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BeagleBoard-XM experiences

I've had a BeagleBoard-XM laying around for some time. Now is the time for playing with it.

Get Fedora on it

It of course boots on the included Ångstrom Linux with Gnome. Works pretty good in fact. But I'm a Fedora man, so I thought I'll get a Fedora on the Beagle. A wish that introduced a couple of obstacles.

First you have to locate the Fedora distribution port to ARM. This is where I found the Fedora 18 release for BeagleBoard-XM: Fordora project.

I downloaded the hfp image and went to the micro-SD pusher down town. I grabbed an 8 GB card and at home again I tried to load the card as described on the project page. I issued:

$ xzcat Fedora-18-beagle-armhfp.img.xz > /dev/mmcblk0p1

with no good result :-(. The card seem to be corrupted. It would not mount or anything. Now what?

After formatting the card a couple of times I found that using fdisk to make it bootable and copying the file using xzcat to the main device - not the partition something came onto the card.


$ xzcat Fedora-18-beagle-armhfp.img.xz > /dev/mmcblk0

seemed to put something on the card after many, many minutes of waiting.

Next thing is to insert the card into the slot on the BeagleBoard, connecting a screen and cutecom on the serial line and power up.

The uBoot came up but told me that it could not find a partition on the SD card and refused to continue. So some kind of success, but not enough.

ArchArm Linux

The Arch distribution seems to compile for almost any Arm based board.

I ran into a few issues while installing it because ArchArm is very basic as it is devlivered.

First thing was to get the wireless up running. Following the Beginners Guide I finally after several attempts made the following work.

Using netctl didn't work out for me, but using the wpa_supplicant did.

Manual discovery

As root perform theses steps (inspired from Beginners Guide:

$ iw dev                      # returns the device name of the wifi interface - here wlan0
$ ip link set wlan0 up        # start the interface
$ ip link show                # show that it is started
$ iw dev wlan0 scan|grep SSID # You get the SSID of the access points in the neighbourhood
$ wpa_supplicant -B -i wlan0 - <(wpa_passphrase TheSSIDofYourAccessPoint YourVerySecretPassword) # modify to suit your situation
$ dhcpcd wlan0                # request an IP address
$ ifconfig                    # show the configuration of the interfaces

If everything work well continue to the next section to automate the wifi.

Automatic at boot

After having established a working network connection over the WiFi it can be automated Beginners Guide.

Create a file in /etc/wpa_supplicant. Name the file wpa_supplicant.conf

wpa_supplicant -B -i wlan0 -c <(wpa_passphrase TheSSIDofYourAccessPoint YourVerySecretPassword)

changing TheSSIDofYourAccessPoint and YourVerySecretPassword to fit your needs.

Install the wpa_actiond

$ pacman -S wpa_actiond

The enable the auto enable function at boot time

$ systemctl enable netctl-auto@wlan0.service

Reboot the system and see that the WiFi comes up.

Localise time

In order to get the local time when for instance entering date issue

$ ln -s /usr/shar/zoneinfo/Europe/Copenhagen /etc/localtime