Tuesday 28 May 2013

Minix on the BeagleBone Black Part 1 - Hardware

This is the first post in a 2 or 3 post mini-series about getting Minix up and running on the new BeagleBone Black. It's intended to help those interested in following my work over the summer. I'm always looking for people interested in helping test it out as the summer goes along. This post lists the hardware you'll need. Future posts will explain how to cross compile Minix, get Minix on a uSD card, and how to boot the system.

You'll obviously need a BeagleBone Black for this. In addition to that you'll need a 3.3V FTDI cable. This will enable you to connect your development machine to the BeagleBone's serial header via USB. With almost any terminal program you'll be able to interact with the Minix command line interface. Be sure to get the 3.3V version. While you can power the BeagleBone Black over USB, it may be more convenient to just get an AC adaptor and plug it into mains power. The adaptor I link to below has clips with different prongs for connecting to outlets in different countries. Choose the right one for your country. Lastly, you'll need a MicroSD card to load your Minix image on. The minimum size for Minix is currently 2GB. The class number specifies the transfer speed among other things. The higher the better as it can mean minutes when writing large images to the SD card. I chose a MicroSD card combo that comes with a full sized SD card adaptor because I have only a full sized SD card reader/writer (not MicroSD).

Shopping List:
I listed specific part numbers above because I wanted to make it easy to find the right parts. When I was initially shopping for accessories I found that it wasn't always obvious which parts would work properly with the BeagleBone Black. Note, I am not affiliated with Digikey, but I do order from them occasionally and have always been satisfied. They usually ship same day and the parts arrive the next day before noon (only $8 for shipping too!).

That's all for now. In my next post, I'll go over how to get the code from my github repository and cross compile it.

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