Installing Ubuntu on a Pandaboard

Installing the pre-built binaries for the Panda board onto an SD card is fairly straight forward. Omappedia provides well documented instructions on how to do so. Follow the linked instructions and you should have Ubuntu up and running in about 30-45 minutes.


  • Download the latest netbook version of Ubuntu: Ubuntu-Netbook 11.04
  • Make sure to use the HDMI —> DVI connector when booting Ubuntu on the Pandaboard. There is a bug with using the HDMI —> HDMI connector that will send you into an infinite loop when trying to create an account.
  • Once you have booted Ubuntu on the panda board, run the update manager. After that, refresh all the software sources. Once that is done then follow the instructions to install the OMAP4 Addons.
  • Ethernet and Wireless should work out of the box. USB appears to be fully functional. Bluetooth does not seem to work immediatly, there may be some workarounds.

You should now have a fully functional Ubuntu running on the panda board. The next step is to install ROS.

Vona's Notes

  • tested ubuntu and linaro on sandisk 8GB class 10; speeds similar, actually ubuntu slightly faster
  • linaro also shows lots of gfx bugs but that may be due to compiz and hw accel 3d, which both seem disabled on ubuntu even after installing ubuntu-omap4-extras (?)
  • 3d is working with mesa on ubuntu, not terible; actually may be faster and less buggy than sgx (hw accel) on linaro
  • emacs23 display issue may be font related, got the bad behavior before installing my .emacs with custom font
  • tested both oracle embedded jre (no jdk) and openjdk (both java6); oracle was significantly faster
  • launchpad bugs for linux-ti-omap4