How to Connect Your BeagleBone via SSH over USB

By Rui Santos, Luis Miguel Costa Perestrelo

SSH (secure shell) is a method of establishing communication between your BeagleBone and another computer securely. All data sent via SSH is encrypted. SSH is based on a Unix shell, so it allows you to access your BeagleBone files from a remote machine by using terminal commands. It has grown to be one of the most popular methods for communication between different devices.

Unix was an operating system that originated in the mid-1960s, with a few characteristics that made it quite appealing: portability, multitasking, and multiuser capability, and a few more advanced concepts. Today, many OSes are based on Unix; the most prominent are Linux and Mac OS X.

Windows

If you use Windows, you need to download and install a free application called PuTTY. 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, power up your BeagleBone and follow these steps:

  1. Connect your BeagleBone to your computer by using a Mini USB cable.

  2. Open PuTTY.

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

  4. Type 192.168.7.2 as the host.

    The port needs to remain at the default number, which is 22. The dialog box should have the settings shown.

  5. Click Open.

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

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

    By default, no password is set.

When you connect your computer to your BeagleBone for the first time, you’re prompted by a message warning you that you’re attempting to establish a connection with an unknown host. This message just means that your computer and the BeagleBone aren’t friends yet. Simply click OK to proceed.

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Mac OS X and Linux

In Mac OS X and Linux, you can use the default terminal window to establish an SSH communication, because SSH comes in all Unix-based OSes. Follow these steps:

  1. Connect your BeagleBone to your computer by using 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 ssh root@192.168.7.2.

  4. Enter your computer password, and type yes.

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

    By default, no password is set.

    Your terminal window should look like this:

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When you connect your computer to your BeagleBone for the very first time, you’re prompted by a message warning you that you’re attempting to establish a connection with an unknown host. This message just means that your computer and the BeagleBone aren’t friends yet. Simply click OK to proceed.