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I was able to successfully install ROS on an IGEPv2 board, which is very similar to the original Beagleboard. Here's a rough list of steps:

  1. You'll have to get a working Ubuntu 10.10 install on the Beagleboard.

  2. Next, do an SVN-based install. You can find directions for Cturtle at Installing on Ubuntu from SVN. This will take some time to install, as it will have to build a lot from source on the Beagleboard. You may also have to skip installing certain packages that include GUI things. For example, I don't remember if Ogre compiled successfully on my IGEPv2 board - if it didn't, then anything that depends on Ogre such as rviz would fail to compile. However, since I intended the board to be a headless computer, I didn't really care much if visualization tools failed to compile and install.

If you prefer to cross-compile, checkout the docs for eros, which is a set of packages and tools for cross-compiling and install ROS on embedded systems.