to deliberately change the file to do that.

  I presume you have successfully burned the image file to the SD card.

Where the hell is /boot/uEnv.text? Whenever I try to access my BeagleBone
now Windows tells me I must format it, and it cannot. I don't know where
the file is and I'm stuck now.

  Windows does not recognize ext(2|3|4) filesystems. Probably the easiest
method is to burn the image to the SD card, then boot the BBB using the SD
card rather than the on-board eMMC image. If the board is new enough, just
inserting the SD card and rebooting will have it run from the SD card --
you may not need to hold the boot switch during the process.

  Once booted, SSH into the BBB. The referenced file should be available
for editing (I can't help with editors -- I use vim on Linux systems, but I
suspect you want something less confusing to start with). Edit the file as
the instructions define. Reboot and wait for it to flash the eMMC.

  REMOVE the SD card and reboot (again) after the flashing process
completes. (You have to remove the SD card to prevent it from starting the
flashing process all over again).

  You have two ways to make the SD card a normal boot card: reburn the
original image file to it, OR... After the BBB has booted from the eMMC,
insert the SD card, and mount it (depending on just which image is on the
eMMC -- at one time it would automount the SD card, but others require
manual intervention); then navigate to the SD card filesystem and undo the
edit of the file. {Note: once you become familiar with this procedure, you
might save a reboot step above: boot eMMC, insert/mount SD card, edit file
on card, reboot to flash; remove SD card, reboot eMMC, insert/mount SD
card, undo edits on card file}