Getting Started

How do I start using my board?

Getting Started

Beagles are tiny computers ideal for learning and prototyping with electronics. Read the step-by-step getting started tutorial below to begin developing with your Beagle in minutes.

Update board with latest software

This step may or may not be necessary, depending on how old a software image you already have, but executing this, the longest, step will ensure the rest will go as smooth as possible.

Download the lastest Debian image from The “IoT” images provide more free disk space if you don’t need to use a graphical user interface (GUI).

Note: Due to sizing necessities, this download may take 30 minutes or more.

The Debian distribution is provied for the boards. The file you download will have an .img.xz extension. This is a compressed sector-by-sector image of the SD card.

Download Balena Etcher

  1. Use your computer’s SD slot or a USB adapter to connect the SD card to your computer.
  2. Use Etcher to write the image to your SD card. Etcher will transparently decompress the image on the fly before writing it to the SD card.
  3. Eject the newly programmed SD card.
  4. Insert SD card into your (powered-down) board, hold down the USER/BOOT button (if using Black), and apply power, either by the USB cable or 5V adapter. If using an original BeagleBone or PocketBeagle, you are done. If using BeagleBone Black, BeagleBone Blue, BeagleBone AI, or other board with onboard eMMC flash and you desire to write the image to your onboard eMMC, you’ll need to follow the instructions at When the flashing is complete, all 4 USRx LEDs will be steady on or off. The latest Debian flasher images automatically power down the board upon completion. This can take up to 45 minutes. Power down your board, remove the SD card, and apply power again to finish.

Most Beagles include a USB cable, providing a convenient way to provide both power to your Beagle and connectivity to your computer. If you provide your own, ensure it is of good quality.

Alternatively, your Beagle may have a barrel jack. The voltage should be 5V except for BeagleBoard-X15 and BeagleBone Blue which use 12V.

Note that BeagleBoard-X15 must always be powered by a 12V adapter with a barrel jack.

If you are using your Beagle with an SD (microSD) card, make sure it is inserted ahead of providing power. Most Beagles include programmed onboard flash and therefore do not require an SD card to be inserted.

You’ll see the power (PWR or ON) LED-lit steadily. Within a minute or so, you should see the other LEDs blinking in their default configurations. Consult the Quick Start Guide (QSG) or System Reference Manual (SRM) for your board to locate these LEDs.

  • USR0 is typically configured at boot to blink in a heartbeat pattern
  • USR1 is typically configured at boot to light during SD (microSD) card accesses
  • USR2 is typically configured at boot to light during CPU activity
  • USR3 is typically configured at boot to light during eMMC accesses
  • USR4/WIFI is typically configured at boot to light with WiFi (client) network association (BeagleBone Blue and BeagleBone AI only)

If connected via USB, a network adapter should show up on your computer. Your Beagle should be running a DHCP server that will provide your computer with an IP address of either or, depending on the type of USB network adapter supported by your computer’s operating system. Your Beagle will reserve or for itself.

If your Beagle includes WiFi, an access point called “BeagleBone-XXXX” where “XXXX” varies between boards. The access point password defaults to “BeagleBone”. Your Beagle should be running a DHCP server that will provide your computer with an IP address in the 192.168.8.x range and reserve for itself.

If your Beagle is connected to your local area network (LAN) via either Ethernet or WiFi, it will utilize mDNS to broadcast itself to your computer. If your computer supports mDNS, you should see your Beagle as beaglebone.local. Non-BeagleBone boards will utilize alternate names. Multiple BeagleBone boards on the same network will add a suffix such as beaglebone-2.local.

The below table summarizes the typical addresses and should dynamically update to indicate an active connection.

IP Address Connection Type Operating System(s) USB Windows USB Mac OS X, Linux WiFi all
beaglebone.local all mDNS enabled
beaglebone-2.local all mDNS enabled