Welcome to new site for BeagleBoard.org docs!

Quick start#

What’s In the Box#

BeagleBone® AI comes in the box with the heat sink and antenna already attached. Developers can get up and running in five minutes with no microSD card needed. BeagleBone® AI comes preloaded with a Linux distribution. In the box you will find:

BeagleBone AI Overview


For board files, 3D model, regulatory docs and more, you can checkout BeagleBona-AI repository on OpenBeagle.

What’s Not in the Box#

You will need to purchase:

More information or to purchase a replacement heat sink or antenna, please go to these websites:


The pre-attached heat sink has M3 holes spaced 20x20 mm. The height of the heat sink clears the USB type A socket, and all other components on the board except the 46-way header sockets and the Ethernet socket.

If you run all of the accelerators or have an older software image, you’ll likely need fan. To find a fan, visit the link to fans in the FAQ.


BeagleBone AI can run HOT! Even without running the accelerators, getting up to 70C is not uncommon.

Read about Fan update for BeagleBone AI on Forum <https://forum.beagleboard.org/t/fan-update-for-beaglebone-ai/1964>.

  1. Official BeagleBone Fan Cape

  2. Coolerguys 25mm (25x25x10) USB Fan <https://www.coolerguys.com/en-in/collections/usb-fans/products/25mm-25x25x10-usb-fan>

Main Connection Scenarios#

This section will describe how to connect the board for use. The board can be configured in several different ways. Below we will walk through the most common scenarios. NOTE: These connection scenarios are dependent on the software image presently on your BeagleBone® AI. When all else fails, follow the instructions at Upgrade BeagleBone AI software.

Tethered to a PC

The most common way to program BeagleBone® AI is via a USB connection to a PC. If your computer has a USB C type port, BeagleBone® AI will both communicate and receive power directly from the PC. If your computer does not support USB C type, you can utilize a powered USB C hub to power and connect to BeagleBone® AI which in turn will connect to your PC. You can also use a powered USB C hub to power and connect peripheral devices such as a USB camera. After booting, the board is accessed either as a USB storage device or via the browser on the PC. You will need Chrome or Firefox on the PC.


Start with this image “am57xx-eMMC-flasher-debian-10.3-iot-tidl-armhf-2020-04-06-6gb.img.xz” loaded on your BeagleBone® AI.

  1. Locate the USB Type-C connector on BeagleBone® AI

USB connector and serial debug.
  1. Connect a USB type-C cable to BeagleBone® AI USB type-C port.

Connecting serial cable.
  1. Connect the other end of the USB cable to the PC USB 3 port.

connecting to PC
  1. BeagleBone® AI will boot.

  2. You will notice some of the 5 user LEDs flashing

  3. Look for a new mass storage drive to appear on the PC.

BeagleBone storage drive options
  1. Open the drive and open START.HTM with your web browser.

BeagleBone drive Getting started
  1. Follow the instructions in the browser window.

BeagleBone instructions
  1. Go to Visual Studio Code IDE.

Connecting a 3 PIN Serial Debug Cable#

A 3 PIN serial debug cable can be helpful to debug when you need to view the boot messages through a terminal program such as putty on your host PC. This cable is not needed for most BeagleBone® AI boot up scenarios.

Cables: https://git.beagleboard.org/beagleboard/beaglebone-ai/-/wikis/Frequently-Asked-Questions#serial-cable

Locate the 3 PIN debug header on BeagleBone® AI, near the USB C connection.

BeagleBone AI Overview

Press the small white connector into the 3 PIN debug header. The pinout is:

  • Pin 1 (the pin closest to the screw-hole in the board. It is also marked with a shape on the silkscreen): GND

  • Pin 2: UART1_RX (i.e. this is a BB-AI input pin)

  • Pin 3: UART1_TX (i.e. BB-AI transmits out on this pin)

BeagleBone AI Overview