So I tried out the Yun

I understand this forum is all is about the Spark Core but I’d be interested in what others think about the Arduino Yun. At first impressions they share some similarities…

Arduino Yun

Having tried the Spark and loved it I thought I’d give the Arduino Yun a spin… One of the first things that strikes you is the price. They are retailing for about £50 in the UK ($70+). The big selling point is they come with the Arduino chip ATmega 32U4 and a sibling chip AR9331 capable of running a Linux distribution… They also have wifi and a sd slot for local storage. They patch all this together with a Bridge. From the Arduino IDE it just looks like a normal board you can upload to. However you can also access the Linux Kernel via Secure Shell (ssh). It all sounds lovely…

However… Some things I’ve noticed

  • You are pretty much responsible for presenting information from the Arduino world. You have a server/client that you work with to decide what you return
  • Performance is less than stellar. It took 6 seconds to return “hello world” over a simple REST call
  • It seems to draw a lot of power. It runs pretty warm
  • Can’t seem to easily re flash over wire… I’m guessing this should be possible, all the bits are there it’s just not obvious.
  • Lacks out of the box cloud support
  • Linux distribution is basic (Linino Mips Linux)
  • Libraries for the http and bridge support are pretty big and take a lot of space

Obviously it has some pluses

  • Arduino library compatability
  • Default USB flashing which is considerably faster than wirelessly
  • Python is preinstalled on server so much of the heavy lifting can be done here
  • Uses local Wireless network as opposed to the cloud (either a plus or minus)
  • Python scripting on the Linux side of the bridge
  • In-build storage (Micro SSD)

It’s not a bad package but it’s way too expensive and there’s still a lot of work you have to do bring it up to the same level as the Spark Core. It might however be useful as a bridge/hub for Spark Cores. It could provide storage as well as scripting via shell script or python


I bought one of the Yun boards back in October, and I largely agree with your assessment.

The biggest takeaway is, like you said, that it can run Python and other scripting languages along side your C/Wiring sketch, which opens some interesting opportunities. I’ve used mine at work to automate certain testing procedures with the Atmel portion of it, while the Linino portion uses it’s built-in Temboo support to send emails regarding test progress/failure.

It’s definitely not as easy to get connected/control online as the Spark Core is, though. What I’m considering doing is using my Yun to do datalogging to uSD and control the LCD I have, (since it seems like a bit more trouble than it’s worth to port Adafruit’s library for my particular screen at this time), as well as make outbound network connections, since its Temboo and Python support make it more capable/versatile for that, at least for my purposes, while using the Spark Core (and Cloud) for inbound connections and direct control of certain peripherals.

Anyway, I must say I’ve certainly enjoyed playing with both boards immensely.

I got one of the first ones from Adafruit for $89.95 plus shipping by writing a Node.js script that push notified me as soon as they were in-stock! Fun… I still haven’t done more than open it up and look at how pretty the packaging is. I need to stay focused on Spark Core stuff! :slight_smile:

If anyone wants a brand new Yun, I’ll send it to you for $70USD (free shipping anywhere in the US). My loss, your gain! Just send me a PM with your contact info and a paypal payment is preferred.


So is the Yun for my Future ?

While browsing the New :spark: Store on I was also looking for arduino shields that are being produced and sold on that could work on :spark: Core.

This new Arduino Yun Shield doesn’t break the bank @ $30 and the previous price for the Arduino YUN with Bootloader Atmega was $70. Appears to have all the functionality as the Arduino YUN and its powered by WRT OpenSource Linux Web / GUI or easy wifi configuration.

This version will run on 3.3 volt pins.

Will this be an easy marriage with the Spark Core since its 3.3 volt ?

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I wouldn’t think you’d want to marry that with the Spark Core… maybe marry it with a Arduino Pro Mini 3.3V… if that shield is a Yun clone though, I wouldn’t personally be interested in it. I still have that Arduino YUN stored away for a rainy day I guess.