Exploring BeagleBone

Exploring BeagleBone : Tools and Techniques for Building with Embedded Linux

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In-depth instruction and practical techniques for building with the BeagleBone embedded Linux platform

Exploring BeagleBone is a hands-on guide to bringing gadgets, gizmos, and robots to life using the popular BeagleBone embedded Linux platform. Comprehensive content and deep detail provide more than just a BeagleBone instruction manual you ll also learn the underlying engineering techniques that will allow you to create your own projects. The book begins with a foundational primer on essential skills, and then gradually moves into communication, control, and advanced applications using C/C++, allowing you to learn at your own pace. In addition, the book s companion website features instructional videos, source code, discussion forums, and more, to ensure that you have everything you need.

The BeagleBone s small size, high performance, low cost, and extreme adaptability have made it a favorite development platform, and the Linux software base allows for complex yet flexible functionality. The BeagleBone has applications in smart buildings, robot control, environmental sensing, to name a few; and, expansion boards and peripherals dramatically increase the possibilities. Exploring BeagleBone provides a reader-friendly guide to the device, including a crash course in computer engineering. While following step by step, you can:

Get up to speed on embedded Linux, electronics, and programming
Master interfacing electronic circuits, buses and modules, with practical examples
Explore the Internet-connected BeagleBone and the BeagleBone with a display
Apply the BeagleBone to sensing applications, including video and sound
Explore the BeagleBone s Programmable Real-Time Controllers

Hands-on learning helps ensure that your new skills stay with you, allowing you to design with electronics, modules, or peripherals even beyond the BeagleBone. Insightful guidance and online peer support help you transition from beginner to expert as you master the techniques presented in Exploring BeagleBone, the practical handbook for the popular computing platform.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 600 pages
  • 185.42 x 233.68 x 33.02mm | 975.22g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 1118935128
  • 9781118935125
  • 139,525

Back cover copy

"Loaded with helpful information and coding tutorials, this exploration around the extensive capabilities of BeagleBone Black has me excited to connect everything I encounter to the Internet."
-- Christine Long, BeagleBoard.org Foundation

"What I've learned on this topic has taken me a decade of self-study culling through books and release notes and various platforms. Here, you've demystified it all in the span of a single (large) volume."
-- Brian DeLacey, founder of the IoT Festival

"This wonderful book is at the nexus of so many of the skills that are vital to today's computer scientists, electrical engineers, and innovators of all stripes as they turn their ideas into transformative creations."
-- Prof Ray Simar, Professor in the Practice of Digital Signal Processing Architecture, Rice University, Texas

"Derek Molloy's, Exploring BeagleBone, is THE book to go to if you are interested in learning about embedded Linux programming and how to use it to exploit the powerful capabilities of the BeagleBone single board computer."
-- Prof. Burford Furman, San José State University, California


Whatever applications you can dream up, the BeagleBone can help you build them. This hands-on guide teaches you the essential BeagleBone skills and underlying engineering principles. It then takes you into interfacing, communication, and control so that you can create your own projects. Finally, you'll explore using the BeagleBone for advanced applications such as building Internet-of-Things systems and real-time interfacing. With hands-on examples and outstanding guidance, this book will give you the in-depth knowledge to do great things with the BeagleBone.

Features a detailed review of the Linux, electronics, and programming skills required to master the BeagleBone Thoroughly examines interfacing the BeagleBone to almost any type of circuit or device Demonstrates advanced BeagleBone applications such as network communications; rich user interfaces; images, video, and audio; and real-time interfacing using the BeagleBone's PRU-ICSS Teaches transferrable essential skills to help you design with electronics, modules, or peripherals that can be used even beyond the BeagleBone Offers a strong "learn-by-doing" approach that supports both beginners and power users

Visit the companion website at www.exploringbeaglebone.com for source code, instructional videos, online peer discussions, and more!
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Table of contents

Introduction xxv
Part I BeagleBone Basics 1

Chapter 1 The BeagleBone Hardware 3

Introduction to the Platform 3

Who Should Use the BeagleBone 5

When to Use the BeagleBone 6

When You Should Not Use the BeagleBone 6

BeagleBone Documentation 7

The BeagleBone Hardware 8

BeagleBone Versions 9

The BeagleBone Black Hardware 11

BeagleBone Accessories 14

Highly Recommended Accessories 14

Micro?]SD Card (for Flashing the BBB) 14

External 5V Power Supply (for Flashing and Peripherals) 15

Ethernet Cable (for Network Connection) 15

HDMI Cable (for Connection to Monitors/Televisions) 15

USB to Serial UART TTL 3.3 V (for Finding Problems) 16

Optional Accessories 17

USB Hub (to Connect Several USB Devices to a USB Host) 17

Micro-HDMI to VGA adapters (for VGA Video and Sound) 17

Wi-Fi Adapters (for Wireless Networking) 18

USB Webcam (for Capturing Images and Streaming Video) 18

USB Keyboard and Mouse (for General-Purpose Computing) 18

Capes 19

How to Destroy Your BeagleBone! 20

Summary 22

Support 22

Chapter 2 The BeagleBone Black Software 23

Linux on the BeagleBone 24

Linux Distributions 24

Communicating with the BBB 25

Installing Drivers 26

Network Connections 26

Internet?]over?]USB 26

Regular Ethernet 29

Ethernet Crossover Cable 30

Communicating with the BBB 31

Serial Connection over USB 31

Serial Connection with the USB?]to?]TTL 3.3 V Cable 33

Connecting through Secure Shell (SSH) 33

Secure Shell Connections using PuTTY 34

Chrome Apps: Secure Shell Client 34

Transferring Files Using PuTTY/psftp over SSH 35

Controlling the BeagleBone 37

Basic Linux Commands 37

First Steps 37

Basic File System Commands 38

Environment Variables 40

Basic File Editing 41

What Time Is It? 42

Package Management 44

Interacting with the BBB On?]board LEDs 45

Shutdown 47

Node.js, Cloud9, and BoneScript 48

Introduction to Node.js 48

Introduction to the Cloud9 IDE 50

Introduction to BoneScript 51

Summary 52

Further Reading 53

Chapter 3 Exploring Embedded Linux Systems 55

Embedded Linux Basics 55

What Embedded Linux Offers 57

Is Linux Open Source and Free? 57

Booting the BeagleBone 58

The BeagleBone Bootloaders 58

Kernel Space and User Space 62

System V init (SysVinit) 63

Managing Linux Systems 67

The Super User 67

System Administration 68

The Linux File System 68

Linking to Files and Directories 69

Users and Groups 71

File System Permissions 74

Exploring the File System 75

Commands for File Systems 75

find and whereis 81

more or less 82

Linux Commands 82

Standard Input and Output Redirection (>, >>, and
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About Derek Molloy

Dr. Derek Molloy is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Electronic Engineering at Dublin City University, Ireland. Derek produces a popular YouTube series on the BeagleBone platform and a wide variety of embedded Linux topics. His videos and personal blog have introduced millions of people to the BeagleBone, embedded Linux, and digital electronics.
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Rating details

43 ratings
4.32 out of 5 stars
5 56% (24)
4 28% (12)
3 12% (5)
2 2% (1)
1 2% (1)
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