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Kiwi BBAI-64 software installation instructions [Updated 28-Jan-24]



  • Is it possible for you to open an ssh port (22, via NAT) in your router so I could login and take a look? If so please send the details to Thanks.

  • jksjks
    edited June 2023

    Okay, I think I know what's going on.

    However having ssh access to your updated AI-64 would really help me as I need to develop a fix that is backward compatible for people who haven't updated yet. And I'd like to keep my AI-64 as-is for that purpose.

    Thank you.

  • You got it. Expect an email shortly.


  • A fix was found and will be in the v1.602 release.

    Big thanks to @engineercarl for discovering the issue.

  • jksjks
    edited June 2023

    Ugh, do not try setting your BBAI-64 Ethernet interface speed to 10 Mbps (admin network tab).

    Doing this will brick the Ethernet interface. Although there is a small window after a reboot in which you can recover.

    I don't know why this is. If you do an ethtool eth0 Linux claims 10 Mbps is supported. For v1.603 the 10 Mbps option will be greyed-out in the admin menu. Maybe this will be fixed in a later Debian release.

    How to recover: After a reboot the Ethernet always comes up initially in auto speed mode. And so will generally negotiate to 100 Mbps with your router/switch (1 Gbps is also possible). The "downshift" to 10 Mbps only happens after the Kiwi server starts up. The server has a built-in 30 second delay when started after a Beagle reboot. So this, plus the Linux startup time, gives you a short window to ssh into the Beagle and disable the Kiwi server. Then you can manually edit the Ethernet speed configuration back to auto and restart the server.

    Start a continuous ping to the Beagle. The pings will fail. Power cycle the Beagle.

    As soon as the pings start going through immediately ssh into the Beagle. If you can't run a continuous ping just keep trying an ssh. Don't wait for it to timeout. If it doesn't go through immediately interrupt it and try again. You're trying to get an ssh connection at the earliest possible moment.

    Then do:




    (now you can relax as the server is disabled)


    nano kiwi.json


      "ethernet_speed": 1,


      "ethernet_speed": 0,

    (write file and exit)



    The server should start back up and the Ethernet speed menu should show auto.

    Thanks @engineercarl for discovering this. I'm really surprised we didn't run across this sooner.

  • edited June 2023

    Okay, I was just about to do a third AI-64. I take it from the above discussion that I'm safe provided that I don't set the enet speed to 10 mbps and follow the directions at the start of the thread? (Which I've done successfully twice.)

    Oh, what the heck. I'll be impatient and try. What could possibly go wrong?

  • Yes, everything should be fine as along as you don't change to 10 Mbps. The default for that menu is auto.

  • edited June 2023

    Err. Groan. Looks like the third time was unlucky. Everything was going fine, but "make install" exited with "Error 2". So I'm looking at this (accidentally hit control-c after the error trying to copy, so disregard that):

    Per the directions I've stopped here and will wait for any advice.

  • jksjks
    edited June 2023

    Makefile is corrupted. Rather than a million back-and-forth forum posts, or emails, which eat up all my time, can you open/NAT the ssh port (22) on your router so I could login to this guy and have a look? Email pubic ip address (or domain) and Kiwi serial number to

  • jksjks
    edited June 2023

    Or first maybe try this:

    cd /root

    df -h . (make sure there is at least 700 MB free space under "Avail" column)

    mv Beagle_SDR_GPS B.bad

    Then continue starting with step 5 of the instructions, "git clone" etc.

  • That resulted in an unexpectedly short "make" command (just a few minutes). "Make install" then completed without error. But unfortunately, although halting the AI64 and rebooting seemed normal, when I removed power, attached the Kiwi and rebooted, the Kiwi server did not come up.

    (This was a working Kiwi on a BBG earlier today, so I know it isn't the Kiwi. The AI64 is new.)

    Rather than taking up more of your time, John, is there any reason why I can't follow the directions to flash the AI64 here on the "getting started" page ( and then pick up your directions at the beginning of the thread at the appropriate point? (which is....?)

  • jksjks
    edited June 2023

    If Debian 11 runs you really don't want to risk re-flashing the AI-64. You could easily end up bricking the whole thing.

    I really need to see all the output from the make as well as from the dog command.

    And do this and let's see what the server is doing at the moment:


    msl (paste, or email, the last few hundred lines of that)

  • edited June 2023

    Unfortunately I no longer have the output of the make.

    Dog says:

    Debian 11.7 Debian Bullseye Xfce Image 2022-01-14

    Linux BeagleBone 5.10.168-ti-arm64-r103 #1bullseye SMP Fri May 12 23:47:21 UTC 2023 aarch64 GNU/Linux

    Debian GNU/Linux 11 (bullseye)

    I'll e-mail the lengthy MSL. I haven't knowingly opened a port since the 2000s and have brand new networking hardware, so let me look at that. In the meantime the cdp / msl will come by email, although I wonder if this couple of lines doesn't answer the question:

    Jun 6 00:56:41 BeagleBone kiwid: 00:00:00.951 ....     /root/kiwi.config/admin.json: required parameter not found: port

    Jun 6 00:56:41 BeagleBone kiwid: PANIC: "cfg_int" (init/cfg.cpp, line 527)

    Thanks for your help as always. Will send the complete msl output and IP separately (assuming I figure this new hardware out).

  • /root/kiwi.config/admin.json: required parameter not found: port

    Oh boy, you're not the first to see this problem. That means there's a disastrous problem with v1.602. It was supposed to make config file reliability better, not worse.

    You can recover as follows:


    cp unix_env/kiwi.config/dist.admin.json /root/kiwi.config/admin.json

    It should come back up within a few minutes. Don't spend too much time customizing stuff until I can figure out what's going wrong.

  • Ugh. It's early, but this may actually be a bug in the Linux kernel (somewhere between 5.10.121 and 5.10.168) used by the recent BBAI-64 Debian 11.7 update. Need to verify. The other people seeing this problem all had new AI-64's running 11.7

  • jksjks
    edited June 2023

    If anyone else sees this problem, please, please, please, let me know. Whether you're running an AI-64 + Debian 11.7 or not. I've updated mine to 11.7 and I just can't seem to replicate the problem so far.

    BTW, the procedure mentioned above for recovering admin.json doesn't work. It will be fixed in v1.603. We use a similar procedure to fix a corrupted kiwi.json all the time. But for admin.json the recovery file dist.admin.json is missing a key parameter.

  • John,

    I know you're busy, but thought you might want to tweak this eventually.

    I just got my BBAI-64 in today, followed all of your instructions, but apparently, after installing bbai64-emmc-flasher-debian-11.7-xfce-arm64-2023-08-05-10gb and updating to 11.8 (according to /etc/debian_version), they renamed the directory:


    to just:


    Kiwi's top-level Makefile, line 1107 calls for:

       DIR_DTB_BASE = /opt/source/dtb-$(SYS_MAJ).$(SYS_MIN)-ti-arm64

    That was breaking make install. But when I edited that line to reflect the path change, make install worked and rebooted fine:

       DIR_DTB_BASE = /opt/source/dtb-$(SYS_MAJ).$(SYS_MIN)-ti

    I have attached all of the make / make install logs in case you wanted to look.


    P.S.: link (404) was replaced with

  • Thanks. I pushed a change that should allow compatibility with both situations. Also updated the URL of the AI64 update instructions.

  • Thank you, Sir.

  • I'm thinking about getting a BBAI-64.

    Can they be cooled entirely passively if they are not in an enclosure?

    And what are the available Channel/WF configurations, are there also full WF channels in the 14 channel configuration?

  • Can they be cooled entirely passively if they are not in an enclosure?

    Possibly. I use a large diameter fan with a slow rotation speed to keep the noise down. And moving just a little bit of air is all that is required.

    And what are the available Channel/WF configurations, are there also full WF channels in the 14 channel configuration?

    Same as the BBG/BBB/BBAI except the addition of rx14_wf0 mode. The increase in audio (rx) channels will fit in the FPGA when there are no waterfall channels (versus rx8_wf2). And the increased processing power of the AI64 makes rx14 possible.

    These limitations make anything else, e.g. rx12_rx4, not possible. That will have to wait for the next product..

  • Something in the "Update software on BeagleBone AI-64" notes in the main BB AI-64 update page brick my two AI-64 devices, both running "bbai64-debian-12.2-minimal-arm64-2023-10-07-6gb". This seems to be the boot0 changes in u-boot, likely tiboot3.bin being written to the eMMC.

    Fortunately I can recover them with "BBAI64 12.2 2023-10-07 6GB eMMC Minimal Flasher" (the latest at time of writing) image on SD Card, holding boot during powerup. With an SD card imaged, hold the BOOT button down until LEDs start flashing. Then wait until the LEDs stop racing back and fourth, flashing, etc., and you just have the power light on and nothing else. This takes around 5 minutes or so. Power down, remove SD card, power up normally and you're good to go.

    My experience has been that taking the latest image on SD Card, and then doing just...

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install --only-upgrade bb-j721e-evm-firmware generic-sys-mods
    sudo apt upgrade
    sudo reboot
 update the OS is fine and the rest of the KiwiSDR instructions complete successfully. Don't run the "Updating u-boot" or any further.

    I use avahi-discover to find the BeagleBone-AI64 IP on my network; works for many things.

  • jksjks
    edited January 27

    Yeah, I'm not surprised you had a bad time trying to use these instructions with Debian 12. They have never been validated for that situation. I updated the first post in this thread to reflect that.

    I have a Kiwi-specific Debian 12.4 image for BBG/BBB I'm about to release. BBAI and BBAI-64 images are almost ready. These will make the software installation process on BBAI/BBAI-64 similar to BBG/BBB where a simple re-flash from an sd card is all that is required.

  • Well, it almost works with Debian 12.

    I can add that the network page breaks the networking ;)

    I'm sat here now in a muddy field trying to figure out how to restore either static IP or DHCP functionality to a AI-64 KiwiSDR that doesn't start a network interface at boot :(

    I can get networking to run fine with the usual tricks, but systemd doesn't want me to have networking from boot any more after touching the networking page in the config menu.

    Keen for the new SD Card image - that'd save a bit of time.


    George M1GEO.

  • jksjks
    edited January 28

    Yeah, that's just not true if you're using the most recent version. I can switch between static and DHCP all day long on an AI-64 and it works fine. Even after rebooting etc. I tried it again just now.

    This is why I do custom, tested Kiwi-specific images. People who go out on their own with Linux doing random things are a big distraction..

  • edited January 29

    Okay, so there's some subtlety to my comment.

    I installed everything ahead of time as I didn't have the KiwiSDR board. Everything was fine.

    I restored the settings folder (actually specific files, listed below) and this broke everything. Restoring the old kiwi.config files didn't restore it. The files:




    Everything in networkd looked OK, and was working enough to get the USB Ethernet working. I could only connect via the USB ethernet interface, and eth0 wouldn't automatically come up again. Using command line tools, I could make it work, but on a reboot, no luck.

    The point is somewhat mute now, as I'll hopefully just wait for the new AI-64 image.

    Thanks, and keep up the good work!

    George M1GEO.

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