BeaglePlay: First Experience

Your Gateway to Seamless Embedded Development

Welcome to the first article in my series of 64 reasons to love BeaglePlay! BeaglePlay, with its compact 8cm by 8cm design, is an open hardware single-board computer that’s truly packed with features to adore.

Out-of-the-Box Ready

At, we’re on a mission to make embedded development as accessible as possible, and BeaglePlay is no exception. We understand the frustration of starting with a blank slate, so when you power up your BeaglePlay, you’re greeted with a Kingston 16GB eMMC flash that comes pre-programmed with a Debian Linux image. There’s no need to spend time downloading software images or fiddling with microSD cards. BeaglePlay is ready to roll from the moment you provide it with power.

64 cm^2 Reasons to Love BeaglePlay #1: Flashed and Ready

Local, Server-Style Development Experience

While traditional embedded development might involve plugging in a monitor and keyboard for a graphical interface, we recognize that headless development, over a network or serial connection, can be a more versatile approach. This is where BeaglePlay truly shines, offering a range of development interfaces including WiFi, Ethernet, USB peripherals, 3-pin serial UART, and JTAG.

Visual Studio Code on BeaglePlay

The IDE provides a terminal for issuing Linux commands on BeaglePlay, file authoring and transfers, program building and debugging, and the ability to extend functionality with ease.

Seamless WiFi Connectivity

BeaglePlay simplifies WiFi connectivity. It’s configured to broadcast a BeaglePlay-XXXX access point identifier (SSID), and connecting is a breeze with the default “BeaglePlay” password. Open your web browser and head to, and you’re ready to dive into development using the Visual Studio Code web-based IDE hosted directly on your BeaglePlay.

BeaglePlay WiFi Access Point

Effortless Ethernet Connection

For those who prefer the reliability of an Ethernet connection, simply connect your BeaglePlay to the same router and browse to http://beagleplay.local. If not automatically discovered, a quick check of your router’s list of assigned addresses, looking for “BeaglePlay,” should guide you to the right spot. This straightforward Ethernet connection, coupled with the convenience of the easily remembered http://beagleplay.local address, ensures a seamless transition into your BeaglePlay development environment, making your embedded development experience even more accessible.

Find BeaglePlay on your network at http://beagleplay.local

Unlocking USB Gadget Mode

When you connect the Type-C USB port on BeaglePlay to a Type-A port on your host computer, you open up a world of possibilities. BeaglePlay transforms into several devices, including a virtual serial port and network adapter. On a Windows computer, navigate to; on Linux or Mac systems, access Here, you’ll have access to the Visual Studio Code IDE and terminal interface, allowing you to configure WiFi settings or discover Ethernet addresses. For a more advanced setup, you can even share your computer’s existing network connection with BeaglePlay via the same USB connection.

BeaglePlay USB gadget connection

Connecting via Serial or USB

To utilize the serial connection or USB-based virtual serial connection, log in using the username “debian” and the password “temppwd” to access a terminal prompt. Too hard to remember?—Don’t worry, the login information is also printed at the login prompt. From here, you can discover the Ethernet IP address using the ifconfig utility and configure WiFi for your local network using the wpa_cli utility.

Connecting to BeaglePlay UART
Configuring BeaglePlay WiFi using `wpa_cli`

A World of Possibilities

Now that you’re connected to the Internet on BeaglePlay, the sky’s the limit. Utilize the apt utility to update the running system, fetching the latest security updates from Debian or feature updates from The aptutility also opens the door to thousands of development tools and software packages for almost any task.

Debian package category list

With BeaglePlay, your journey into embedded development is streamlined, efficient, and filled with possibilities. Stay tuned for more reasons to love BeaglePlay as we continue this series, exploring its endless potential and making your embedded development experience even more enjoyable.