BeagleBone AI-64 Setup Guide

The BeagleBone AI-64 from is an open-source single-board computer with a Debian GNU/Linux operating system based on the Texas Instruments TDA4VM processor. Follow this guide to set up your BeagleBone AI-64 and prepare it for viam-server installation.

The front of a BeagleBone AI-64 single-board computer at a 45° angle.

Hardware requirements

You need the following hardware, tools, and software to install viam-server on a BeagleBone AI-64:

  1. A BeagleBone AI-64
  2. A 5V barrel jack (recommended) and/or USB-C power supply, to power the BeagleBone
  3. Ethernet cable and/or WiFi dongle, to establish network connection on the BeagleBone
  4. (Optional) A microSD card and a way to connect the microSD card to the computer (like a microSD slot or microSD reader)
    • This is required if you need to set up your BeagleBone for the first time or update your BeagleBone to the latest software image.

The following instructions mirror the instructions given in the BeagleBoard Quick Start Guide.

If you want additional help setting up your BeagleBone, you can follow the guides there and return to the Viam docs after SSH’ing into your BeagleBone.

Power your BeagleBone

Power your board by plugging a 5VDC power source into the BeagleBone’s barrel jack. You can also power the BeagleBone with a USB-C cable, but a 5VDC power source is recommended for more reliable performance.

If the board has power, the LED on the board labeled PWR or ON is lit steadily.

Enable a network connection

You need to enable a network connection on your BeagleBone to install viam-server on it. You can do this in multiple ways:

  • Connect an ethernet cable to your BeagleBone’s ethernet port.
  • If you are working on a macOS machine, use internet sharing over USB to share your connection. After enabling the option on your machine, SSH into your BeagleBone and run sudo dhclient usb1.
  • If you are working on a Linux machine, read these tips on enabling a network connection.
  • If your personal computer supports mDNS (Multicast DNS), you can check to see if your BeagleBone board has established a network connection by visiting beaglebone.local.

SSH into your BeagleBone from your PC

You can SSH into your BeagleBone by running the following command in your terminal:

ssh <your-username>@<your-hostname>.local

By default, the hostname, username and password on a BeagleBone are:

  • Hostname: beaglebone
  • Username: debian
  • Password: temppwd

Therefore, if you are using the default settings on your BeagleBone, the command is:

ssh debian@beaglebone.local

Update your BeagleBone

After SSH’ing into your BeagleBone, verify all packages are up to date:

sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade && sudo reboot

Install viam-server

viam-server is distributed for Linux as an AppImage. The AppImage is a single, self-contained binary that runs on 64-bit Linux systems running the aarch64 or x86_64 architectures, with no need to install any dependencies (except for FUSE, which is required by the AppImage format).

To install viam-server on a Linux computer:

  1. Go to the Viam app. Create an account if you haven’t already.

  2. Add a new machine by providing a name in the New machine field and clicking Add machine:

    The ‘First Location’ page on the Viam app with a new machine name in the New machine field and the Add machine button next to the field highlighted.

  3. Navigate to the CONFIGURE tab and find your machine’s card. An alert will be present directing you to Set up your machine part:

    Machine setup alert in a newly created machine

    Click View setup instructions to open the setup instructions.

  4. Select the appropriate architecture for your machine: Linux (Aarch64), Linux (x86_64), or Armv7l. On most Linux operating systems, you can run uname -m to confirm your computer’s architecture.

  5. Follow the steps shown to install viam-server on your Linux computer.

  6. Once you have followed the steps on the setup instructions, viam-server is installed and running. Wait for confirmation that your computer has successfully connected.

By default, viam-server will start automatically when your system boots, but you can change this behavior if desired.


If you experience any issues getting Viam working on your BeagleBone, consult the BeagleBone documentation for help updating your BeagleBone.

You can also ask questions in the Community Discord and we will be happy to help.

You can find additional assistance in the Troubleshooting section.

Next steps