Bootstrapping your device

Boostrapping is actually initialising your Hex from scratch. It encompasses 3 steps:

  1. Burning bootable images on all 6 SD cards of your device
  2. Bringing the system to the latest level of the firmware
  3. Verifying proper functioning of your device


We bootstrap your Hex for you in our labs!!! So, unless you have been explicitly asked by us to rebootstrap your device, you should NEVER execute this procedure yourself!!!

Burning SD cards

We have build a project to generate the SD cards on a laptop. Our supported environment is a laptop running Ubuntu (14.4) with an integrated SD card reader.

All our tests to burn SD cards with an USB dongle failed miserably. We have no clue why. However, this could allow us to generate 6 SD cards fully in parallel!

  1. Clone the bigboards-bootstrap project at
  2. Adjust the file groupvars/all to
    1. suit your environment regarding SD card reader which is defined under the disk section, specifically dev and part
    2. configure the script to generate SD cards for a specific Hex under the hex section, specifically name and id
  3. Run the ./ [1..6] script for each SD card
  4. Insert the generated SD cards in order in your Hex.
    1. The 1st card is for the master node, i.e. the node where the network uplink is connected.
    2. The 2nd until 6th card are inserted in clockwise order when looking at the hex from the top

Hex and order of nodes

Update your Hex to the latest firmware level

After you generated your SD cards for your Hex, it is initialised at firmware v1.0. So we need to bring it to the latest level of the firmware before we can start installing e.g. the bb CLI or anything else.

  1. Login to your master node
    1. Connect it to your LAN
    2. Connect it to power
    3. ssh bb@<hex>
  2. Check your current firmware version on the versions page
    1. grep bigboards /etc/apt/sources.list | cut -d' ' -f3
    2. sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list
    3. deb <version> main as last line
  3. Run these commands to install the updater and MMC into the latest version
    1. sudo apt-get update
    2. sudo apt-get install bigboards-cli
    3. bb system init which asks for your device's name and number of nodes
    4. bb system bootstrap
    5. bb firmware upgrade <version>
    6. bb firmware update
  4. If your internal network is on a conflichting range, you can switch the IP range
    1. bb network switch xxx.yyy.zzz to choose the network subnet you like to use.
    2. Normally your Hex is initialized to where xyz is the Hex's number in our backoffice application (Podio)

Verify proper functioning of your Hex

After the initialisation in the previous step, your Hex should be at the required firmware and fully operational.

Verify your Hex by

  1. browse to the management console http://<hex>
  2. check that all your nodes are visible in the dashboard
  3. can you access all your nodes via SSH?