BeagleBone AI-64 Setup Guide

How to flash a BeagleBone AI-64 to prepare it for viam-server installation.

The BeagleBone AI-64 from is an open-source computer based on the Texas Instruments TDA4VM processor. In this tutorial, we will show you how to set up your BeagleBone AI-64 with Debian.

BeagleBone AI-64 front at 45° angle.

Hardware requirements

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

  1. A BeagleBone AI-64
  2. A microSD card
  3. A 5V barrel jack power supply
  4. [Optional] A microSD card reader
  5. [Optional] An ethernet cable or a WiFi card

BeagleBone AI-64 Installation Guide

Power your BeagleBone

You need a data connection from the BeagleBone to your computer. A USB-C to USB-C from your computer to your BeagleBone is the most convenient method to make the data connection. Although it is possible to power the BeagleBone via its USB-C connection, we recommend that you use a separate 5VDC power source (e.g., 5VDC charger) via the BeagleBoard’s barrel jack as that is more reliable. When powered on, you’ll see the power (PWR or ON) LED lit steadily. Within a minute or so, you should see the other LEDs blinking.

Enable a network connection

You will need to connect an ethernet cable to your BeagleBone in order to connect to it. If your computer supports mDNS (Multicast DNS), you should see your Beagle at beaglebone.local. Using any web browser (except Internet Explorer) you can test to see if your BeagleBone has successfully connected to the internet.

The table below summarizes the typical addresses depending on how you are connecting to your BeagleBoard.

IP AddressConnection TypeOperating System(s) OS X, Linux
beaglebone.localallmDNS enabled
beaglebone-2.localallmDNS enabled

SSH into your BeagleBone

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

ssh debian@beaglebone.local

Check that your BeagleBone is connected to the internet

After you SSH into your BeagleBone, you can check that your BeagleBone is connected to the internet by running the following command:

ping -c 3

If you see a response like the one below, you are connected to the internet.

PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=55 time=31.852 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=55 time=35.585 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=55 time=43.308 ms

--- ping statistics ---
3 packets transmitted, 3 packets received, 0.0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 31.852/36.915/43.308/4.771 ms

Update your BeagleBone

Next, best practice suggests that you always ensure that the latest packages are installed. Run the following command to do verify the packages are up to date:

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

Next steps

Now that your BeagleBone has a Viam-compatible operating system installed, continue to our viam-server installation guide.