CHAPTER 5Practical Beagle Board Programming

This chapter describes several different programming options for the Beagle boards, including scripted and compiled languages. An LED flashing example is provided in all the languages so that you can investigate each language's structure and syntax. The advantages and disadvantages of each language are discussed along with example uses. The chapter then focuses on the C/C++ programming languages, describing their principles and why object-oriented programming (OOP) is appropriate and necessary for the development of scalable embedded systems applications. Finally, the chapter details how you can interface directly to the Linux kernel using the GNU C library. A single chapter can only scratch the surface on this topic, so this one focuses on physical programming tasks, which are required throughout the remainder of this book.


  • Beagle board with a terminal connection (see Chapter 2)
  • Desktop Linux Installation (e.g., Debian in a VM—see Chapter 3)


As discussed in Chapter 3, embedded Linux is essentially “Linux on an embedded system.” If your favorite programming language is available under Linux, then it is also likely to be available for the Beagle boards. So, is your favorite language suitable for programming your board? That depends on what you intend to do with the board. Are you interfacing to electronics devices/modules? Do you plan to write rich user interfaces? Are you planning ...

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