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How to Enable SSH on the Chumby 8

“Secure Shell or SSH is a network protocol that allows data to be exchanged using a secure channel between two networked devices.” (Secure Shell – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ).

What does this mean, and why should it matter to a Chumby developer? To put it simply, SSH allows us to easily connect to the Chumby device through the command line. In turn, this let’s us force the Chumby to do our bidding (insert evil laugh here). What might you want to tell your Chumby device to do? Well, for starters, you might want to tell it to run your application. This is by far the fastest and easiest way to test and debug your Chumby apps. If you’d like to learn more about creating and testing Chumby apps, you can read my full blog post on the topic HERE! But first, make sure you read through this tutorial and get SSH enabled on your Chumby!

Before you can enable SSH, you will first need to unlock the mysteries of the hidden Geek Menu. If you are unfamiliar with how to access the Geek Menu, I recommend that you read my blog post “Accessing the Geek Menu on Your Chumby Device” before continuing. If you’re already skilled in the arts of Chumby geekery, then feel free to move to the next step!


Once you’ve made your way into the Geek Menu, enabling SSH is a simple matter of clicking the button labeled “SSHD.” You should see a small Chumby logo appear next to the button, then quickly disappear. SSH is now enabled on your chumby device!

It’s important to note that SSH will only stay enabled until you reboot your Chumby. If you shut down your device, then start it up again, you will need to go through these steps again to re-enable SSH.

If you’re lazy like me, and don’t want to have to go through the process of enabling SSH each time you restart your device, you can SSH into your Chumby and enter the following command:

Once this command has been entered, SSHD will be enabled on your Chumby device by default! You can find more info. on this as well ass other cool tips and tricks at you can do with SSH at: Chumby tricks – ChumbyWiki

That’s all there is to it! Now that you have SSH enabled, why not check out my post on “Connecting to a Chumby Device Over SSH.”

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Creating Your First Chumby Widget – Part Two: Getting Connected

If you missed part one of this series “Creating You First Chumby Widget – Part One: Setting up Your Files,” I suggest you take a moment and browse through it before starting this section. For those of you who have already completed part one, welcome back! In this part of the series I will walk you through the process of updating the firmware on your Chumby device, enabling SSH, and finally connecting to your device over SSH.

Get Yourself a Chumby:
Now that everyone’s caught up and has a working application that they want to publish to the Chumby, there is just one more thing you need: A Chumby device. This may sound like common sense, but I feel it’s important to note that in order to properly test your application, you will need to get a Chumby device. At the time of this writing there are no Chumby emulators available, so the only way to fully test your application is to get your hands on a device. That being said, not all Chumby devices support Actionscript 3.0, so before deciding which device to buy, you will want to make sure that it supports Actionscript 3.0. You can find a list of Chumby devices that DO support Actionscript 3.0 HERE.

Update Your Firmware:
In order to run AS3 based applications on your Chumby device, you will need to make sure that you have the latest developer firmware installed. You can get the latest firmware for your device at the links below:

Enable SSH:
I know to some of you SSH might sound like some hard-core technology reserved for uber-nerds and computer science majors, but fear not, by the end of this tutorial, you too will be able to wield the pure power of SSH to allow you to test your application on your Chumby device as well as getting trace output and other debugging info.

The first step to connecting to your Chumby via SSH is to enable SSH on the Chumby Device (logical, right?). You can find out just how to do that at the links below:

Connect to Your Chumby Over SSH:
Now that SSH is enabled, let’s put it to work. The first thing we are going to need to do is open our SSH client, and connect to the Chumby. If you are unfamiliar with using an SSH client, or have no idea what I am talking about, check out my post “Connecting to Your Chumby Device Over SSH,” which explains what an SSH client is, where to get one, and how to use it to connect to your Chumby. If you are already a master of the command line, and know how to use SSH, you still want to briefly review the steps in the tutorial that outline how to connect to your Chumby using an SSH client.

Next Steps:
I know this may seem like a lot of work, but were almost there! I promise you, once you get through setting up and testing this first application, this will all be a breeze. In the part three of this series, we will finally get down to the fun stuff: Getting your application running on the Chumby!

Creating Your First Chumby Widget – Part Three: Testing Your Application on the Chumby



Creating Your First Chumby Widget – Part One: Creating Your Application

With all the new devices coming out these days (tablets, mobile phones, set-top boxes, etc.), it can be a bit overwhelming to try and figure out just how you’re supposed to create and submit apps for all the different platforms that are becoming available. Enter Chumby: With no strict API’s to learn, and running plain-old .swf files for all of its applications, all you have to worry about is learning a few tricks on how to upload, test, and debug your app on a Chumby device. To make things even better, Chumby runs on a number of different platforms, from mobile devices, to tablets, to HD TV’s; so once you have learned the basics, you will be able to immediately start developing apps for any of these devices! OK, enough with the sales pitch, let’s get started building your first Chumby Widget!

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