$9 CHIP Alpha 2 computer quickstart

Note: C.H.I.P. never fully made it to market, perhaps overwhelmed by the Raspberry Pi Zero

The Alpha 2 C.H.I.P. comes with the Buildroot Linux operating system installed. This note assumes you’re running Ubuntu on your PC.

Assuming you’re using an Alpha 2 C.H.I.P. (Oct 2015), you can use with a Debian chroot. On Oct. 22, 2015 the first Debian image was released. This process does not discuss Debian, but only the default Buildroot installed from the factory on Alpha 2 CHIPs.

Connect USB

The simplest ways to connect is via the built-in USB-serial conversion available on the microUSB jack. Plug CHIP into a USB 2.0 port on your PC (I’ve found with a variety of devices that sometimes they aren’t recognized on USB 3.0 ports).

Then type in Terminal:


which will give a response including

usb : new high-speed USB device number using xhci_hcd usb : New USB device found, idVendor=0525, idProduct=a4a7 usb : New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0 usb : Product: Gadget Serial v2.4 usb : Manufacturer: Linux 4.2.0-rc1 with musb-hdrc cdc_acm : ttyACM0: USB ACM device usbcore: registered new interface driver cdc_acm cdc_acm: USB Abstract Control Model driver for USB modems and ISDN adapters

I use PuTTY, but you can use screen if you like. Connect to /dev/ttyACM0 at 115200 baud. You’ll get a prompt

Welcome to CHIP Buildroot build 49 rev

Login: root

Buildroot currently has no password.


connect via PuTTY or screen as in previous section, then type on CHIP # prompt:

connmanctl enable wifi
connmanctl scan wifi
connmanctl services

you need to copy the nasty long string to the right of your desired WIFI AP name (SSID), including the text wifi_ and the text at the end surrounding the hex.

# connmanctl
connmanctl> agent on
connmanctl> connect   biglongtextandhexid

and enter your Wifi password when prompted.

If you make a mistake, you must issue a

disconnect biglongtextandhexid

and start over.