Saturday, July 13, 2013

MachineKit 2013-07-13 Available

I have released an updated version my MachineKit Image for running LinuxCNC on the BeagleBone.

Support has been added for the new BeBoPr Bridge, and HDMI is enabled by default allowing the BeagleBone to run stand-alone.  A remote display is still required to use hardware that requires disabling the HDMI output, such as the original BeBoPr board without the Bridge adapter.

In addition, the kernel has been updated with the latest BeagleBone specific patches, and the LinuxCNC git working copy includes lots of minor fixes and tweaks made over the last month.

Significant changes in this release include:
  • Switch to 3.8.13xenomai-bone23 kernel
  • Leave HDMIN (no audio) enabled by default in uEnv.txt
  • Add xfce desktop and netsurf web browser
  • Remove apache and udhcpd
  • Remove linuxcnc user from admin group to enable existing NOPASSWD setting in sudoers.d to work properly:
      gpasswd -d linuxcnc admin
  • Switch ~/linuxcnc working copy to MachineKit branch:
      cd ~/linuxcnc
      git fetch origin
      git checkout -t origin/MachineKit
      cd src
      sudo make setuid


  1. Hi Charles,

    great work!

    building the image with "omap-image-builder" on my test machine.

    i have recorded the terminal output and noticed the following


    eval mv ~$1/3.8.13xenomai-bone20.config /boot/

    - Ewald

  2. recorded the terminal output

  3. That doesn't affect the running image, but it should still be fixed. That is just downloading the kernel configuration to the image for reference. The correct kernel configuration file can be found here if you need it:

  4. Thank for your work. The kernel image and its device tree work well for me. However, could you please write a brief tutorial how to build this kernel image (xenomai+kenel3.8.13bone24). I want to build a kernel by myself. Thank you

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Does the machinekit map pins on the BBB for step/direction for each axis?

  7. The pinout is configurable...the PRU which is used to generate the step/dir signals can drive any available GPIO pin. The "standard" pinout would probably be the one used by the BeBoPr-Bridge, which avoids use of the eMMC and HDMI signals on the BeagleBone Black. Details are available from the BeBoPr-Bridge github project: (see the schematic and BBB-P8-P9-signals pdf files, in particular)

  8. Thank you for the reply Charles.
    I have a homebuilt cnc that I'm wanting to change out the pc to a stand alone BBB for an embedded system.
    I'd like a display and I'm not really all that familiar with configing gpio's on the BBB.
    Anyway I'm upgrading my stepper drives to these nema-23 stepper drives.
    These drives only need step and direction so a BeBoPr is not needed. E-stop can be wired straight to one stepper drivers input I/O and daisy chain out through the I/O to the other drives input I/O's to shut them all down at once.
    I believe the limits can programmed also with the unused I/O's of each drive.

    My question is do you have a MachineKit image that supports a display?

    1. Yes, the current MachineKit image supports using the HDMI display with the BeagleBone black. When running LinuxCNC, use the BeBoPr-Bridge configuration, and just wire up your stepper drivers to the appropriate connector pins instead of using an actual BeBoPr board. If you need additional help getting things setup, ask on the LinuxCNC or BeagleBone lists (see the "Support" tab, above, for links).

  9. Am I understanding this correctly?
    Your YouTube video you demonstrate the BBB using a HDMI cable to a LCD.
    I'm a bit confused with the pinouts for the LCD (P8 pins 27-46).
    I take it these pins are not connected?
    Are the pins reserved for breakout purposes since you are using an HDMI cable to your LCD display?
    Or do you have in fact wired the LCD using a HDMI cable using these pins?

    1. I am using a BeagleBone Black with the on-board HDMI connector. The LCD pins on P8 are only connected to the on-board HDMI transmitter of the BBB, they are not connected to the cape I am using to control my 3D printer. There is an adapter or "bridge" board that re-arranges the pinout on the BeBoPr (originally designed for the BeagleBone White) so it does not conflict with the HDMI and MMC pins from the BBB.