Programming ESP8266 on Chromebook in Nov 2019; with both Linux/android apps now accessible, is it easier?

All ESP8266 boards running MicroPython.
Official boards are the Adafruit Huzzah and Feather boards.
Target audience: MicroPython users with an ESP8266 board.
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PixelShady
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Programming ESP8266 on Chromebook in Nov 2019; with both Linux/android apps now accessible, is it easier?

Post by PixelShady » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:07 pm

Have been searching online and got a lot of mixed information - some saying that you need an Arduino to sit between the chromebook and ESP8266, because an ESP8266 won't be recognised/accepted directly over USB - is this true?

What's the current cheapest/easiest route for someone with only an ESP8266, a usb cable, and a new chromebook?

rpr
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Re: Programming ESP8266 on Chromebook in Nov 2019; with both Linux/android apps now accessible, is it easier?

Post by rpr » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:50 pm

I too have been looking for a solution using a Chromebook using crostini/Linux. Unfortunately it is not possible as of right now as USB support for such serial devices is not present in chrome. Maybe it will change in the future.

For Arduino, there appears to be some sort of web app and ide.

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jimmo
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Re: Programming ESP8266 on Chromebook in Nov 2019; with both Linux/android apps now accessible, is it easier?

Post by jimmo » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:22 am

PixelShady wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:07 pm
some saying that you need an Arduino to sit between the chromebook and ESP8266, because an ESP8266 won't be recognised/accepted directly over USB - is this true?
The ESP8266 (and ESP32) don't have a USB interface on them. Originally, it was very common to buy ESP8266 modules that were not much more than just the chip itself with a spiflash. If you wanted to connect them to a computer, you used a separate USB->UART board (e.g. FTDI). Or an Arduino, where you wrote a simple sketch to read bytes in from USB and sent them out the UART (which I suspect is what this is referring to -- it's especially easy on the Leonardo).

Nowadays, it's much more common to see all-in-one boards that have the ESP8266 or ESP32 and a USB-UART adaptor built-in. In other words, if your ESP8266 board has a USB port, it probably has this.

So... this means that if you can get an Arduino serial console to work in Chrome OS, you can almost certainly access an ESP8266 running MicroPython (i.e. MicroPython just looks like an Arduino program). Once you have a prompt on the device via the serial console, you can set up WebREPL and then use that to access it from any browser, and also use it to copy files. (It looks like Arduino Create might be a great option here, and possibly Chromeduino 2).

You just won't be able to actually flash the MicroPython firmware onto it (but that only has to be done once).

I'm surprised to hear that Crostini doesn't provide access to USB serial ports... but I don't know much about Chrome OS.

rpr
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Re: Programming ESP8266 on Chromebook in Nov 2019; with both Linux/android apps now accessible, is it easier?

Post by rpr » Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:45 am

Looks like the most recent update on my Chromebook to Chrome stable version 83 has finally enabled pass through of the serial ports to crostini. I have only tried it on my nodemcu esp32. Once you connect it, you get a popup asking if you want to pass to Linux.

It then shows up as /dev/ttyUSB0 inside linux. I was able to connect after installing rshell. The first time, I used sudo rshell to connect but on subsequent connects just rshell seemed to be enough. I was also able to flash the firmware after installing esptool.

I'm glad that this works after waiting for a really long time.

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