Boot loader for BeagleBone based on Starterware

Posted by Angel on 2012-09-25T21:02:03-04:00

Taken from the project homepage:


This project is aimed at jump starting OS-free development specifically for BeagleBone hardware.


The BeagleBone was released in late 2011 and includes the Angstrom Linux distribution. Although powerful and flexible, the Angstrom OS is a bit slow on the bootup time. Other operating systems exist, but we felt that real performance could be realized by skipping the overhead of unnecessary functions and treating the system more like a microcontroller. This is realized through an API toolkit called Starterware.

TI created Starterware to help developers get up and running with their ARM based processors. It has a lot of examples, demos, and macros, but it is generic in nature. We decided to use the demo bootloader, as a base, to create an executable specifically for the BeagleBone hardware and ecosystem.


Since this project is only a couple of days old, the scope is still fluid. Some key features that we hope to include are:

  • Power state management
  • Command interpreter via serial/touchscreen/network
  • Cape initialization and I/O multiplexing setup
  • PRU loading and execution
  • USB host serial and HID support

Current State – 09/19/2012

The project is now under source control. It has not been verified, to see if the online code can be compiled on a fresh install, but that will occur in the next couple of days.

Downloadable binary files will be available when milestones are met. The first couple milestones are:

  • Read EEPROMs on the I2C buses.
  • Properly ID and configure pins for the Battery Cape
  • Properly ID and configure pins for LCD3 Cape

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