BeagleBone Black Debian and X11

Hi Guys and Girls! Long time no see!

I have bought some BeagleBone Blacks. Let’s see what these little bastards can do!

When you power it up, you have the Angstrom pre-installed on the onboard card. Well that is not bad, but not enough for me. I want to restore the white ones environment, also I want to use the new graphics features.

== Debian OS==

This was my guide to install it.

A Linux is needed for copying the image to the card, and I used my vmware ubuntu.

Get the prebuilt image:


Untar the image:

tar xJf debian-7.0.0-console-armhf-2013-05-29.tar.xz
cd debian-7.0.0-console-armhf-2013-05-29

Install Image:
Quick Install script for “board”, on “/dev/sdb” part, use your own card device, usually it is like that.

sudo ./ --mmc /dev/sdb --uboot bone_dtb

After I have put the card inside BBB the slot, it worked like a charm. There was ping, but no working ssh.
To have ssh, first access the BBB using the http://arm ,(it worked in my network) or you can use the BBB IP as well. That will open a linux shell inside the browser.
Default login for debian arm on BBB:
User: debian
Passw: temppwd

Now you can download an ssh to the debian by

sudo apt-get install openssh-server

This time you should be able to use the ssh port.


I wanted to see the graphical interface of the BBB’s Debian through my Windows PC. For that I need an Xming and a Putty on the PC’s side.
Set the Putty, to forward the X11. Connection / SSH / X11 / Check the Enable X11 forwarding box.

On the BBB’s side, I used and installed the lxde:

apt-get install lxde lxde-core lxde-icon-theme

Start the Xming on the PC, then start the putty with X11 forwarding, connect to the BBB.
After login send that command:


If everything is fine, then you should see something like this:

Note: I have already changed the background on the BBB, the default pic is a debian logo.

2 thoughts on “BeagleBone Black Debian and X11

  1. Trying to updrade my beaglebone black (debian 8.4) that just arrived, I noticed that it automatically starting flashing from the sd-card without pressing the sd-card boot button! Why/How does that work?

    Interestingly, using df or ‘fdisk -l m*’, shows the emmc (/dev/mmcblk0p1) at 90% usage before installing anything extra. After attempting to install lxde it showed 100%, it also failed to install. Is it possible to boot from the emmc, but install (and run) applications from the sd card? Or is the only way to do this is to not boot from the emmc?

    Otherwise, Is there a tiny graphical program that I can run to at least test the putty x11 / xming forwarding? Something that doesn’t require the huge lxde install?

    1. Currently the default image for the BeagleBone comes with a desktop already set up, so you don’t have to got through an 8 hour installation. You can also try SSHing with X into the beaglebone and then typing ‘gedit’ into terminal, and the editor window will open on your computer. Any windows opened on the BeagleBone through SSH will open on your PC.

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