BeagleBone Black microSD Card Installation

  1. Insert the microSD Card into your computer and observe which device it registers as by typing ls /dev/sd*. If you are uncertain, remove the microSD Card and the entry should go away. Once you know which device your microSD Card is, follow the instructions below replacing /dev/sdX with the name of the microSD Card in your system.
  2. Begin partitioning the microSD Card by typing fdisk /dev/sdX
    1. Initialize a new partition table by selecting o, then verify the partition table is empty by selecting p.
    2. Create a boot partition by selecting n for ‘new’, then p for ‘primary’, and 1 to specify the first partition. Press enter to accept the default first sector and specify 4095 for the last sector.
    3. Change the partition type to FAT16 by selecting t for ‘type’ and e for ‘W95 FAT16 (LBA)’.
    4. Set the partition bootable by selecting a then 1.
    5. Next, create the data partition for the root filesystem by selecting n for ‘new’, then p for ‘primary’, and 2 to specify the second partition. Accept the default values for the first and last sectors by pressing enter twice.
    6. Press p to ‘print’ the partition table. It should look similar to the one below.
    7. Disk /dev/sdb: 7948 MB, 7948206080 bytes
      255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 966 cylinders, total 15523840 sectors
      Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
      Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
      I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
      Disk identifier: 0xafb3f87b
         Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
      /dev/sdb1   *        2048        4095        1024    e  W95 FAT16 (LBA)
      /dev/sdb2            4096    15523839     7759872   83  Linux
    8. Finally, commit the changes by selecting w to ‘write’ the partition table and exit fdisk.
  3. Format the Partitions
    1. Format partition 1 as FAT by typing mkfs.vfat /dev/sdX1
    2. Format partition 2 as ext4 by typing mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdX2
  4. Install u-boot to the microSD Card
  5. wget
    mkdir boot
    mount /dev/sdX1 boot
    tar xJvf bone-uboot.tar.xz -C boot
    umount boot
  6. Install the desired root filesystem to the microSD Card (ubuntu trusty in this example)
  7. wget
    mkdir rootfs
    mount /dev/sdX2 rootfs
    tar xJvf -C rootfs
    umount rootfs
  8. The microSD Card is now ready to boot. Note that for ubuntu installations, the login userid is ubuntu and the password is ubuntu. Likewise for debian installations, the login userid is debian and the password is debian.

Tip: The package cache has been flushed to reduce the size of the images. Run apt-get update after boot to update the package cache, then run apt-get upgrade to ensure the latest updates are installed.