How to Connect the Original BeagleBone via Serial over USB

By Rui Santos, Luis Miguel Costa Perestrelo

The serial port is a way to send data between your Original BeagleBone and another device. Establishing a serial communication between your computer and your Original BeagleBone requires a Mini USB cable, which comes with the board.

For most applications, connecting the Original BeagleBone via SSH over USB is the way to go. Still, it’s useful to know about this connection technique because it enables you to send data to and from many devices other than PCs, which may be useful if you’re experiencing booting problems or networking issues. You can see what’s happening to your board right after plugging in the power with a serial debugger.

Make sure that you have the Original BeagleBone drivers installed.

Windows

Before you power up your board, you need to download and install a free application called PuTTY on your computer. Here’s how to install it:

  1. Open your web browser.

  2. Go to the free PuTTY download.

  3. Click the putty.exe file to download it.

  4. Run the putty.exe file to install the software.

With PuTTY installed, you can establish a serial communication with your Original BeagleBone. Follow these steps:

  1. Connect your Original BeagleBone to your computer with a Mini USB cable.

  2. Open PuTTY.

  3. In the PuTTY Configuration dialog box, select Serial.

  4. Type the name of your Original BeagleBone’s serial port.

    Open Device Manager to see the serial port’s name. Press Windows+R, type devmgmt.msc, and press Enter. The name of your BeagleBone’s serial port is listed below Ports.

  5. Type 115200 in the Speed field.

    At this point, the dialog box should look similar to the one shown.

    image0.jpg

  6. Click Open.

  7. Press Enter.

    If you don’t press Enter, you’re left with a blank screen and a blinking cursor.

  8. When you’re asked to log in, type root and press Enter.

  9. When you’re asked to type a password, press Enter.

    By default, no password is set.

Mac OS X and Linux

In Mac OS X and Linux, you can use the default terminal window to establish a serial communication. Follow these steps:

  1. Connect your Original BeagleBone to your computer with a Mini USB cable.

  2. Open a new window, as follows:

    • On a Mac, navigate to /Applications/Utilities and double-click Terminal to open a new Terminal window.

    • In Linux, press Ctrl+Alt+T to open a new terminal window.

  3. Type sudo screen /dev/tty.usbserial-*B 115200.

  4. Type your computer password, and press Enter or Return.

  5. Press Enter or Return again.

    If you don’t press Enter or Return, you’ll be left with a blank screen and a blinking cursor.

  6. When you’re asked to log in, type root and press Enter or Return.

  7. When you’re asked to type a password, press Enter or Return.

    By default, no password is set.

    image1.jpg