Pros and Cons for the various BBB operating systems.

Hey all,

I am pretty new to the Beaglebone so I might have my facts a bit off.
I am trying to determining the most appropriate OS for my use.

-- Angstrom --
1. Very lean embedded OS.
2. Much of the existing documentation and tutorials are based on angstrom.

1. Steeper learning curve because is different than a normal linux system.
2. Smaller user base so less polished than other OS's.

-- Debian --
1. Based on a standard linux OS so the knowledge transfer is high.
2. Large body of well tested packages.

1. Heavier. Less optimized for low memory systems.
2. New. Less tested and less documentation.

Then the second decision is between the official Debian on Beaglebone
release and Robert's release.

--Official release--
1. More complete system.
2. Will become the default OS.

1. Leaner release.
2. Is the 'base' for the official release.

Is my understanding correct? Are there other factors I am missing?


What are you trying to do? Definitely affects the answer to your question.

Debian has probably been around longer than 99% of the other distro’s out there. Angstrom in fact is based on another distro, that was based off of Debian.

Debian also has loads of documentation out there on the Web. However, some of the documentation on the web is outdated, or based on older versions. So in this respect, the user must understand this and sometimes sift through information.

Robert Nelson’s “release” is Debian( there is also Ubuntu, but any distro should be able to use the same kernel ). From what I understand is a stock armhf root file system, and a custom kernel. Otherwise it is plain ole Debian. Which means any documentation you find on the web should work so long as there are no ARCH specific issues to contend with. Also as far as I know Robert’s release is the official release where the BBB is concerned. Previously Angstrom was the official release Which I am not sure if Robert had a hand in creating or not…

Also, for what it is worth, Robert’s bare file system scripts create a Debian file system that is as small as ~75MB. Which is to say, is not necessarily the smallest, but is pretty darned small. Then of course the more you want in applications / tool, the larger the file system grows.

Thanks for the follow up info... I don't have a particular project in
mind. Just trying to stay one step ahead of the local robotics team :slight_smile: