Embedded Linux course labs now available on Beagle Bone

Following the release of the improved version of our embedded Linux course, we are happy to announce that we have finished porting our new labs to the BeagleBone Black and BeagleBone Black wireless boards.

Actually, other BeagleBone boards based on the TI AM335x System on Chip (“blue” or “green” for example), should be easy to use as they are very similar and their connectors are compatible.

So, the same manipulations are supported as on the STM32MP1 Discovery Kits:

  • Compiling a cross-compiling toolchain
  • Compiling the U-Boot bootloader for the board. A slight difference here, TrustedFirmware-A is not supported on AM335x, so we’re just using U-Boot SPL as first stage bootloader.
  • Compiling and booting the Linux kernel
  • Manually creating a tiny root filesystem based on BusyBox and booting it through the network (NFS).
  • Interacting with hardware: LEDs, GPIOs, detecting a USB sound card, accessing an I2C joystick, modifying the Device Tree and experimenting with in-tree and out-of-tree kernel modules.
  • Using block partitions and filesystems on an external micro-SD card.
  • Manually cross-compiling libraries and applications.
  • Using the Buildroot build system to compile a more complex software stack. Playing audio on the board using the Music Player Daemon (MPD) and one of its client programs.
  • Switching to systemd init and using udev to automatically load kernel modules corresponding to detected hardware.
  • Manually compiling and debugging a new MPD client using the I2C joystick to drive music playback, using the SDK offered by Buildroot. Debugging using strace, ltrace, remote debugging with gdbserver and Visual Studio Code, analyzing a segmentation fault. Doing application and system wide profiling with the perf command. Integrating the new client application with Meson.

As usual, these new training materials are available under a free documentation license, so that everyone can use them to get familiar with Embedded Linux.

Of course, if you are interested in getting presentations and support from a trainer, you can order an on-site or on-line training session with either type of board (STM32MP1 or BeagleBone). You could also join one of our upcoming on-line public sessions, in which case you will have demos on STM32MP1, but will be able to get support for doing the labs on BeagleBone too. See the description of our course for all details and possibilities.

Once again, if you already took our course before September this year, our new labs explore many new aspects of embedded Linux development work. Doing our new labs will be a great opportunity to refresh and expand what you already learned.

Author: Michael Opdenacker

Michael Opdenacker is the founder of Bootlin, and was its CEO until 2021. He is best known for all the free embedded Linux and kernel training materials that he created together with Thomas Petazzoni. He is always looking for ways to increase performance, reduce size and boot time, and to maximize Linux' world domination. More details...

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