Microsoft recently released the IoT Core edition of Windows 10. This edition is designed to provide speedy deployments from Visual Studio directly to small computing devices like Raspberry Pi 2
, MinnowBoard MAX, Sharks Cove
, Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c
, and Galileo
(1st Generation). With the affordability of these devices, bringing to life operations with live data becomes a real possibility for anyone. Microsoft also has an open source project called Connect the Dots
allowing you to easily implement data analytics with Microsoft Azure services like Event Hubs, Stream Analytics, and Machine Learning.
At Bit-Wizards we currently utilize environment monitoring with some of our systems located around the Southeast U.S. And I want to replace an existing service with expensive endpoints and a monthly fee with my own hardware and use Azure for Alerts and capturing my timeline data – this will lower costs dramatically.
The first step in the process is to setup and Raspberry Pi 2 with the Windows 10 IoT Core. I already had a Raspberry Pi 2 from another project, so I am just going to reuse it. Microsoft has created a great website to walk you through the setup of your device and it provides downloads you’ll need.
On the website, setup time is stated to be around 2-2.5 hours, but if you don’t count the download time (multitask) it’s probably only about 30 minutes till you can connect to the device and build code. Windows 10 IoT core is tied heavily to integrations tools in Windows 10. Some of these tools are not exclusive to Windows 10 compared to previous versions of Windows, but things like DISM.exe, which has providers in SCCM, MDT, and Windows Setup are used to create the boot image on the MicroSD card. This is because Microsoft is using the Windows Phone operating system image version or .ffu (no pun intended). Typically, I would use something like Rufus
to create SD Images for first boot on Raspberry Pi and a host of other devices, but it’s provided here from Microsoft with the tools you need in Windows 10. This means if you don’t have Windows 10 Insider Preview (build 10069 or higher), you are going to need it.
To download the image, you will need to sign up for the Microsoft Connect Program (you’ll need a Microsoft Live ID). The purpose of Microsoft Connect
is to provide test and beta products and allow you to provide feedback, bug reports, and suggestions for future releases. You are going to want to sign up for the Windows embedded pre-release Windows Developer Program for IoT.
Time to Download
Remember to download these files directly to your Windows 10 Insider Preview machine, this saves you the time of having to copy them over later. Once unzipped, in the package you will see an installer for Visual Studio 2015 (integration for IoT) and the Windows 10 IoT core image called “Flash.ffu.”
*Side note: Make sure you have at least an 8Gb micro SD card Class 10 or better.
Now it’s time for some really simple command “prompting.” :) Make sure you are running as administrator, run "diskpart", then "list disk" to ensure you have the “PhysicalDrive” number.
Then use this command to invoke DISM to image the SD card for you.
dism.exe /Apply-Image /ImageFile:flash.ffu /ApplyDrive:\\.\PhysicalDrive”N” /SkipPlatformCheck
Remember “PhysicalDrive”n”” would be your drive number like “PhysicalDrive1.”
Now install the Micro SD card into your Pi 2 and after the boot sequence you should get a startup screen like this one below that has the IP listed. Don’t rely on being able to use wireless or Bluetooth, those drivers are not included in this build. Only the Physical Ethernet adapter will give you connectivity and there is not really a lot you can do to configure in the console.
For management and configuration, you have three tools:
- The Web Console, just hit the IP of the device.
- PowerShell is mandatory for configuration and file system access.
- Then there is Visual Studio 2015 which allows you to deploy your code directly to the Raspberry Pi like a target Machine in debugging options.
The Web Console provides a good deal of information about the system configuration and the ability to upload AppX, certificates, and dependencies.
PowerShell access with winRM gives you granular control and a good way to ensure in your IoT roll out proper configuration management. Default account administrator and password “p@ssw0rd” to connect.
The maker community has a friend in Microsoft as they welcome the IoT Armageddon around the corner. http://microsoft.hackster.io/
has a whole list of Projects that I will be using to tackle my environmental monitoring, but for now I’ve got my tools in place, and I’m ready to dance.
Check out Erik Lieben’s first run, controlling lights from Windows 10 with Raspberry Pi 2
Don’t forget to share your journey on twitter #makeinventdo