Archive for April, 2013

The new BeagleBone Black and Gentoo

April 28, 2013

Hi all, long time no see.

Some weeks ago I got an early version of the BeagleBone Black from the people at Beagleboard.org to create the documentation I always create with every device I get.

Like always i’d like to announce the guide for installing Gentoo in the BeagleBone Black. Have a look at: http://dev.gentoo.org/~armin76/arm/beagleboneblack/install.xml . Feel free to send any corrections my way.

This board is a new version of the original BeagleBone, known in the community as BeagleBone white, for which I wrote a post for it: https://armin762.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/beaglebone-and-gentoo/

This new version differs in some aspects with the previous version:

  • Cheaper: 45$ vs 89$ of the BeagleBone white
  • 512MB DDR3L RAM vs 256MB DDR2 RAM of the BeagleBone white
  • 1GHz of processor speed vs 720MHz of the BeagleBone white, both when using an external PSU for power

Also it has more features which the old BeagleBone didn’t had

  • miniHDMI output
  • 2GB eMMC

However the new version has missing:

  • Serial port and JTAG through the miniUSB interface

The reason for missing this feature is cost cutting measures, as can be read in the Reference manual.

The full specs of the BeagleBone Black are:
# ARMv7-A 1GHz TI AM3358/9 ARM Cortex-A8 processor
# 512MB DDR3L RAM
# SMSC LAN8710 Ethernet card
#
# 1x microSDHC slot
# 1x USB 2.0 Type-A port
# 1x mini-USB 2.0 OTG port
# 1x RJ45
# 1x 6 pin 3.3V TTL Header for serial
#
# Reset, power and user-defined button

More info about the specs in BeagleBone Black’s webpage.

For those curious as me, here’s the bootlog and the cpuinfo.

I’ve found two issues while working on it:

  1. The USB port doesn’t have a working hotplug detection. That means that if you plug an USB device in the USB port, it will be only detected once, if you remove the USB device, the USB port will stop working. I’ve been told that they are working on it. I haven’t been able to find a workaround for it.
  2. The BeagleBone Black doesn’t detect an microSD card when plugged in when its been booted from the eMMC. If you want to use a microSD card for additional storage, it must be inserted before it boots.

I’d like to thank the people at Beagleboard.org for providing me a Beaglebone Black to document this.

Have fun!