Monday 30 September 2013

BeagleBone Black Ubuntu 12.04 with desktop... SUCCESS!

A while back I put aside my BBB as I could not get a stable Desktop under Ubuntu see here

I thought by now software may have stabilised and decided to have another attempt

First thoughts went to flashing the onboard EMMC on the BBB board with Ubuntu and running it from there. I  found a suitable image downloaded it and put it on an 8GB microsd card. Put it into the BBB slot and power it up while holding down the boot switch (the near the hdmi connector) till the blue lights start flashing. Then wait. When complete all 4 blue LED will come on and stay on
Remove the microsd card and reboot. The BBB will start running Ubuntu. At this point I  had to edit /etc/networks/interfaces to set up my static IP for the home network. I could then do

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

Went away, when I came back 2 hours later there was an out of disk space message. The 1.9GB of EMMC was not enough!

I reverted back to debian by flashing the eMMC with the image "BBB-eMMC-flasher-2013.06.20.img.xz" from This was put on an microSD card and the BBB powered up with the boot button pressed. Wait till all 4 LEDS are on to show it is finished. Note you cannot flash EMMC if you are running the OS on the EMMC.

I decided to use 12.04 LTS as it was more mature. I downloaded ubuntu-precise-12.04.2-armhf-3.8.13-bone20.img.xz from unzipped it and wrote the image to an 8GB microsd card using win32diskimager programme on my windows machine

The microsd booted and gave me the ubuntu 12.04 welcome and login prompt. I expanded the file system using the instructions at to maximise the space available for the desktop. another

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

and off it went installing again.  Four hours later I came back and saw the install was finished and rebooted the BBB and automatically displayed the familiar Ubuntu desktop with no flickering or Instability. Success at last!

1 comment:

  1. This post just saved me hours of confusion and frustration. Thank you so much! My BeagleBone Black is up and running smoothly with Ubuntu now, as well, thanks to you :-)