Flashing Beaglebone Black

Published: Mon 12 June 2017

In Random.

All right, let’s update a beaglebone black.

I need to flash the thing.

So downloading the latest image from the repository, I need to unpack the image.

$ unxz bone-debian-X.X-iot-armhf-YYYY-MM-DD-4gb.img.xz

Ok, now I’ve got the uncompressed image.

$ lsblk

Shows the SD card I’ve just plugged in as /dev/sdc

sudo mount /dev/sdc /mnt

Then let’s write our image.

sudo dd if=bone-debian*.img of=/dev/sdc bs=512 status=progress

Believe me, that little ‘status=progress’ bit is a life saver. Otherwise you have no idea how long it’s going to take. I also don’t know how to kill dd without pulling out the drive.

The last two sentences are related.

I’m following this blog post by the way. Since you’re going to be awhile. My image size was 4 gigabytes with a transfer speed of ~6 megabytes/second.

And it died. 13 minutes of waiting… Ok. Let’s try again. (Iotop will show you if the copy is still working)

Died again. 3rd times the charm. Nope. Ok on to something else. Normally I’d just go get a new SD card, but I’m transferring this through like 3 adapters and it’s been known to give me issues in the past.

Stack Exchange to the rescue. According to this post I should just be able to resume where I left off. Neat.

You’ll want to seek and skip. The output of should look something like this.

6963200+0 records in
6963200+0 records out
3565158400 bytes (3.6 GB, 3.3 GiB) copied, 732.023 s, 4.9 MB/s

You’ll want to use the records for the seek and skip variables referenced above.

However, after some serious heartache, it looks like my dd just didn’t terminate correctly, and everything was written.

So now, holding down the boot button, waiting for the buttons to start flashing the heartbeat pattern, and it looks like we’re in business.

$ ssh debian@192.168.7.2

The password was in the banner for me.

Now on to demucking the install.

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