Sharing Internet With The PocketBeagle On OSX

The PocketBeagle doesn't have network connectivity out of the box because it's a low-cost platform.

Categories: Beginner

I had some troubles getting my PocketBeagle online. I read Ken Shirriff’s wonderful
Hands-on with the PocketBeagle
but couldn’t seem to get internet shared to my PocketBeagle via my Mac (
in note 14 he indicates the same

Step 1 – Initial setup

You need to make sure you have a working SD card!
See this page for getting set up with an SD card and booting your Pocketbeagle for the first time
(this is the same method as booting a BeagleBone or other Beagle products, since they all use the same SD card image)

Step 2 – Connect via SSH

Plug in your PocketBeagle!

You’ll see LEDs for USB0, 1, 2 and 3 light up, assuming you have a working SD Card in your device. The USB in this case is operating as a virtual serial port, a mass storage device (it should show up as a drive) and an ethernet connection to the linux system on your Pocketbeagle.

If you’re on mac, you will be able to access the launch page for the device at
on your browser (the address for Windows is
, don’t bother with that one in other guides)

You should also be able to ssh into the device:

ssh debian@


ssh debian@beaglebone.local

(password is 'temppwd')

Step 3 – Share your internet

Now we need to share your connection from your mac to your pocket beagle. This can be done from your OS X preferences menu:

With your Pocketbeagle plugged in, you should see an option on the list of "To computers using:" dialog

Click the box next to "Internet sharing" to enable sharing. You may also see a dialog asking if you really want to share. Sharing means caring, we all know that. Caring and sweet sweet internet access.

Step 4 – Set up dhcp

You broke it!

Not really, but at this point, it’s unlikely that your browser is connected to
anymore, nor will your ssh connection be working. Because you’re now sharing internet access through that port.

My co-worker @_benstr recommended I try rebooting the device at this point, which is also what he had to do when
doing similar access on a Raspberry Pi Zero on his Cellular Gateway tutorial

Upon plugging it back in, you should be able to ssh into the device using the
via ssh:

ssh debian@beaglebone.local

(password is 'temppwd')

If you’re able to ssh back in, then try pinging Google to see if you have an enabled connection.


At this point on my device I did not have a connection set up. So even though I was ssh’d into my Pocketbeagle with a shared internet connection from my mac, no packets were getting forwarded to.

I followed
@jadon’s advice
and tried using the dhclient command:

sudo dhclient usb1

Then I checked the network status on the Pocketbeagle:

sudo ifconfig

This showed the following:

Trying pinging Google again, I saw I indeed have packets!

You’ll also note I was able to access the package manager, which is what I really wanted in the first place. A success!

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