Problem with Adafruit BBIO on Ubuntu - presumably dtb related

I am trying to use the Adafruit BBIO library on a BBB with Ubuntu
13.10 installed. It's for reading ADC values and sending some digital

A trivial program as follows shows the error:-

    import os
    import sys
    import Adafruit_BBIO.ADC as ADC

According to dmesg, did it actually load anything?

Probally also need the patch "dtc" ..

wget -c
chmod +x


No, after a little while I twigged what the problem was, it needs root
access to work.

It's not a big issue for me at the moment but it does seem a bit wrong
to need root access to be able to get at the GPIO and ADC data. Is
there some sort of group membership I can add to my user to make it
work or maybe some library needs to be SETUID?

On the Angstrom distribution of course everything is done as root,
that's why it worked there.

That dtc patch is only needed for SPI and UART use I think, I don't
need those.

So many many many thanks, after hours of searching for the solution, you pointed with the answer: root access…

There's a pretty big conversation on the bug tracker, that this "root"
only situation needs to be fixed:


The library was designed and tested using only root/sudo to access GPIO at this time. For more details, please review the documents at

Also, there is supposed to be a patch. However, it would be nice if people were to contribute to the community that they do not break fundamental permission rules , . . As this only confuses people who do not know better, and can potentially lead to these same users leaving their systems wide open.