I am writing up a web document about using the Edison to run some antique "S100 Bus" computer hardware. See:-
S100 Computers - Edison CPU Board if interested.
I have become very frustrated with the process of flashing and re-flashing Edison boards in the breakout board configuration. Here is what I have in the write-up so far:-
Running Edison Linux Software.
Intel utilized a brand of Linux called Yocto to run this board. Yocto originated in 2010 from a Linux Foundation workgroup whose goal is to produce tools and processes that will enable the creation of Linux distributions for embedded software that are independent of the underlying architecture of the embedded software itself. While not on the original chips the recent Edison boards come with Linux already installed.
When you obtain your Edison you can bring up the board as follows from your PC (or Mac) via a USB/serial link. It is a fairly straightforward process. You first need to provide power to the Edison breakout board. Power can be supplied as 7-15 volts to J21 (see the picture below), on the actual breakout board (be careful, note the polarity), or (more safely), via J16 from a PC USB serial port.
J16 is a fully USB compatible, "micro AB", OTG (power “on the go”) port. If you plug a micro A cable into this port, the Intel® Edison module will connect to a PC as the host; if you plug a micro B cable into this port, the Intel® Edison module will connect to the PC as a device. USB micro-A style connectors are not too common. I use a USB micro-B style connector in J16 to just supply power. You can use any typical USP phone charger etc. We will use the other USB port, J3, that uses a micro-B style socket/connector to communicate over a serial link with the PC as described below.
Besides the Intel breakout board which we use here, you can also bring up the Edison in the Intel Arduino motherboard. This is also described on the Edison web site.
While the Edison comes with Linux Yocto, ready to run on this board you will need to configure the board to run with your home WiFi settings as well as a few other things.
One of the disadvantages of working with the Edison (at least the breakout board), is that "flashing" it is somewhat temperamental. I found the Intel web site instructions confusing if not actually wrong. What seems to work for me is if you get a new Edison to flash is just connect the J21 port with a micro-B socket to your PC USB port and run the Intel flashing software. For some reason if I want to later re-flash the board I have to bring the Edison command line up (J3/power J21), and flash over the J3 port. If I try to re-flash with the J16 port the "Next" button never lights up.
On the same web site Intel supplies a "manual" approach to flashing the Edison. This has got to be an exercise in frustration. Convoluted/unclear instructions, long file paths, multiple downloads -- never got it to work.
Am I missing something? Have others had the same experience? Is the a better description (newbie, step by step format) written up elsewhere?