This guide shows how to install Arch Linux using a USB-Stick. A running U-Boot installation is required, in my case this was U-Boot 2013.04 which came with the original image. Next, I created a memory stick. I followed the documentation of Arch Linux ARM, I just used a USB stick instead of a Micro SD-Card. Now, plug the USB stick into your Beagle Bone Black and press a key to get the U-Boot prompt. U-Boot has the ability to boot from a USB stick, but some custom commands are required. First you need to scan the USB bus system.
U-Boot# usb reset
USB0: scanning bus 0 for devices... 1 USB Device(s) found
scanning usb for storage devices... 1 Storage Device(s) found
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Today I received my BeagleBone Black! For 45$ you get more power and even HDMI. There is also a serial debug port now on a distinct header connected to UART0 of the CPU. The user can connect to this serial port with a TTL converter (like the FTDI-USB-Cables) and a terminal emulator. Set the baudrate of 115200 and you should be able to see U-Boot, the boot process and a login prompt in the end. Everything worked fine, except when I tried to connect using SSH it failed with an error:
$ ssh 192.168.7.2
ssh_exchange_identification: Connection closed by remote host
I could no figure out how to resolve this on the currently running firmware so I followed a tip on the mailing list to just upgrade the firmware. On linux this is normally a fairly easy process, one has just to decompress the image and pipe it to a SD-Card.
unxz --stdout BBB-eMMC-flasher-2013.04.13-DDR3-400MHz.img.xz | dd of=/dev/mmcblk0
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