resource for true beginners?

I have struggled with every aspect of the BBB.

I get home from work, looking forward to maybe, finally accomplishing something on the BBB- but every session is the same, lots of trials and all errors.

The advice given on the internet I am sure is good, its just my own experience level that is holding me back.

I tend to think of everything in scales of one to ten, including advice given on these types of sites. I am sure for those that fully comprehend Linux and development the advice here is excellent, but it seems to me there is something missing- more detailed advice/instruction for those of us at levels between 1 and 5.

I believe many of us are slightly intimidated into not asking questions here, are are afraid that even when answered we will not fully understand.

So are their any sites devoted to true beginners, or other resources? A site with just a few experienced members and many beginners would be a good place for me as an example.

Thank you.

Well did you check out the resource on the little white card that came in the box?

Go there and look at

I suggest in particular



Yeah, the BBB isn’t really for beginners, the learning curve is pretty steep.

It would help if you explained what you were trying to do with it. For some hardware interface intros, try some of the videos Derek Molloy has put together:

um ... if you're trying to get into embedded linux, i'm not sure
you're going to find a more convenient platform.


It seems maybe some of us stepped into the deep end of the pool too quickly.

I can always set the BBB aside while I learn the basics on an easier platform, thats not a problem.

Which development board would you recommend for someone brand new to entire embedded Linux stuff? I think it would be easier to learn from the beginning, and work my way up to the BBB.

Thank you.

Seriously … you already have it! Nothing else has the support of the community etc. Maybe the Raspberry Pi, but it is the new kid on the block and some documentation is proprietary so what you have is as open as it gets. You have to start eating the elephant a bit at a time. After you have dug a bit … ask questions. Look around the elinux site, get on IRC etc. You aren’t going to find some book that contains all you seek. If that is what you are looking for then you need to be messing with Microsoft style OS.

You have to dig and figure things out and ask questions. I’ve been doing Linux since the start and still feel like a babe in some areas (some would say all areas).

You are right, you are in a big pool. Swim! There are tons of folks in the water with you!



IMHO embedded Linux is now not that much different to Linux desktop systems. I have worked with Linux for many years and it is refreshing that embedded silicon has now become powerful enough to run a full fledged Linux system rather than stripped down systems such as uCLinux. My suggestion is to become familiar with the basics of *nix. Once those are learned, then the transition to the embedded Linux world should be relatively painless.

Just my 2 cents,


Sorry if I sounded short/harsh ... I was thumb typing on my phone at a
restaurant and my battery was dying. Anyway, all the Beagles have
fantastic hardware and software support. I mean, that guy Gerald that
responded with the links ... that's the hardware inventor of the
BeagleBoard/BeagleBone! How many people like that go around answering
questions??? The BeagleBoard/Bone is the perfect board to dissect and
figure things out. I would of given anything to have something like it
back when I first started doing embedded Linux.

I have several colleagues that get put on Embedded Linux projects that
never had a *nix background and they bash embedded Linux and say how much
it sucks because they expect to pick up a book with everything they need to
know. From experience it doesn't work that way ... by the time a book is
published, things have changed. They never learned the concept of "Use the
Source Luke" (probably because it was proprietary!) If you are totally new
to embedded Linux, something like Karim's "Building Embedded Linux Systems"
book may be helpful but most books I find only scratch the surface, you
still have to dig and google the topics discussed further.

Sites like or good launch pads. Start there then
use the various forums & IRC and
you'll be on your way. Oh, you'll have to roll your sleeves up but if you
want it you'll get there ... so I've meant this all as encouragement. As
my dad always told me growing up ... Rome wasn't built in a day ... it's
going to take a while to get your head around some things.



I agree with Dave Lambert. Linux is Linux. The only difference is, you’re also most likely going to be playing with different peripherals compared to say a PC. Maybe.

Or more correctly in my own case, Debian is Debian. Which is what I use on my own BBB. The only differences for me is learning how to interact with I2C, I2S, SPI, UART, etc.

So, if you’re a complete newb to Linux. I would recommend installing some version in a virtual machine. Then just start learning. Maybe pick up a book or two on entry level embedded Linux.

The “Embedded Linux.primer” book is a pretty good book, and possibly a good place for you to start. There are also other books suck as Linux Device Drivers ( also known as LDD ) which will give you some idea of what is going where drivers are concerned. This last book can be had on the internet for free, but also sold many copies in dead tree format. Plus there are almost certainly more books on the subject for sale old and new. Jason Kridners book “Bad to the bone” might be a good book for you as well. Also, that Maker guy ( cant think of his name offhand ) also recently released a book covering the beaglebone.

There are also lots, and lots of sources on the internet. Derek Malloy has a youtube channel that covers different aspects of electronics, as well as the Beaglebone, RPI, and one other embedded device ( no OS ). You just need to look around, and sometimes you need to look “harder”.