Hey all! The last major instructable I posted was the rc glider drone. Major process underway, testing the system in a powered model airplane now. In the meantime, I would like to post the progress I have made with the beaglebone. 

I think this project is very cool and has nearly countless applications!! We are going to be setting up our own single board, fanless computer using the beaglebone. We will setup a mini SD card so that we can boot Ubuntu onto the beaglebone, we will setup a a lightweight GUI (graphical user interface - a desktop environment vs terminal) and just for kicks we will install the arduino programming environment.

Even though this board is heavy on linux, I included this in the microcontroller section in the hopes of more arduino fans giving this board a whirl..,
I chose ubuntu because there is already an existing image to format your sd card. Also, I have been running ubuntu on my laptop to program arduino, so it seems natural that you would try and match the os from your board and your computer.
I do not know if this instructable is really tailored to any one specific project. However, it should really get you going. I do not know much about javascript or web hosting, but this feels like the perfect time to learn. Maybe later I will set up some kind of VPN connection so that I can control and monitor any project from anywhere with internet access...

I would recommend joining the group "beagleboard" on google groups. The beagleboard is much more complicated than an 8bit microcontroller.

This instructable is basically an editorialized repost from the linux website: http://elinux.org/BeagleBoardUbuntu

If you have any knowledge or interest with linux, or beagleboard, please sign up and contribute to the beaglebone group on instructables. There is a lot to do here folks!! http://www.instructables.com/group/beaglebone/

At the end I have included how to set up a lightweight GUI so that you can SSH in from your laptop and set up a "virtual desktop." I also show how to install and run the arduino IDE so that you can use the beaglebone to program any arduino NOTE: I HAVE NOT CONFIGURED A DEDICATED SCREEN OR A KEYBOARD TO THE BEAGLEBONE. I JUST WANT TO ILLUSTRATE THAT THE PROCESSING POWER OF THIS BOARD IS MUCH CLOSER TO A COMPUTER THAN TO AN ARDUINO.
A good next step would be to figure out the HDMI cape so that you can run the LXDE desktop on any hdmi monitor. 

Step 1: Download the Disk Image

I am going to strongly suggest running some form of linux on your computer. Since the BeagleBone is a linux based development platform (it comes preloaded with Angstrom - linux- and most of the other precompiled images are also linux). It makes sense to run linux on your computer. If you are still anxious about making the switch, you can dual boot a linux OS from a disc or thumbdrive. However, I think it will be most convenient to use  "wubi" to dual boot Ubuntu from your laptop.

If you are already running ubuntu on your computer, these next steps ~should~ be very easy. Get ready to copy and paste!
Make sure you are uploading the most recent release

From your computer terminal:
$ wget http://rcn-ee.net/deb/rootfs/precise/ubuntu-12.04-r5-minimal-armhf-2012-07-29.tar.xz
$ wget http://ynezz.ibawizard.net/beagleboard/precise/ubuntu-12.04-r5-minimal-armhf-2012-07-29.tar.xz

This will download the disc image for your SD card straight to your computer. If you are running something other than Ubuntu, the links following the wget command will dowload the image to your computer also.

To verify that the images have downloaded correctly:
$ md5sum ubuntu-12.04-r5-minimal-armhf-2012-07-29.tar.xz

This should return:
5446d6e47a5d286f94ae3fa30db2a56b ubuntu-12.04-r5-minimal-armhf-2012-07-29.tar.xz

cool! I've never heard of beaglebone, how does it compare to raspberry pi?
Just got a beaglebone black., but you need a special mini hdmi to hdmi to let it act as a desktop so to speak. Use mostly CL and web anyway so that is no big deal. I will probably put Debian instead of Ubuntu on mine; Have the Rpi and love it. Actually I have been running linux on arm since the NSLU2. Arduino has analog input. You can make your own arduino for under ten dollars, the TI msp430 launchpad board Is also another little board to look at.Under $5 when I bought mine. Uses the same ide as the arduino. Also has analog input. Analog input can be added to the beaglebone and the RPi with few simple parts. Both the RPi and the beaglebone can emulate pwm in diy software.
what is the TI msp430 launchpad board?
It's another microcontroller board. that is soft of code compatible with the arduino. They were selling it for $.4.30 fro a while last I looked it was about $10, Maybe more now. Like the original arduino, the cpu is not soldered in, so it is easy to make your own breadboards.
I have never used the raspberry pi. I was going back and forth for a while trying to decide which one to go with. A couple of factors for me: <br>Pros <br>1)Beaglebone is smaller (fits into an altoid tin) <br>2)Beaglebone's processor is better <br>3) There are a lot of promising externals for the beaglebone - primarily the touch screen. <br>4)Beaglebone has an arduino style IO panel <br> <br>Cons <br>1)Beaglebone is more expensive -costs $80-90, raspi is about $30 <br>2) Raspi already has an hdmi output - I bought a hdmi cape for the bone but still have not got it working - although normal beagleboard has the hdmi output and more usb hubs <br>
Beaglebone black ois only $45.
I have a raspberry pi and I love using it I just recently installed gnash a flash player substitute for Midori Browser
Hi, I tried sshing to the beaglebone and it asks for the password for root@my_ip_address. But then when i try to typei n the password i set when i connected via minicom, it says its wrong. And...at the bottom when i've tried incorrectly three times, it says Permission Denied(publickey,password). Do you have any idea about what the problem could be? Thanks
what ubuntu distro are you running?
are you using ubuntu on your laptop and the beaglebone? <br>run ssh again, only this time <br>$ sudo ssh -v root@your_ip_address <br>and post the results here <br>\ <br>I suspect that you have not copied the private key into your .ssh/authorized_keys file on your laptop (assuming its running ubuntu)

About This Instructable




Bio: I am twenty years old and trying to become a Mechatronic Engineer at Chico State. I have been employed on and off with Tesla Motors ... More »
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