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June 18 , 2008

The BeagleBone Black Primer


The BeagleBone Black Primer

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Master BeagleBone Black:

Today’s most powerful low-cost embedded development platform!

You can do amazing things with BeagleBone Black. Get started in just five minutes: all you need is a USB cable and this easy, hands-on primer!

Brian McLaughlin teaches you enough to be seriously dangerous. Start with the simplest embedded programming concepts. Explore BeagleBone Black’s capabilities, and learn all the essentials, from controlling I/O to establishing network connections.

Then, step by step, master increasingly advanced techniques with the Cloud9 IDE and BoneScript…Integrate external hardware…Install Linux or Android…Use Cape expansion boards to do even more.

Don’t just learn it: do it. This guide is packed with projects, from weather stations, to car computers, to a “capstone” project using Software Defined Radio to capture signals from local airspace and orbiting satellites!

You won’t just put BeagleBone Black to work: you’ll start imagining great projects of your own. And then you’ll build them.

Discover how BeagleBone Black works, and what it can do

  • Get your BeagleBone Black—and get it working, fast
  • Link your BeagleBone Black to the world, and link yourself to the global BeagleBone community
  • Learn to read schematics and use them to connect hardware
  • Prototype your projects with breadboards
  • Extend BeagleBone Black with Capes
  • Add sensors to capture and use data from the environment
  • Use actuators to make things happen in the real world
  • Make your BeagleBone Black recognize your face
  • Learn from mistakes, and go beyond what you’ve already learned


Brian McLaughlin is an engineer by profession and by hobby. Building on a solid foundation in software, he was first exposed to advanced hardware topics while working on the Hubble Space Telescope. After working for Lockheed Martin, he joined NASA, where he’s supported many of NASA’s most exciting missions. He holds a B.S. in computer science (North Carolina State University) and an M.S. in systems engineering (University of Maryland). He’s also written for GeekDad and is a member of the growing Maker community.

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