Debian 8.7 (Jessie) 2017-03-19 images are now published on https://beagleboard.org/latest-images, but this version isn’t likely to live more than a few weeks before we push yet another. The big update here is eliminating the need to install drivers for any of Windows, Mac or Linux host users when working over USB networking. This was accomplished by updating the default RNDIS interface to use a USB class/subclass/protocol recommended by Microsoft for users of Windows Vista and newer. To support Mac OS X out of the box, we added a second virtual network interface supporting the CDC-ECM mode, rather than RNDIS.
Mac users are no longer recommended to install HoRNDIS, but man do we appreciate all that Joshua Wise did in supporting the BeagleBoard.org community by creating that product and continuing to resolve issues around it on subsequent OS X releases. Mac users should now be able to discover their boards using http://beaglebone.local as Bonjour/Avahi/mDNS is a standard service on OS X, but note that http://192.168.6.2 should be the new magic IP address for this new interface.
One issue I’ve seen on Macs with the latest image is the interface now shows itself as a gateway, encouraging you to drive traffic through this port—and that could mess up your connection to the Internet. Your BeagleBone should proxy the traffic fine if it is connected to the Internet, but the DNS proxy isn’t working the best, meaning you might not be able to look up the names of servers on the Internet. One quick work-around is to apply the Google DNS servers (184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11) to your new network adapter. There are many alternatives to that, but those are ones I know off the top of my head. I think we should be able to address this whole experience issue by asking Joshua how he avoided the issue with HoRNDIS—and that is the next step.
The other big updates here are some fixes to BoneScript (0.6.1) and libroboticscape (0.3.4) for BeagleBone Blue, the new robotics-focused BeagleBone. Many feature gaps and bugs remain, but this fixes some of the immediate show-stoppers for people getting started. Now that the board is out there in 1,000s of users hands, I expect the bug reports to start rolling in and we can use that to drive immediate development to resolve issues.
So, long live 2017-03-19…. but not very long.