Problems with BeagleBone Black and their solution

This page will be a running log for problems I encounter and their solutions.

LXDE under Ubuntu 13.04

On Ubuntu 13.04 I have not been able to log in and use the LXDE desktop environment in the normal manner. The LXDM (Lightwaight X11 Display Manager) did show the login screen and I was able to log in, but got a blank (or blue) screen after that. Writing “ps aux” showed that the [PreLogin] process was stuck on <defunct>. starting lxde manually with startlxde did work fine. The only solution I have found to this so far is instead installing lightdm. Should be as simple as:

sudo apt-get install lightdm lightdm-greeter-example-gtk

The lightDM display manager might be a bit big. An alternative is the Gnome Display Manager (GDM).

Unable to log in via SSH 

I’ve had a lot of trouble with logging in via SSH. One of the reasons is that the dropbear RSA key is corrupted. I think it might be related to having two BBBs.. From this thread on the google group:

rm /etc/dropbear/dropbear_rsa_host_key
dropbearkey -t rsa -f /etc/dropbear/dropbear_rsa_host_key

I’ve also had trouble with avahi-daemon.service active up and stealing all the resources. This can be seen by writing “top” and seeing that systemd takes up all the resources. To mask the avahi-daemon:

systemctl mask avahi-daemon.service

I have no idea what the consequences are, but this fixed the problem for me at least..

Rotate the screen
To rotate the screen (or change the orientation of the monitor if you will), add a couple of lines to the file


Driver "fbdev"
Option "Rotate" "CCW"

This goes in the section “Device”. The driver replaces the “modesetting”-driver.
CCW stands for counter clock wise.

This only works for X11, so if you want to rotate the framebuffer, add this to the kernel command line:


 Device tree compiler on Ubuntu 13.04

If you are getting the error:

dtc: invalid option — ‘@’

Robert C Nelson has a solution:”device-tree-compiler”package

wget -c
chmod +x

For some reason ‘which dtc’ did point to /usr/local/bin/dtc, but I still had to specify the whole path. Weird..

Unable to configure bonescript

This is the error message:

Job for bonescript.socket failed. See ‘systemctl status bonescript.socket’ and ‘journalctl -xn’ for details.

I noticed that the job was unable to start since there was already a version running. The solution was to kill the running instance:

ps aux | grep server.js

find the pid and run:

kill -9

Then try to start:

systemctl start bonescript.socket

This is probably not a permanent solution, but it worked for installing tslib that for some reason wanted to configure bonescript..

10 thoughts on “Problems with BeagleBone Black and their solution

  1. I had a hard time getting Bluetooth to work. The USB dongle was recognised, but nothing could be enabled.
    First step, enable bluetooth.
    edit /var/lib/connman/settings. Change


    to read


    That got bluetooth running, and I could scan for devices, but couldn’t pair.
    To fix that, two commands:

    systemctl enable bluetooth.service
    systemctl start bluetooth.service

    and everything is now running. My bluetooth keyboard works just fine.

  2. Has anyone else noticed super slow file transfers to the eMMC on Angstrom? It only writes at like 400kB/sec… I did some reading and think this has to do with enabling async or possibly MMC_BLOCK_BOUNCE. Anyone else have this problem?

  3. Pingback: Empfehlung: BeagleBone Black | OpenDGPS

  4. My solution to the SSH issue, is that with each new BeagleBone that crosses my desk (I have 4 at the moment) I immediately change the hostname. Simply edit the /etc/hostname file, and reboot. Once I started doing this, my ssh woes went away.

  5. Pingback: Finally a working 4.3″ HDMI compatible LCD for BeagleBone Black! | Hipstercircuits

  6. Really, just the thing I was on the lookout for. Thanks a tonne. My project is slightly different though. I wish to use an LCD+digitizer from a generic android tablet. Any guidance? Thanks in advance :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>