2 Replies Latest reply on Sep 9, 2014 7:59 AM by zoopster

    Before you buy a Galileo

    Clayton Hofrock

      I think it is important for people to know some things before they go out and buy a Galileo. Spending ($65-100 depending on where you buy) for a board that will not work for your project will be frustrating.


      The good things

      1. The Galileo board runs Linux
        • Interactions between Linux and Arduino are fairly easy.
        • With a few modifications you can turn your Galileo into a WiFi hot spot and people can use their phones to control the Arduino I/O pins.
        • Note: it is a reduced version of Linux, so it does not support everything that other distributions might be able to do
      2. The Galileo board emulates Arduino functionality.
        • The Galileo board runs a Linux program that can emulate Arduino sketches.
        • The Sketches are even developed in the familiar Arduino IDE, and downloaded to the Galileo similar to other Arduino products.
        • The board does not have an Arduino micro-controller, this is an important distinction vs other products.
      3. The Galileo board has a pinout that is compatible with Arduino shields.
        • Note: this means the pins are there, but does not guarantee compatibility even for official Arduino shields.
      4. It has a built in Ethernet port.
        • Just plug in an Ethernet cable and you can start communicating with the internet.
      5. It has a built in SD Card slot.
        • Just format the card as FAT or FAT32 and you can start using the SD card.
        • Limited to 32GB in size, supports SDHC.
        • Currently has a bug with file creation, but there is a work around, and that should be fixed in the next release.
      6. It is simple and fairly cheap to add on WiFi (~$30 for card, antennas, and mounting hardware)
        • Most mPCIe WiFi cards should work, as long as there is a Linux driver.
        • Some WiFi cards also include Bluetooth, however, I am not sure that it will work within Arduino sketches.
      7. The Galileo board includes a USB Host connector.
        • There seem to be issues with the Arduino USB library though.
      8. It is fairly simple to host a web site on the Galileo board.
      9. The Galileo Linux has Python installed.


      The Bad things:

      1. It is early days for the Galileo board. There are bugs, there are missing features, there are limitations.
        • PusleIn(), Servo() not implemented yet (should be added)
        • Timer1, mills(), micro(), have bugs that cause them to not work as they do on Arduino (should be fixed )
        • There are likely other missing features or bugs that have not been found yet.
      2. The I/O speed for the Galileo board is about 100-1000x slower than Arduino pins
        • This can cause problems with talking to sensors and other objects.
        • This makes it practically impossible to use the Galileo for something like a Quadcopter.
        • Also some sensors will not work at all (like the DHT11)
      3. The Power consumption is much higher than Arduino boards.
        • The exact power numbers will vary, but it is best if your project includes plugging the Galileo into a wall socket.
        • The capability exists to reduce the power, but I am not sure how quickly this issue will be addressed.
      4. Any Arduino libraries that use AVR will not work.
        • AVR is specific to Arduino architecture, and no replacement has been developed yet.
        • 1. Re: Before you buy a Galileo

          Thanks chofrock,

          What an important post about not being frustrated when buying just released hardware. As a hobbyist, I got into many hard times with not-so-ready boards (latest example is Cubieboard2, what a brick...) Just to say that before buying the Galileo, even with Intel's humongous force, I knew everything did not worked out-of-the-box. Read the manuals. I got a lot of things working since they have many documentation.

          • 2. Re: Before you buy a Galileo

            Nice write up!

            You won't be able to run Ubuntu (without heavy mods/recompiling), but you can run debian quite easily.

            With debian, it will run things like Node Red without any problem so you can create some really interesting IoT projects.

            There is a nasty CPU multi thread bug that affects libpthreads so make sure you have a patched version of libpthread.so that disables multithreading.

            The gen 1 and gen 2 DO NOT RUN THE SAME POWER! Never use gen 1 power on gen 2 or vice-versa.

            Gen 2 is a rather substantial board redesign.