So you’ve updated your BeagleBone Black to the latest version of Debian (see my how-to guide for OSX and Windows users) and you’re ready to begin prototyping your next project with this embedded Linux board. But you’d really like that next project to be easy to move around. It really should have wi-fi.
You plug in your wi-fi adapter and … oh right, this is Linux. You’ll need to manually configure the adapter to automatically connect with your network.
How best to do that? Well, assuming, like me, you don’t have a KVM for your BeagleBone, you must instead rely on SSH to communicate with your board.
Looking around at a few guides I found the steps were either outdated or seemed unnecessarily complicated. As soon as a guide told me I had to apt-get any software I didn’t believe it. All the tools for configuring wi-fi are already built in to Linux. It should be easy.
I rebuilt Debian a few times, always with an eye to simplify the process. I eventually narrowed it down to these few steps, in what amounts to only five quick commands executed from Terminal or PuTTY.
In the images below you’ll also notice I’m using a USB hub. Plugging the wi-fi adapter directly into the BeagleBone Black will cause errors, due to the amount of current the wi-fi adapter draws. Thus I’m also using a power adapter that can supply the necessary current, and a USB hub to plug the wi-fi adapter into. I consider both of these components absolutely necessary for this project to work as designed.
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.