Beaglebone comes with OS burnt in its eMMC Flash unlike Raspberry Pi that needs to have an OS on SD card to boot from. The eMMC can be upgraded from microsd card.
1. Checking The Angstrom Image Version
There are instructions here on how to first check the current version of Angstrom.
2. Connect BBB to a PC via USB. The eMMC will be mounted on the desktop as any other USB storage device. Check for the ID.txt file in the FAT partition. The version of the curnet Angstrom distribution is stored there.
3. If you find that the version of Angstrom in eMMC is lower than the currently available version, you can flash it using a microsd card. The card should be at least 4GB in size and preferably greater than Class 4 or Class 6 speeds. Most prevalent cards available nowadays are at least Class 6. There is very skecthy infor on supported/compatible SD cards out in the public. If you stick to barnd names and speeds greater than Class 6, then it should work out just fine.
4. Getting ready for the upgrade.
– atleast Class 6 microsd card with minimum 4GB or greater capacity. Make sure you get a blank one or one that does not have any critical data on it.
– SD Card adapter if your PC has a SD card reader or an USB SD card reader.
– a 5VDC power supply that can supply atleast 1A. (I used an apple wall wart). It can tajke any USB male connector, the other end has to be USB micro or use a wall adapter with 2.1 mm power jack. You have to use wall adpater since BBB can use greater than 500mA current during flashing which maybe beyond the capacities of most USB ports on a standard PC. (You might get a message saying due to excess current the port has been shutdown or similar)
– Download the eMMC flasher image from this link
– The flasher images are compressed using 7-zip. If you do not have it, download it here. They support almost all platforms. If you use a mac then you can get Keka – free file archiver.
– You will also need a SD card formatting utility. You can get it from SD association – SD Formatter 4.0 for SD/SDHC/SDXC. They have a mac version that works very well.
– To burn the image on SD card you can download, Pi Filler – copy downloaded OS Image for your Raspberry Pi to a SD card. This works well for Angstrom image also.
5. After you have all the necessary files and a SD card, proceed to copy the downloaded image onto the SD card. The sequence is given below.
– First format the SD card
– Next use Pi Filler to copy the image file to the SD card. It will take atleast 20-30 minutes. Patience required.
6. Disconnect BBB, insert the microsd, and insert power to BBB while keeping the BOOT Switch button (it is near the microsd) on the BBB pressed. Continue to hold the BOOT button until the first User LED comes on.
7. Release the button once the LEDs start flashing. The process is done when the LEDs are steady. This might take 20-30 minutes (in my case).
8. Test the flashed image by removing the microsd card and booting again. This time it will boot from eMMC flash.