Custom Beaglebone Black Image

The following document describes our own method of creating a custom Kali Linux Beaglebone Black ARM image and is targeted at developers. If you would like to install a pre-made Kali image, check out our Install Kali on Beaglebone Black article.

You’ll need to have root privileges to do this procedure, or the ability to escalate your privileges with the command β€œsudo su”.

01. Create a Kali rootfs

Build a Kali rootfs as described in our Kali documentation, using an armhf architecture. By the end of this process, you should have a populated rootfs directory in ~/arm-stuff/rootfs/kali-armhf.

02. Create the Image File

Next, we create the physical image file, which will hold our Beaglebone Black rootfs and boot images:

:~$ sudo apt install -y kpartx xz-utils sharutils
:~$ mkdir -p ~/arm-stuff/images/
:~$ cd ~/arm-stuff/images/
:~$ dd if=/dev/zero of=kali-custom-bbb.img conv=fsync bs=4M count=7000

03. Partition and Mount the Image File

:~$ parted --script kali-custom-bbb.img mklabel msdos
:~$ fdisk kali-custom-bbb.img <<EOF

:~$ parted --script kali-custom-bbb.img set 1 boot on
:~$ fdisk kali-custom-bbb.img <<EOF

:~$ loopdevice=`losetup -f --show kali-custom-bbb.img`
:~$ device=`kpartx -va $loopdevice| sed -E 's/.*(loop[0-9])p.*/\1/g' | head -1`
:~$ device="/dev/mapper/${device}"
:~$ bootp=${device}p1
:~$ rootp=${device}p2
:~$ mkfs.vfat -F 16 $bootp -n boot
:~$ mkfs.ext4 $rootp -L kaliroot
:~$ mkdir -p boot
:~$ mkdir -p root
:~$ mount $bootp boot
:~$ mount $rootp root

04. Copy and Modify the Kali rootfs

:~$ rsync -HPavz /root/arm-stuff/rootfs/kali-armhf/ root
:~$ echo nameserver > root/etc/resolv.conf

05. Compile the Beaglebone Black Kernel and Modules

:~$ cd ~/arm-stuff/
:~$ wget
:~$ tar -xjf gcc-linaro-arm-linux-gnueabihf-4.7-2013.03-20130313_linux.tar.bz2
:~$ export CC=`pwd`/gcc-linaro-arm-linux-gnueabihf-4.7-2013.03-20130313_linux/bin/arm-linux-gnueabihf-
:~$ git clone git://
:~$ cd u-boot/
:~$ git checkout v2013.04 -b beaglebone-black
:~$ wget
:~$ patch -p1 < 0001-am335x_evm-uEnv.txt-bootz-n-fixes.patch
:~$ make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=${CC} distclean
:~$ make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=${CC} am335x_evm_config
:~$ make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=${CC}
:~$ cd ../
:~$ mkdir -p kernel/
:~$ cd kernel/
:~$ git clone git://
:~$ cd linux-dev/
:~$ git checkout origin/am33x-v3.8 -b tmp
:~$ ./
:~$ mkdir -p ../patches/
:~$ wget -O ../patches/mac80211.patch
:~$ cd KERNEL/
:~$ patch -p1 --no-backup-if-mismatch < ../../patches/mac80211.patch
:~$ cd ../
:~$ ./tools/
:~$ cd ../
:~$ cat <<EOF > boot/uEnv.txt
mmcroot=/dev/mmcblk0p2 ro
mmcrootfstype=ext4 rootwait fixrtc
uenvcmd=run loaduimage; run loadfdt; run mmcargs; bootz 0x80200000 - 0x80F80000
:~$ cp -v kernel/linux-dev/deploy/3.8.13-bone20.zImage boot/zImage
:~$ mkdir -p boot/dtbs
:~$ tar -xovf kernel/linux-dev/deploy/3.8.13-bone20-dtbs.tar.gz -C boot/dtbs/
:~$ tar -xovf kernel/linux-dev/deploy/3.8.13-bone20-modules.tar.gz -C root/
:~$ tar -xovf kernel/linux-dev/deploy/3.8.13-bone20-firmware.tar.gz -C root/lib/firmware/
:~$ cat <<EOF > root/etc/fstab
/dev/mmcblk0p2 / auto errors=remount-ro 0 1
/dev/mmcblk0p1 /boot/uboot auto defaults 0 0
:~$ umount $rootp
:~$ kpartx -dv $loopdevice
:~$ losetup -d $loopdevice

Use the dd command to image this file to your SD card. In our example, we assume the storage device is located at /dev/sdb. Change this as needed:

:~$ dd if=kali-linux-bbb.img of=/dev/sdb conv=fsync bs=4M

Once the dd operation is complete, unmount and eject the SD card and boot your Beaglebone Black into Kali Linux. When booting you will need to press and hold the β€œBOOT” button, it’s the one closest to the microSD card.

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