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Edge T - OS installed and now running
#1
After getting the recently released Mendel OS installed (which I documented step-by-step in the thread https://tinkerboarding.co.uk/forum/thread-2909.html ), the Tinker Edge T booted to a desktop which turns out to be a KDE desktop (kdevtmpfs process is running).

But the only icon on the desktop was for a console.  So it took finding some additional information online to get the Edge T a little more functional and I'll share those here.

    cat /etc/mendel_version

revealed that this OS is Mendel 3.1, which is not the latest but that was already indicated by the Chef  title with the OS (Chef  is 3.X and Day is 4.X)

The command console was helpful to explore a few details like that, but without even having an internet connection it was difficult to figure out what to do next.  Information for the Coral Dev Board that I found at Google's coral.ai site was particularly helpful, starting at:

    https://coral.ai/docs/dev-board/get-started

There I found the command to get WiFi connected:

    nmtui

opened up a GUI in the console that allowed selection of network and password.  The Edge T was then connected!

Following the instructions given at that same web page, I updated the OS:

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade


and I installed TensorFlow Lite Python Runtime 

    pip3 install https://dl.google.com/coral/python/tflit...arch64.whl

Not that I had any particular interest or need to use TensorFlow at the time, but it did allow me to install and run one of the Example apps that uses the TPU quite a bit (you can tell because the fan kicks on):

    https://coral.ai/projects/minigo/#project-intro

I still hadn't found a web browser, but looking at that example program helped me stumble on to the fact that it was using Chromium.  Then I was able to open Chromium using the command:

    chromium &

I hope this saves some of you some searching and frustration, and most of all gives you some reassurance that it's worth the time and effort.  But this is not the board for everyone.  For my purposes it is a complete change of direction from the Tinker Board S, which had an Android 7 distro available for download right on the product page. 
  • Asus now appears to be letting Google and whatever Coral team exists lead the OS on this one.  With the Tinker and Tinker S boards, Asus was partnered with Linaro for TinkerOS and TinkerOS Android - but those releases seemed to end not long after the partnership with Google was announced.
  • I can't see much of a user community emerging to produce OS distros for the Edge T, since it is so centered on the TPU. 
  • With Google doing software and Asus building the hardware I thought that this would be "chocolate and peanut butter" for a great Android platform, but from what I can tell there is no "Mendel Android" in the works.
  • Two other Tinker Edge models have been "teased", but I believe both of them are going to be based on the Rockchip and this is the only one I'm interested in because it has the 64-bit NXP processor. 
Please post if you find any info on a future path for the Edge T. 



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