Cross Compiling on Linux for the Edison

Cross compile for Edison

Since I had a couple requests on how to cross-compile C/C++ programs for the Edison, I figured a quick post wouldn’t hurt. Note that I am using Ubuntu 14.04 (64-bit) for this example.

Download “SDK – Cross Compile Tools” from https://software.intel.com/en-us/iot/hardware/edison/downloads.

Unzip and run the installer. Note that the name of the files may change depending on the version of the SDK and your operating system. Continue reading

Run a Script on Edison Boot

Edison Base Block

Image courtesy of sparkfun.com

This one took me forever to figure out, and thanks to some posts over at the Intel Edison forums, I finally managed to get a JavaScript program to run as soon as the Edison starts. I know that the XDK also runs a service to execute JavaScript programs on boot, but I wanted a more general solution. One could configure the systemd service file to run any program/script on boot (assuming the Edison has the right interpreter). Continue reading

Writing Your Own UPM Module: Getting Started

Intel-IoT_LogoImage courtesy of Intel iot-devkit GitHub account

UPM (Useful Packages and Modules) is a high-level library that relies on MRAA to talk to hardware peripherals over GPIO, SPI, UART, etc. Both libraries were created by Intel and come packaged with the Galileo and Edison boards. MRAA has support for other single board computers, like the Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone Black, according to the MRAA documentation.

MRAA is the low-level driver that controls the individual bits for the GPIO. UPM is a collection of libraries (modules) that provides the necessary software for various sensors, motor drivers, etc. Continue reading

Creating a Custom Linux Kernel for the Edison (release 2.1)

In this post, I will go over how to create a custom Linux image for the Intel Edison using the Yocto Project Edison source code release 2.1.

Intel Edison_and_Pi_Block

Apparently, it’s been almost exactly a year since I originally posted how to create a custom Linux kernel. Weird.

Well, since that time, I’ve had some people ask about updating that tutorial, as a few steps no longer apply and the whole thing is out of date. It seems that the Yocto Project also grows and changes over the months.

I created this tutorial with the help of the Yocto Project Getting Started Guide, the Intel Edison Board Support Package, and this thread on the Intel forums.

A few notes before we get started:

  • All of these steps are performed on a Linux host machine. I recommend Ubuntu (or another Debian distribution), as I use apt-get liberally.
  • You will need at least 50 GB of free hard drive space. The Yocto Project can be quite large.
  • The hard drive should be a Linux partition (e.g. Ext4). Trying to execute some of the scripts from an NTFS drive proved difficult.

Continue reading

Bluetooth Low Energy Peripherals with JavaScript

Edison with wires!

Previously, I’ve shown how to enable Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connections using Python. In the past few months, I have been furiously learning JavaScript for an upcoming set of tutorials dealing with the Intel® Edison. Along the way, I needed to make a demo using BLE and JavaScript, which invariably led me to the bleno module.

Bleno is a great tool, but I found some of the examples a little confusing to follow (I get easily lost when a program is split into more than 2 files without a well-documented API). As a result, I constructed a simple echo server demo program that illustrates how characteristics work in BLE. Continue reading

Using Python and BLE to Receive Data from the RFduino

Edison and RFduino

It’s should be no surprise that I enjoy working with the Edison. It may not be as easy to work with as the Raspberry Pi, but I still like it.

My current project includes getting the Edison to talk Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to another device. The RFduino is the device in question, as I should be able to receive data as well as control peripherals attached to the RFduino. The final project will be an addition to the IoT YouTube series that I am working on (at SparkFun). I’m not spoiling anything! Continue reading

Creating a Custom Linux Kernel for the Edison

[Edit – 12/20/15] – This guide is now out of date. A new walkthrough showing how to build a custom Linux image with the Yocto Project and Edison source code (release 2.1) can be found here.

Intel Edison image courtesy of SparkFun Electronics
Intel Edison image courtesy of SparkFun Electronics

If you want to add custom options to the Edison Linux kernel, you will need to compile it from source and enable the options you want. This tutorial is based on Intel’s Edison BSP User GuideVijayNooki‘s post in the Intel Forum, and hammock‘s post in the Intel Forum.

You will need to perform these steps on a Linux host machine with apt-get installed (e.g. Ubuntu). Continue reading

Initial Thoughts on the Intel Edison

To be perfectly honest, when I made this video, I had not even powered up an Edison. I feel weird promoting something that I have not played with, but that’s the way business goes sometimes, I suppose.

Holding up the Edison

A week later, I was able to get my hands on a working Edison unit. Flying home from Maker Faire, New York, I decided to pull out my laptop and the Edison to see what I could do – unassisted by the Internet (Well, OK, the night before I downloaded the drivers and firmware update from Intel’s site). As an aside, I’m always surprised no one freaks out whenever I pull out an Arduino to work on in the middle of a flight… Continue reading