Installing a new version of the angstrom Linux distribution onto a beagle bone board is as simple as copying the operating system into a SD card. For Mac OS X users, this task can be done through the terminal.

Step #1 – Go to the beaglebone angstrom website, and download the latest *.img.xz pre-compiled file.

Step #2 – Since xz is probably not installed in your base Mac OS X system, download the homebrew software package. After you install homebrew you can also install xz by typing the following in the command line:

brew install xz

Step #3 – In order for you to uncompress the OS into the SD card you need to have administrator privileges. In my computer, I have an account called administrator, so first I need to substitute my current user identity with the administrator. This can be done using the su command. You also need to be in the superuser mode, so after su you also need to use sudo.

su – Administrator
sudo -s

Unlike what is reported on the angstrom website you probably won’t be able to write to the SD card without running unmount first. When you try to uncompress the OS file into the SD card you will probably get a Resource busy error message.
Here is a summary of all commands this far:

Step #4 – In order to overwrite all the partitions on the SD card, you have to make sure the mac OS isn’t using it first. On the command line, type mount and once you know in which directory the device is mounted on (eg. /Volumes/BEAGLE_BONE), type:
[stextbox id=”grey” float=”false” image=”null”]diskutil umountDisk /Volumes/BEAGLE_BONE[/stextbox]

Step #5 – Once that is done you need to figure out what is the system identifier for your SD card (e.g. disk1). Just type:

diskutil list

Step #6 – You are now ready to load the OS into the SD card. This process will take around 30 minutes.

xz -dkc Angstrom-Cloud9-IDE-eglibc-ipk-v2011.10-core-beaglebone-r0.img.xz > /dev/disk1