We used the Ångström Distribution (link) as the operating system for the Beagle board. If you wish to install Ångström on your Beagle Board, look at the links below for detailed instructions on how to install Ångström.

The Ångström website provides an online image builder to construct a working angstrom install for the beagle board (and many other small devices). The online builder makes it easy to build a minimal image and makes installation to the SD card simpler. Images are built by selecting desired software packages. When image building is complete, two files are made available for download. One file contains an image for the SD card that contains both a boot and root partition. The second file contains the root filesystem.

The first image is technically optional if you'd rather perform partitioning yourself. The boot files can be extracted seperately. We simply used both images. This was done performing the following commands.

First, copy the partition image to the drive to the SD card (we used the dd command from linux).

WARNING: this will destroy all data on the SD card.

dd if=/path/to/sd.img of=/dev/mmcblkX

where mmcblkX is the mmcblk device for the SD card.

When the command completes and the SD card is idle (wait for writing to complete or eject the device or run the sync command if available, removing while writing is still occuring will result in data loss), remove and re-insert the SD card.

Mount the root partition of the SD card (will be the second partition on the device). Change directories into the newly created mount and extract the rootfs image to the root partition on the SD card.

Interfacing the beagle board can be done in a number of ways. It can be done by using a serial cable. To get a working setup we used an HDMI (DVI-D is provided over this cable) cable with a keyboard and mouse. Later we connected through the USB mini connection and established an ethernet connection through which we could SSH (assuming an SSH server has been installed such as Dropbear SSH).

To establish a connection over USB our Ångström image did not require any commands be run on before it would work. From the linux side, after plugging in the beagle board with a USB cable (plugged into the mini port on the beagleboard), running the following commands on the linux computer it was connected to enabled a connection.

ifconfig usb0 netmask
ifconfig usb0 up

To enable access to the internet over this connection, IP forwarding and masquerading must be configured on the host computer it is connected to. This can be done from linux with the following commands.

iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -j MASQUERADE -s
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward

At this point we where able to SSH to our beagle board.

Ångström makes use of the opkg package management system. New software packages can be installed using it. We use opkg to install software that we had missed in our initial image build (either due to our fault or the inability to choose them). The beagle board connected through a host computer over the USB ethernet connection.

Useful Links