Onion Creates a $5 Linux Computer with Wi-Fi, Designed for IoT Applications

| by Kevin Farnham Follow 0 Followers on Sep 27, 2016. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

Onion has produced a $5 tiny Linux computer that supports JavaScript, Python, PHP and more. In its KickStarter campaign, Onion calls the Omega2 the "World's smallest Linux server, with Wi-Fi built-in."

John Biggs, writing on TechCrunch after seeing the Omega2, said:

I saw this teeny board in the flesh in Columbus and was pretty impressed. To get a command line on something this tiny is pretty cool and the fact that it's completely modular and self-contained is incredible. Obviously you need some programming skills and some extras to get at the heart of this bugger but it's a fun way to start hardware hacking.

ComputerWorld reports that:

A base Omega2 model comes with 64MB of RAM and 16MB of flash storage; a $9 "Plus" model has 128MB RAM and 32MB storage, along with a MicroSD slot for additional storage capacity. Both computers use a 580MHz CPU.

Wayne Williams, writing in BetaNews, compares the Omega2 with the Raspberry Pi Zero, noting that "Omega2 is an identically priced Linux computer designed for building connected hardware applications, but unlike the Zero it has integrated Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) and on-board flash storage. No need to add a Wi-Fi dongle or SD card."

ZDNet notes that, while the Raspberry Pi Zero:

appears to win on paper, Onion bills the Omega2 as the simplest dev board on the market, thanks to its built-in Wi-Fi module and flash storage. Onion has also developed a number of services to make the board easier to develop with, with various apps available from its Onion App Store.

It also supports the Node-RED software tool, which allows users to create programs using a drag and drop interface. When it comes to coding, the board supports widely-used programming languages such as Ruby, Python, PHP, Perl, JavaScript (Node.js), and Bash.

The Onion Library Documentation includes information on programming the device using C, Python, Node.JS, and the Arduino Dock Libraries.

The Omega2 is still in development, with general availability expected in November. It can be preordered from Onion's Kickstarter and Indiegogo pages.

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