BeagleBone Black Wireless – Initial setup and wifi connect

The official BeagleBone Black Getting Started guide isn’t very helpful in connecting the wireless version of the BeagleBone Black (BBBW) to a wireless network. This is what worked for me.

  1. Connect the BBBW to a computer via USB and install the USB wireless drivers, as mentioned in Step 2 of the Getting Started guide. I am using OS X, but this should also apply to Linux. If you are using Windows, you are on your own.

  2. Find the location of the USB serial port and connect to the BBBW via USB serial. I use screen:

screen /dev/tty.usbmodem1423 115200

Login with debian/temppwd, the default credentials.

  1. I found a DigiKey page that describes how to use ‘connman’ to manage the wireless connection, but you have to register to gain access to that page and I had to tweak the commands listed on my BBBW. Incidentally, the connmanctl commands are also in the ‘/etc/network/interfaces’ file.

debian@beaglebone:~$ sudo connmanctl
connmanctl> tether wifi disable
connmanctl> enable wifi
connmanctl> scan wifi
connmanctl> services
connmanctl> agent on
connmanctl> connect <wifi network>
connmanctl> quit

The wifi network string is the ‘wifi_<bunch of stuff here>’ string associated with the list displayed after the ‘services’ command.

Try ‘iwconfig wlan0’ to see the wifi status, and/or ‘ifconfig wlan0’ to see that you have an IP address. It might take a short while to connect.

‘Ctrl-D’ to log out, then
‘Ctrl-A k’ to kill your screen session, then
Use ssh to log into your BBBW normally:

ssh debian@<ip address>

Use debian/temppwd to log in, and you should be up and running. You can also access the built-in web documentation by going to the same IP address in a browser. I generally like to stick to the command line, but there is some good information in the web based documentation.

2 thoughts on “BeagleBone Black Wireless – Initial setup and wifi connect”

  1. Good list of steps to take. One comment, about the “wifi ” you mention. If you’re in a GUI (lxde, kde, etc) terminal window in linux running ssh, you can use your mouse and the terminal window menu to copy, then paste the “bunch of stuff”

    (or in Windows, putty has a right-click mouse to do a copy-paste)

    I have not had to do the command “tether wifi disable” but it won’t hurt to use it.

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