C.H.I.P Introduction (for Nerds)

Introduction: C.H.I.P Introduction (for Nerds)

So you've got one, or your interested in one, but how to get started?

Most of the help directs new "chippers" to plug in an old TV. I'm odd, we've got one TV in the house and I'm not really thrilled about standing in front of it with a computer, keyboard stuff 2" from the screen. Plus I'm a collector of unloved computers, I install Linux and set them up some place quite and use them remotely over ssh. So this Instructable is about how I did that.

Step 1: Materials

  1. A C.H.I.P (we'll just call it chip)
  2. USB adapter (micro-B)
  3. Friendly Wifi Network
  4. Linux desktop (with your preferred peripherals: monitor, keyboard mouse)

Step 2: Connect Your Chip

The chip is like other mini-comptuers, it's USB powered. Once you plug it in, it should turn on.

If it doesn't turn in, you'll find a tiny button on the opposite side of the USB power that you can hold for about 2-seconds to turn it on.

So we'll connect our chip to our Linux desktop, this provides power and a data link.

Sadly it doesn't connect like the BBB, but it's pretty easy to connect none the less.

> sudo dmesg | tail

this will spam some information, what we're looking for is the "/dev/tty" device associated to the chip

We've just plugged it in so it should be at the "tail" of the dmesg. Mine was "/dev/ttyACM0" (< zero)

now we connect to the device:

> screen /dev/ttyACM0

Login: root

password: chip

Now you should be in!

Step 3: Connect to Wifi

This serial connection is dandy, but we can do better.

Lets use the wifi. Yeah seriously this little bugger is 1/2 the size of the rpi, but comes with wifi (and bluetooth!)

in our serial terminal

> nmtui

*my example is color via the ssh shell, the serial version you'll see will be the same but all ascii

Now select "Activate a connection"

find your wifi, enter your password and connect!

So easy right?

Step 4: Install the Essentials

> apt-get install ssh

Now the chip knows how to connect to the internet (presuming you've *got* Internet, you must be reading this online?)

I'd also configure a user account (change <USER> to your username)

> useradd <USER> -G sudo

> passwd <USER>

Step 5: Other Ideas?

if you want to "see" the desktop, I like to run xrdp

sudo apt-get install xrdp

then you can rdesktop (from windows or linux) into a desktop session that can persist.

you could install mumble-server and run voice chat,

I'm still experimenting with the options, I'd love to hear what you do/plan to do.

To give credit, I got started learning from this website.

Be the First to Share


    • For the Home Contest

      For the Home Contest
    • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

      Game Design: Student Design Challenge
    • Make It Bridge

      Make It Bridge



    6 years ago

    Fantastic guide!!! Thank you !!!


    7 years ago

    still waiting for mine ^^


    Reply 7 years ago

    Same here. It says that it is shipped though... Super excited.


    Reply 7 years ago

    I'm really stoked about this device. It's got all the awesome of the rpi, plus the baseline accessories you'd kludge on (wifi,bluethooth) in half the form factor!

    On top of that, the problem of Uninterruptable-Power that plagues ever RPI fan is solved with a standard battery pack! So awesome I'm giddy!


    7 years ago

    This is a great guide, thanks for posting!