Hey C.H.I.P.sters, it's upgrade time!
Here are some of the technical changes that we've made to the flasher and an explanation of the available operating system images. If you just want to use the flasher and aren't concerned about what we've changed, simply head over to the flash.getchip.com site and follow the on-screen instructions.
New Technical Features:
Two --soon to be three-- new options are available on flash.getchip.com for C.H.I.P.. As with the images that have been available since we shipped, you'll have the option to flash a
Headless – No Fastboot image.
Headless – No Fastboot v4.4 is currently just a placeholder, but will be coming online shortly.
For the uninitiated, the
Headless – No Fastboot image is for computers that have problems flashing the other two images. This image uses a protocol that, while offering better compatibility across different hardware and operating systems, tends to be slower and limited in the size of the image that it can flash. Unless you're having issues flashing, you don't need to use
Headless – No Fastboot.
The biggest changes in this release come from the Linux kernel upgrade to 4.4.11 and a U-Boot upgrade. Thanks to Maxime [@mripard], Boris, and Antione at Free Electrons, we now have a driver for faster NAND access and proper support for VGA and HDMI!
Those familiar with the web flasher will notice a new feature: downloadable image files! @howie implemented the change so that users can now choose to store the image on their local computer to speed up future flashing time, and save some bandwidth too.
We've changed the way that we build our kernel. Today's 4.4 kernel will have a few new features (for example USB Gadget Ethernet), but it's also possible that it may be missing some features that had been implemented in the 4.3 kernel. While we've done our best to reproduce the functionality we had in 4.3, there's a possibility that one of the kernel's thousands of previously included features could be missing. If you find that something isn't working the way it used, give us a shoutout here, or an email at email@example.com. And keep in mind that you can always jump back to the 4.3 image, as those will remain available with the web flasher.
Our image building process has also changed, we've removed some of the work that your computer has to do when flashing with the CHIP-SDK tools. As such, the format of the images is different and is why the CHIP-tools will no longer be able to flash this newest image. Users should expect an update to CHIP-tools soon that will support flashing the new image format.
If you've been keeping track, you may have noticed that this is the first update to the images themselves that we've posted since C.H.I.P.s launch in December. In the future, we plan to offer more frequent releases on a time-based schedule as opposed to feature releases. This way, community suggestions, bug reports, and new features can be sent out to everyone!