# BeagleBone Black, Green and Green Wireless


This is the base Nerves System configuration for the [BeagleBone Black](,
[BeagleBone Green](, [BeagleBone Green Wireless](,
and [PocketBeagle](

![BeagleBone Black image](assets/images/beaglebone-black.png)
<br><sup>[Image credit](#fritzing)</sup>

| Feature              | Description                     |
| -------------------- | ------------------------------- |
| CPU                  | 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8             |
| Memory               | 512 MB DRAM                     |
| Storage              | 4 GB eMMC Flash and MicroSD     |
| Linux kernel         | 4.4.91 w/ BBB patches           |
| IEx terminal         | ttyGS0 via the USB              |
| GPIO, I2C, SPI       | Yes - Elixir ALE                |
| ADC                  | Yes                             |
| PWM                  | Yes, but no Elixir support      |
| UART                 | ttyS0 + more via device tree overlay  |
| Camera               | None                            |
| Ethernet             | Yes                             |
| WiFi                 | Beaglebone Green Wireless (wl18xx driver). Other requires USB WiFi dongle/driver |

## Preparing your BeagleBone

If your BeagleBone has eMMC (the PocketBeagle doesn't), it will be configured to
try the eMMC first when looking for software on boot. If you haven't
reprogrammed it, it will boot to Debian even if a MicroSD card is inserted with
good software. To boot from the MicroSD card, hold down the USER button and
apply power.

When starting with Nerves, you will find that booting from a MicroSD card is
convenient since you can easily recover from broken software images. Holding
down the USER button will get old. To force the BeagleBone to boot from the
MicroSD card, simply corrupt the image on the eMMC memory.  Don't worry, the
BeagleBone website has instructions for restoring Debian.

From Debian:
debian@beaglebone:~$ sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/mmcblk0 bs=1M count=100
100+0 records in
100+0 records out
104857600 bytes (105 MB) copied, 5.72098 s, 18.3 MB/s
debian@beaglebone:~$ sudo reboot

When it reboots, it will boot from the MicroSD slot. If a MicroSD card hasn't
been inserted or if there are errors reading it, you will see the letter `C`
printed repeatedly on the console port.

## Console access

The console is configured to output to `ttyGS0` by default. This is output
through a USB cable connected to the BeagleBone's OTG USB port. It will show up
on the connected computer as a virtual serial port.

It is also possible to configure the IEx prompt through the 6 pin header on the
BeagleBone that's labeled J1. A 3.3V FTDI cable is needed to access the output.
To use this output, override the default `erlinit.config` and specify that the
output should go to `ttyS0`.

The HDMI output has been disabled via device tree to free up pins on the GPIO
header. If you would like console access via HDMI, you will need to enable HDMI
support in the Linux kernel, remove the HDMI disable argument in the uboot
script providing kernel arguments, and change `erlinit.conf` to output to

## Linux versions

The BeagleBone Black has many options for Linux that vary by kernel version and
patch set. Nerves tracks those maintained by Robert Nelson at  His patch sets have
`-rt` and `-ti`/`-bone` options. The `-rt` for real-time actually refers to
`CONFIG_PREEMPT` and a couple other real-time options being configured in the
Linux kernel. Nerves uses those options as well. Nerves follows the `-ti` patch
set. See `nerves_system_br/boards/bbb` for the actual patches.

Be aware that if you have been using Linux kernel 3.8 on the BeagleBone, that
there have been device tree overlay and PRU updates. File paths have changed for
inserting device tree overlays.

## Device tree overlays

Most pins on the BBB's headers are configurable via the device tree.
Configuration can be done at runtime via the [Universal
I/O]( device tree
overlays. These overlays are included in the kernel configuration for Nerves so
you do not need to compile that project. Additionally, the `config-pin` script
is available in `/usr/bin` on the target. It has minor modifications to run on

### Universal I/O

The universal I/O overlays can be loaded manually or by using the `config-pin`
shell script:

iex(demo@nerves-0099)> :os.cmd('config-pin overlay cape-universaln')
'Loading cape-universaln overlay\n'
iex(demo@nerves-0099)> :os.cmd('config-pin -i P9_16') |> IO.puts
Pin name: P9_16
Function if no cape loaded: gpio
Function if cape loaded: default gpio gpio_pu gpio_pd pwm
Function information: gpio1_19 default gpio1_19 gpio1_19 gpio1_19 ehrpwm1B
Cape: cape-universala cape-universal cape-universaln
Kernel GPIO id: 51
PRU GPIO id: 83

iex(demo@nerves-0099)> :os.cmd('config-pin P9_16 pwm')

### ADCs

The following example shows how to read values from the 7 ADC inputs in Elixir.

iex(demo@nerves-0099)> File.write("/sys/devices/platform/bone_capemgr/slots","BB-ADC")
iex(demo@nerves-0099)> ls "/sys/bus/iio/devices/iio:device0"
buffer              dev                 in_voltage0_raw     in_voltage1_raw
in_voltage2_raw     in_voltage3_raw     in_voltage4_raw     in_voltage5_raw
in_voltage6_raw     name                of_node             power
scan_elements       subsystem           uevent
{:ok, "3891\n"}
{:ok, "3890\n"}
{:ok, "3891\n"}

### SPI

The following examples shows how to get SPI0 functional in Elixir.

Load the overlay, configure the pins, and load the device drivers:

> Note: The order of the above stops is important. The overlay must be loaded and the pins configured before writing "BB-SPIDEV0".

iex(demo@nerves-0099)1> :os.cmd('config-pin overlay cape-universaln')
'Loading cape-universaln overlay\n'
iex(demo@nerves-0099)2> [17,18,21,22] |> Enum.each(&(:os.cmd('config-pin -a  P9_#{&1} spi')))
iex(demo@nerves-0099)3> File.write("/sys/devices/platform/bone_capemgr/slots","BB-SPIDEV0")
{:error, :eexist}

Verify that the device drivers are loaded and read spi0 transfers:

iex(demo@nerves-0099)4> ls "/dev"
        spidev1.0              spidev1.1              spidev2.0              spidev2.1
iex(demo@nerves-0099)5> "/sys/bus/spi/devices/spi1.0/statistics/transfers"
{:ok, "0"}

Verify that the pins are configured:

iex(demo@nerves-0099)6> [17,18,21,22] |>'config-pin -q  P9_#{&1} spi')))
['P9_17 Mode: spi\n', 'P9_18 Mode: spi\n', 'P9_21 Mode: spi\n', 'P9_22 Mode: spi\n']

If you have included [ElixirAle]( as a dependency, you can start it now and test a transfer:

> The example below should work without any additional hardware connected to the BBB. If you have SPI hardware connected to the BBB, your returned binary might be different.

iex(demo@nerves-0099)7> Spi.start_link "spidev1.0", [], name: :spi0
{:ok, #PID<0.181.0>}
iex(demo@nerves-0099)8> Spi.transfer :spi0, <<1,2,3,4>>
<<255, 255, 255, 255>>

> Note: If you get back all 0's, then you have likely have not configured the overlay pins correctly.

## Supported USB WiFi devices

The base image includes drivers and firmware for the TI WiLink8 (`wl18xx`), Ralink RT53xx
(`rt2800usb` driver) and RealTek RTL8712U (`r8712u` driver) devices. All WiFi
drivers are compiled as modules. Currently, Nerves doesn't autoload the drivers,
so you'll need to load them at the beginning of your application. For example,
run `:os.cmd('modprobe wl18xx')` if you're using a BeagleBone Green Wireless.

We are still working out which subset of all possible WiFi dongles to
support in our images. At some point, we may have the option to support
all dongles and selectively install modules at packaging time, but until
then, these drivers and their associated firmware blobs add significantly
to Nerves release images.

If you are unsure what driver your WiFi dongle requires, run Raspbian and configure WiFi
for your device. At a shell prompt, run `lsmod` to see which drivers are loaded.
Running `dmesg` may also give a clue. When using `dmesg`, reinsert the USB
dongle to generate new log messages if you don't see them.

## Beaglebone Green WiFi

Initial support for the BBGW's onboard wireless module is available. To try it out,
run (assuming you have Nerves.InterimWiFi in your image):

:os.cmd('modprobe wl18xx')
:os.cmd('modprobe wlcore-sdio')
Nerves.InterimWiFi.setup "wlan0", ssid: "xxx", key_mgmt: :"WPA-PSK", psk: "yyy"

Be aware that this Nerves system does not configure the MAC address. The result is
that only one BBGW may exist on the WiFi network at a time.

## Installation

If you're new to Nerves, check out the
[nerves_init_gadget]( project for
creating a starter project for the Beaglebone boards. The instructions are
basically the same for the Raspberry Pi Zero or Zero W except you should `export
MIX_TARGET=bbb` so that the appropriate `mix` targets get run. It will get you
started with the basics like bringing up the virtual Ethernet interface,
initializing the application partition, and enabling ssh-based firmware updates.

[Image credit](#fritzing): This image is from the [Fritzing]( parts library.