Got C.H.I.P.?

Posted on Thu 20 October 2016 in english

Some months I received my C.H.I.P. - a 9$ computer with a 1 GHz CPU, 512 MG RAM and built-in WiFi. My plan was to run distributed tasks with Elixir on it. But how did I get there?

Open up C.H.I.P. flasher tool with Chromium/Chrome, install the plugin and afterwards use the tool to flash the latest HEADLESS image on your device. We don't need a GUI eating our precious resources.

After connecting it to a power source (5V micro-USB) and your TV (composite) the little board boots. To connect to your wifi type:

sudo nmcli device wifi connect '(your wifi network name/SSID)' password '(your wifi password)' ifname wlan0

You better run updates first. Seriously. Come back afterwards.

Did updates? Great! Rebooted? Even greater!

C.H.I.P. comes with ssh-server enabled, so there's no need to enable the daemon. You can try to connect to 'chip@chip' (default user + host name) - password 'chip'.

C.H.I.P. utilizes Debian's default repositories for managing packages (Jessie-backports to be specific), but those repositories don't include Elixir unfortunately. Do get it download the official repo-enabling package from Erlang-Solutions:

wget && sudo dpkg -i erlang-solutions_1.0_all.deb
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get -y install erlang elixir

warning: the VM is running with native name encoding of latin1 which may cause Elixir to malfunction as it expects utf8. Please ensure your locale is set to UTF-8 (which can be verified by running "locale" in your shell)

This warning will appear in your installation when you run iex, Elixir's interactive shell, for the first time - to fix this install locales, reconfigure your system and reboot again.

sudo apt-get -y install locales && sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales

When asked about the system locale select something which includes UTF-8 in its name.

Elixir 1.3

Erlang-Solutions' repo contains Elixir 1.2.4 or Erlang 18 for ARM. If you want newer versions you gotta compile your stuff by hand. To switch versions in an easy way there's kiex - an Elixir version manager. Kiex need some dependencies so let's install more stuff!

sudo apt-get -y install build-essential git
\curl -sSL | bash -s

Add the following to your .bashrc/.zshrc:

test -s "$HOME/.kiex/scripts/kiex" && source "$HOME/.kiex/scripts/kiex"

Then source "$HOME/.kiex/scripts/kiex" manually or re-login and run kiex:

kiex list known
kiex install 1.3.4

Erlang 19

EDIT: Last time I checked this (2 month ago) at least the kerl way of installing Erlang 19.x worked for me. Now it seems to be broken :/

If you want to run Erlang 19.1 instead of 18.3 on your device you must do a little more work. New Erlang versions aren't included in Debian's repos, so you must build it from source. Luckily there's a shell script that does all of the tedious work for you. After installing required dependencies you can follow kerl's usage instructions.

sudo apt-get install -y build-essential autoconf libncurses5-dev libssh-dev unixodbc-dev fop xsltproc
KERL_CONFIGURE_OPTIONS="--without-wx --without-javac" kerl build 19.1 19_1
kerl install 19_1 /path/to/install/dir/
. /path/to/install/dir/activate

ASDF way

asdf is a new extendable package manager (at least new to me) which has the ability to handle different languages. You can also use it to install the newest Erlang and Elixir versions.

When installing Erlang be sure to install all the dependencies beforehand!

sudo apt-get install -y build-essential autoconf libncurses5-dev libssh-dev unixodbc-dev fop xsltproc
asdf plugin-add erlang
asdf plugin-add elixir
ERLANG_CONFIGURE_OPTIONS="--without-wx --without-javac" asdf install erlang 19.1
asdf install elixir 1.3.4