Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) on Beagleboard XM / Pandaboard

Downloading Ubuntu

Download the compressed image from

  • For BeagleBoard XM, use ubuntu-12.04-preinstalled-desktop-armhf+omap.img.gz
  • For Pandaboard, use ubuntu-12.04-preinstalled-desktop-armhf+omap4.img.gz

Writing the image

You should write the raw image to a blank SD card. Make sure you're using at least a 4G SD card (desktop image is 2G uncompressed).


  1. Place the SD card at your host computer.
  2. Make sure the SD card is not mounted (just umount it if needed)
  3. Identify the correct raw device name (like /dev/sde - not /dev/sde1)
  4. Run the following command to write it:
zcat ./ubuntu-12.04-preinstalled-desktop-armhf+omap.img.gz |sudo dd bs=4M of=/dev/sde ; sudo sync
Warning /!\ Some people have reported issues with this method. If this doesn't work, try the following commands:
  1. gunzip ubuntu-12.04-preinstalled-desktop-armhf+omap.img.gz
  2. sudo dd bs=4M if=ubuntu-12.04-preinstalled-desktop-armhf+omap.img of=/dev/sde
  3. sudo sync

MAC (OSX 10.x)

Download the image and extract it with the system archive utility, you should get a .img file if the disk is mounted disk1.. disk2.. not - disk0, unmount it with the following code.
sudo diskutil unmountDisk disk1
Then use the following code to write the image to disk1 (not - disk1s1..)
sudo dd bs=4m if=ubuntu-12.04-preinstalled-server-armhf+omap.img of=/dev/disk1
If you get any errors trying to run the following code then try reinserting the SD card and trying again after unmounting the disk, or try formatting it first with DiskUtilities

Windows (XP/Vista/7)

Download the image and extract it using WinZip or some other archive utility. Then use Win32ImageWriter to write the unzipped img file to your flash device.
This is a Windows program for saving and restoring images from removable drives (USB drives, SD Memory cards, etc). It can be used to write boot images (i.e. ubuntu-12.04-preinstalled-desktop-armhf+omap.img) to a SD Flash device or USB flash device, making it bootable.
Win32DiskImager supports writing an ISO image to USB too, which is very valuable right now with the Ubuntu releases 14.04 LTS - 15.10, because there are problems with the Ubuntu Startup Disk Creator.
The program and source code can be downloaded from here.
This tutorial subpage with screenshots illustrates how to create a USB boot drive from a Lubuntu ISO file. It works in the same way for all current Ubuntu family iso files including the Ubuntu mini.iso version 14.04 LTS (but mini.iso version 12.04 LTS is the only exception).

Booting the image

On Pandaboard and BeagleXM just switch on the board with the SD card inserted.

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