I've been lurking around this site for a while now. Reason: Serious tinkerer, have a few product ideas in mind. Need a small enough experimental platform to try out stuff (R-Pi is too big), and make prototypes I can use in the field to thrash out issues and algorithms used. Excited about the Edison, and the possibilities, especially with WiFi and Bluetooth onboard.
Now for the questions. I am a little worried about some of the issues I see on the site, especially the ones that talk about lack of documentation or for example blowing voltage regulators because they got the polarities reversed (I do see that the latest docs reflect the correct polarities, and would prevent something like this, but what about those who got burned before?). The projects I have in mind require some serious horsepower, and I would like to have detailed specs, especially about the SCU and different hardware assists on the SoC. Now, I do understand NDAs and the complexities involved thereof. But the Intel videos and marketing had me believe that the edison was targeted towards serious product designers, and that it would be an open platform.
My question to you guys (probably someone from Intel would be appropriate to answer this) is, how do you find the Edison so far? Mainly interested in the level of documentation that Intel is planning to provide for the serious developer, I mean especially since this is marketed as a serious hobbyist platform. Would hate to invest dollars and research time into the Edison to find that I'll never find the level of documentation required to realize my product.
That being said, the Edison seems like an awesome platform. Thanks a lot Intel (and this community), and keep up the good work!
the boards hardware is great but i cant say the same about yocto/poky
you must have a deep linux knowledge of package compilation and yoctos build system especially if you need a package where no recipe exists and if security is important you need to have knowledge to include patches, or you wait until someone else provides new versions...
the documentation is sometimes not really helpful
yocto and poky could produce a big work overhead you have to be aware of
but you could use ubilinux, its a debian community project but its not supported from intel
hardware alone is not all, firmware/software and documentation is also important...
Hey guys, actual Intel engineer working on Edison.
The documentation gaps are known. We have worked on them a lot, and those updates are near completion. To your point 'Mainly interested in the level of documentation that Intel is planning to provide for the serious developer, I mean especially since this is marketed as a serious hobbyist platform. Would hate to invest dollars and research time into the Edison to find that I'll never find the level of documentation required to realize my product.', this update should help with that a lot. If you're still into specific items that you need for your project, let us know - we do have the ability to add things between releases, too.
A small note about Ubilinux - it is both supported and sanctioned by Intel. We realize that Debian-type builds are much easier for quick prototyping (due to a package manager, among other things) and Yocto better for small footprint builds - something that has always been intended, but possibly poorly expressed.
More to the point though, docs are close.
as some others have mentioned before i can't find a good reason to use Yocto Linux in the current state. It misses not only a lot of software (small repo only), by default it also misses a lot of the kernel modules - thanks to AlexT who has added some of them in an unofficial repo. At least it would be fine to have all usable modules for the Edison as packages by default and each module can be installed if it is needed.
Normally the kernel sources can be found standalone in a git repo so the kernel can be built individually for own purposes in some minutes only. I know, currently are a lot of patches for the Edison platform necessary and it's not so easy as it could be to build also the latest kernel releases.
We realize that Debian-type builds are much easier for quick prototyping (due to a package manager, among other things) and Yocto better for small footprint builds - something that has always been intended, but possibly poorly expressed.
Ok, i also switched to Ubilinux first but since a few weeks i installed Archlinux which works fine like Ubilinux but also runs with the Yocto kernel until now. Archlinux uses the latest software and systemd versions and is better comparable with the Debian SID branch. Just to say that many Linux distributions should work on Edisons Atom processor, it is x86, a big advantage against the ARM world.
Finally i think it would be very helpful to see the necessary patches in the vanilla kernel or at least in a git branch without any dependancies to the Yocto build process.
small note about Ubilinux - it is both supported and sanctioned by Intel. We realize that Debian-type builds are much easier for quick prototyping (due to a package manager, among other things) and Yocto better for small footprint builds - something that has always been intended, but possibly poorly expressed.
Ubilinux is not supported if you read some comments from *_Intel members so your statement does not reflect the reality
one of many examples:
your "Intel supports it" would be true if Intel provides also a fully working debian based Image/SDK what is currently not the case
looks like yours and Intels definition of "support" is very different...
Thanks a lot for your replies. Yes, I had the same feeling when I browsed through documentation for the Edison, and Yocto. Have started looking at various distributions such as Debian and Ubilinux. I am quite new to Linux, but have worked extensively with other real-time OS's such as VxWorks, and mostly a bare-metal guy. Given enough information and/or a resonable support system, I feel I can eventually work out and solve issues I may find, and this was the reason for my query. I have worked a lot with the Arduino Teensy and am very familiar with that environment and the whole Arduino ecosystem.
I also thank MPayne and mmi for your responses. Its encouraging to hear that Intel plans to provide much more support than is available currently. This seems like such an awesome piece of hardware, am excited by the possibilities that it offers! MPayne, Shall wait for the next update, is this an update to the documentation available, a new image, Or both?
Thanks a lot!
I agree with you. One of my current projects is clarifying our current Debian vs Yocto position - I also agree that if a Debian image is 'supported', it should be able to perform the same use cases. I attempted to communicate this with my 'poorly expressed' comment, but I'm not much of a word smith in type.
We're currently reviewing both an image and new docs. We're intending to release both in a short time. We have a few more check boxes to check before Intel will let us release the build. I can't give an exact date because the steps left don't depend on my part - I already blessed it.
'Finally i think it would be very helpful to see the necessary patches in the vanilla kernel or at least in a git branch without any dependancies to the Yocto build process.'
I like that idea - let me see if the team has plans to implement it. Either way, I'll take a look at it.
i think debian as supported distribution (image, sdk and so on) would be a big benefit for users and of course Intel
OK, it's been a while since I posted this ... and since then I've been moderately busy tinkering around with yocto, and the edison build. Successfully built an image ... havent tested it out yet, since I dont have an edison yet. Still dont see much in the way of either detailed documentation on the edison, or support on github. I dont think there's a repository for sources in git, is there?
Im sure the boys at intel are working hard to meet deadlines and everything, but just wondering when there would be more in terms of documentation and sources. Thanks a lot and keep up the good work!
The new docs are housed here:/community/makers/edison/documentation/content Software & Documentation
The links are being updated today.