Friday Hack Chat: The Incredible BeagleBoard

Over the last year or so, the BeagleBoard community has seen some incredible pieces of hardware. The BeagleBone on a Chip — the Octavo OSD335x — is a complete computing system with DDR3, tons of GPIOs, Gigabit Ethernet, and those all-important PRUs stuffed into a single piece of epoxy studded with solder balls. This chip made it into tiny DIY PocketBones and now the official PocketBeagle is in stock in massive quantities at the usual electronic component distributors.

For this week’s Hack Chat, we’re talking about the BeagleBoard, BeagleBone, PocketBeagle, and PocketBone. [Jason Kridner], the co-founder of BeagleBoard and beagle wrangler, will be on hand to answer all your questions about the relevance of the Beagle platform today, the direction BeagleBoard is going, and the inner workings of what is probably the best way to blink LEDs in a Linux environment.

Topics for this Hack Chat will include the direction BeagleBoard is going, the communities involved with BeagleBoard, and how to get the most out of those precious programmable real-time units. As always, we’re taking questions from the community, submit them here.

As an extra special bonus, this week we’re giving away some hardware. Digi-Key has offered up a few PocketBeagle boards. If you have an idea for a project, put it on the discussion sheet and we’ll pick the coolest project and send someone a PocketBeagle.


Our Hack Chats are live community events on the Hack Chat group messaging. This Hack Chat will be going down noon, Pacific time on Friday, October 13th. Wondering why the Brits were the first to settle on a single time zone when the US had a more extensive rail network and the longitude so time zones made sense? Here’s a time zone converter! Use that to ponder the mysteries of the universe.

Click that speech bubble to the right, and you’ll be taken directly to the Hack Chat group on

You don’t have to wait until Friday; join whenever you want and you can see what the community is talking about.

12 thoughts on “Friday Hack Chat: The Incredible BeagleBoard

  1. Unfortunately a common thing among SBCs is the rare inclusion of two Ethernet ports. One is fine for hanging off the end of a network. Two for any kind of management including proxy.

    1. I can understand not wanting to include a second PHY or magnetics for cost reasons – but the problem with the Beaglebone and also the Pocketbeagle is that the MII/RMII lines aren’t wired out anywhere last I checked (or not all of them are), so you can’t add a second PHY on an expansion board.

  2. First question I have for the beagle folks is how the heck to you boot the pocketbeagle. They didn’t seem fit to including any instructions, the wiki is tiny and has nothing relevant on it, the forums with their unusable ScrooglePoops interface appears to have only 3 threads and non of them about booting. The link on the card that comes with it still goes nowhere. The only reason I even know where to find an image is from a comment on the hackaday announcement.

    All I ask is a sentence, somewhere, anywhere, that says something like “by default you can access the serial console on pins #,# at XXX levels.” Is that so freaking difficult to put somewhere?!

    Also, since I’ve tried the USB port, the USB pins, and the serial0 and serial1 pins, and none of them worked, what is the next step to try to find a console? I’ve got nothing but a keychain charm at this moment….

    1. I was briefly confused until I realized it really is just like a “standard” beagle, load up the SD card from the provided images using dd, etcher, or whatever, plug it in, lights flash, and you’ll get a network adapter via USB, a dhcp address from the bone, serving a webpage with docs and sample code as well as ssh access.

      The big hint was the IoT image specifically says PocketBeagle on it…the getting started link really doesn’t give you the square-one steps if you’ve never touched a beagle.

    2. I’m glad to see a lot of the dead/bad links have finally been updated.

      I grabbed the latest image and plugged it into USB and still no go. The USR0 and USR1 lights blink a lot more than my previous image, now doing a dance for 30-45 seconds at startup. It “ends” with USR0 blinking twice per second in a dit-dit-dah pattern (the dah being unilluminated). However, it still does not enumerate on the USB bus in any way. So now what?

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