Removing X

I’m more than a little confused as to why such a resource poor board that most people run headless comes with X11.

So with judicious application of “opkg remove –force-removal-of-dependent-packages” I’ve removed all traces of X11 and Gnome.

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Plan C, take 15

Well, my plan for booting from the MicroSD did not work. Or more to the point, the first part worked (the actual booting) but the second part (expanding the Linux partition to take up the rest of the card) failed horribly. Once again the official wiki has failed me.

Anyway, forward!

I’ve decided to let the board boot off of the eMMC and use the 16GB MicroSD card for extra space. I’ve formatted the card with the following partitions:

Device Size Mount Comment
/dev/mmcblk1p1 100 MB /media/vfat The firmware freaks at boot if there isn’t a vfat partition on the MicroSD card.
/dev/mmcblk1p2 2 GB /var/lib/opkg Where the package manager stores its data.
/dev/mmcblk1p3 2 GB /tmp The BBB normally uses it’s limited RAM as the tmp directory.

This leaves me a bit over 11 GB free on the card to do with as I please.

I had originally intended to spend a little bit of time today setting up the filesystem to my liking and the rest of the day learning python and using it to interface with some simple circuits attached to the BBB. Now that it looks like I have the filesystem issue licked (I hope) I’m going to play with it a bit before bed.

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Boot setup frustrations

As I stated in my last post I’m planning to set the BBB to ignore the on board eMMC and boot off of the MicroSD card instead. Because of a comedy of errors which include inaccurate info on BeagleBone’s own wiki and as well as the bizarre boot process of the BBB I’m currently reflashing the board yet again. It’s the boot process I am going to speak of.

The first thing that threw me is that the firmware requires at least two partitions on each disk. First a vFAT partition that has the boot loader as well as the config file for the boot loader and the second is the actual Linux file system. There is no way I can find to get it to read the boot loader and configs off of a ext2/3 filesystem. I’m used to there being a separate /boot partition. I’m just not used to it having to be formatted vFAT.
The second thing is the boot loader it uses U-Boot. I’m sure it’s a fine boot loader but the way it works is… different. For example, it’s config file, uEnv.txt, does not seem to have very good documentation. I’ve found some hints in the forums and groups but nothing solid.

Enough ranting. I think I’ve got the correct process figured out. If I’m right my next post will be on how to get it to boot off the MicroSD card. If not I’ll be enlarging the forehead shaped dent in my desk

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First steps

Hello and welcome. I figured I’d create a place where I can record my adventures with the BeagleBone Black. I’m not sure if this will be of any use to anyone else or if it will just be a place I can look back to if I’m ever going, “How the hell did I do $foo?”, but I figure I’ll make this public in case it can help anyone else.

A couple of points:

  • This is not my first go around with the BBB. I’ve had it for a little less than a month but I’ve managed to screw up the root image each time I’ve played with it (usually by completely filling the root partition to the point that I couldn’t even log in). This time I’m making a few changes, namely logging everything I do here as well as using a 16 GB microSD card as the root filesystem.
  • Secondly, I’m not a Unix/Linux newbie. I will mention commands and processes that will look like hieroglyphics to anyone that doesn’t know Linux and I will not always stop to explain them fully. If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask.
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