Sunday, 27 September 2009

The Illuminato X Machina on Linux: Up & Running

Last Saturday Chris and I got the Illuminato X Machina IDE (pre-build binaries here, source code here) working on Gentoo Linux. Most users can just install the IDE and start hacking, but if you don't see a device in the IDE menu and your terminal board is powered up, here are some detailed instructions for setting up Linux properly.

Kernel Modules & Devices

The IXM Red Terminal Programmer is a usb-serial device. On my 2.6.28 kernel, the programmer will show up at /dev/ttyUSB0 (or 1, 2, etc.). This device is provided by the usbserial driver in the kernel. You can check for the module easily:
$ sudo modprobe -l|grep -i usb\/serial
/lib/modules/2.6.28-tuxonice-r10/kernel/drivers/usb/serial/usbserial.ko
/lib/modules/2.6.28-tuxonice-r10/kernel/drivers/usb/serial/ftdi_sio.ko
$
Your distro may have the module built into the kernel instead (that's why you should just try the IDE first). If you need to build the module, you can configure your kernel as follows:
  • Check off: Device Drivers > USB Support
  • As module: Device Drivers > USB Support > USB Serial Converter support
  • Check off: Device Drivers > USB Support > USB Serial Converter support > USB Generic Serial Driver
  • As module: Device Drivers > USB Support > USB Serial Converter support > USB FTDI Single Port Serial Driver
After building the module, simply sudo modprobe ftdi_sio. You can check to see if the module is loaded with sudo lsmod. Modern Linux distros use udev, which means the device node should be created when you plug a terminal board in. If not you can look at the kernel documentation for usbserial for more information about device nodes.

That's it!

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