OnionOS just got better!

Our partners over at Onion just released an exciting firmware update Omega2 and their OnionOS platform and we thought we'd share what's new and updated!

For those who are not yet familiar with OnionOS, it is a web-based, graphical user interface for the Omega2 family, with a number of apps that can be used to configure and control your device.

 

OnionOS is hosted on your Omega and can be accessed by pointing a browser to your Omega’s webpage at: http://Omega-XXXX.local/ where the XXXX are the last four digits from the your Omega’s sticker. Just remember that you’ll need to be on the same network as your Omega to access the OnionOS.

This new release, v0.2.1 b198, is chock full of new features and improvements, and we can’t wait to tell you about them, keep reading to find out more!

What’s New?

A lot has changed since the previous major release, v0.1.10 b160, here is a small overview:

  • There’s a completely new WiFi driver called WiFi Warp Core and SPI
    • This has been available since b176, see this post for more details
  • The SPI driver has been improved, greatly increasing the speed of half-duplex SPI transmissions
  • The Omega can generate two hardware-based PWM signals
  • The I2C driver has been greatly improved, yielding many improvements
  • A multi-purpose onion script has been added
    • Try running onion --help to see all of the available functionality
  • Last but not least, OnionOS comes bundled with the Omega’s firmware! 
    • We introduced OnionOS a little while back, see this post to get a quick overview

For those of you who have been using OnionOS, here is a small overview of what’s new with OnionOS:

  • Now comes with a built-in Setup Wizard that replaces the old version
  • Includes an App Manager to streamline adding and removing OnionOS Apps
  • The Code Editor is no longer installed by default as a space saving measure

Let’s dive into the details, shall we?

A New Setup Wizard

We’ve been listening to your feedback and suggestions, and we whole-heartedly agree that the first time setup of the Omega should be as easy as possible. That’s why we’ve created a brand new Setup Wizard as a part of OnionOS that will streamline the first time setup of your Omega.

The Setup Wizard is a graphical, browser-based way of connecting your Omega to WiFi and then upgrading the firmware if it is not already on the latest available stable release.

Connect to your Omega’s WiFi Access Point, use your browser to navigate to http://Omega-XXXX.local/ (where the XXXX are the last four digits from the your Omega’s sticker) and, if your Omega has not yet been configured, the Setup Wizard will appear:

 

Once the Setup Wizard has been completed, your Omega will remember that it has been configured and will instead load OnionOS!

To bring back the Setup Wizard, run uci set onion.console.setup='0' ; uci commit onion  on your Omega’s command line. The next time you point your browser to your Omega, the Setup Wizard will be back. Just note that upon completion of the Wizard, onion.console.setup will be set to 1, meaning OnionOS will be loaded instead.

  

App Manager

The App Manager is another new addition to OnionOS. With the App Manager, users can now install and remove OnionOS Apps with a few clicks, no more command line required.

Clicking the Install button beside an App will start the installation process, you’ll see a loading icon in the button. When the loading icon stops spinning, the App will be installed. Click the Onion logo at the top of the sidebar to return to the main page and you’ll see the new App. Installed Apps will have a Remove button instead, that can be used to uninstall the App.

The App Manager checks the online Onion package repositories for OnionOS Apps, so as soon as a new App is released, it will show up in the App Manager.

If you’re wondering which Apps you should try first, we recommend the Code Editor. The Code Editor and Terminal Apps make OnionOS a great development environment for the Omega. Check out this short video for a quick guide on using the Code Editor

Legacy Console

To our long-time users who still regularly use the Console (the predecessor of OnionOS), worry not, the Console is still available. It can be installed with the App Manager and then accessed through the Legacy Console app in OnionOS or by pointing your browser to http://Omega-XXXX.local/console, where the XXXX are the last four digits from the your Omega’s sticker.

How to Install All these Goodies

To install this latest and greatest firmware on your Omega, run the following command:

oupgrade

To successfully run the oupgrade command, you must connect to the Omega’s command line with SSH or via Serial. The command will not work from the Terminal app on the Console.

Once your Omega has completed the update, you’ll need to make some final updates to OnionOS, run the following:

onion os update

Then you’ll be ready to go, point your browser to http://Omega-XXXX.local/ (where the XXXX are the last four digits from the your Omega’s sticker) and have fun with OnionOS! For best results, use the Google Chrome browser.

An Important Note

Since the WiFi driver is 100% new, if you’re upgrading from firmware v0.1.10 b160 or earlier, you may have to go through some extra steps to configure your Omega to play nicely with the new driver.

First, you’ll need to reset the wifi and networking configuration by running:

wifisetup -reset

And then you’ll need to configure which WiFi networks you would like your Omega to connect to. This can be accomplished with the Setup Wizard or by running wifisetup on the command line.

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