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Arduino Yśn: Linino Linux System w/ WiFi Controlled by Arduino US$83.04

Arduino Yśn: Linino Linux System w/ WiFi Controlled by Arduino

The Arduino Yśn is a microcontroller board with both an Atmel ATmega32U4 and an Atheros AR9331. The Atheros processor supports an OpenWRT-based Linux distribution called Linino. The board has built-in Ethernet and WiFi support, a USB-A port, microSD card slot, 20 digital input/output pins (of which seven can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16MHz crystal oscillator, a micro-USB connection, an ICSP header, and three reset buttons (one each for the ATmega32U4, for Linino, and for WiFi).

The Yśn distinguishes itself from other Arduino boards in that it can communicate with the Linux distribution on-board, offering a powerful networked computer with the ease of Arduino. In addition to Linux commands like cURL, you can write your own shell and Python scripts for robust interactions.

The Yśn is similar to the Leonardo in that the ATmega32U4 has built-in USB communication, eliminating the need for a secondary processor. This allows the Yśn to appear to a connected computer as a mouse and keyboard, in addition to a virtual (CDC) serial / COM port.

The Bridge Library facilitates communication between the two processors, giving Arduino sketches the ability to run shell scripts, communicate with network interfaces, and receive information from the AR9331 processor. The USB Host, network interfaces and SD card are not connected to the 32U4, but to the AR9331; the Bridge library also enables the Arduino to use those peripherals.

Arduino Yśn Features

The features relating to the two different processors are listed separately.

AVR Arduino microcontroller
Operating Voltage5V
Input Voltage5V
Digital I/O Pins20
PWM Channels7
Analog Input Channels12
DC Current per I/O Pin40 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin50 mA
Flash Memory32 KB (of which 4 KB is used by bootloader)
Clock Speed16 MHz
Linux microprocessor
ProcessorAtheros AR9331
ArchitectureMIPS @ 400 MHz
Operating Voltage3.3V
EthernetIEEE 802.3 10/100Mbit/s
WiFiIEEE 802.11b/g/n
USB Type-A2.0 Host/Device
Card ReadermicroSD only
Flash Memory16 MB
Power-over-EthernetCompatible with 802.3af cards e.g. Ag9605-2BR

Powering the Board

It is recommended to power the Yśn via the micro-USB connection with 5V DC.

If you power the board though the Vin pin, you must supply a regulated 5V DC. Unlike other Arduino boards, the Yśn does not have an on-board voltage regulator; applying more than 5V will damage the board. You may want to pick up the MIKROE-192 voltage regulator/rectifier board.

The Yśn is also compatible with PoE power supply but in order to use this feature you need to mount a 5V PoE module on the board or buy a pre-assembled one like the Ag9050, Ag9605 or Ag9705.

The power pins are as follows:

  • VIN — The input voltage to the Arduino board. Unlike other Arduino boards, if you are going to provide power to the board through this pin, you must provide a regulated 5V.
  • 5V — The power supply used to power the microcontrollers and other components on the board. This can come either from VIN or be supplied by USB.
  • 3V3 — A 3.3-volt supply generated by the on-board regulator. Maximum current draw is 50 mA.
  • GND — Ground pins.
  • IOREF — The voltage at which the I/O pins of the board are operating (i.e. VCC for the board). This is 5V on the Yśn.


The ATmega32U4 has 32KB (with 4KB used for the bootloader). It also has 2.5KB of SRAM and 1KB of EEPROM (which can be read and written with the EEPROM Library).

The memory on the AR9331 is not embedded inside the processor. The RAM and the storage memory are connected externally. The Yśn has 64MB of DDR2 RAM and 16MB of Flash memory. The Flash memory is preloaded with a Linux distribution based on OpenWRT called Linino. You can change the content of the factory image, such as when you install a program or when you change a configuration file. You can return to the factory configuration by pressing the WLAN RST button for 30 seconds.

Input and Output

It is not possible to access the I/O pins of the Atheros AR9331. All I/O lines are tied to the ATmega32U4.

Each of the 20 digital I/O pins on the Yśn can be used as an input or an output, using pinMode(), digitalWrite(), and digitalRead() functions. They operate at 5 volts. Each pin can provide or receive a maximum of 40mA and has an internal pull-up resistor (disconnected by default) of 20-50 kOhms. In addition, some pins have specialized functions:

  • Serial: 0 (RX) and 1 (TX) — Used to receive (RX) and transmit (TX) TTL serial data using the ATmega32U4 hardware serial capability. Note that on the Yśn, the Serial class refers to USB (CDC) communication; for TTL serial on pins 0 and 1, use the Serial1 class. The hardware serials of the ATmega32U4 and the AR9331 on the Yśn are connected together and are used to communicate between the two processors. As is common in Linux systems, on the serial port of the AR9331 is exposed the console for access to the system. This means that you can have access to the programs and tools offered by Linux from your sketch.
  • TWI: 2 (SDA) and 3 (SCL) — Support TWI communication using the Wire Library.
  • External Interrupts: 3 (interrupt 0), 2 (interrupt 1), 0 (interrupt 2), 1 (interrupt 3) and 7 (interrupt 4) — These pins can be configured to trigger an interrupt on a Low value, a rising or falling edge, or a change in value. See the attachInterrupt() function for details. Is not recommended to use pins 0 and 1 as interrupts because they are the also the hardware serial port used to talk with the Linux processor. Pin 7 is connected to the AR9331 processor and it may be used as handshake signal in the future. Is recommended to be careful of possible conflicts if you intend to use it as an interrupt.
  • PWM: 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, and 13 — Provide 8-bit PWM output with the analogWrite() function.
  • SPI: on the ICSP header — These pins support SPI communication using the SPI Library. Note that the SPI pins are not connected to any of the digital I/O pins as they are on the Uno. On the Yśn, they are available only on the ICSP connector. This means that if you have a shield that uses SPI but does not have a 6-pin ICSP connector that connects to the Yśn's 6-pin ICSP header, that shield will not work. The SPI pins are also connected to the AR9331 GPIO pins, where SPI has been implemented in software. This means that the ATMega32U4 and the AR9331 can also communicate using the SPI protocol.
  • LED: 13 — There is a built-in LED connected to digital pin 13. When the pin is High value, the LED is on; when the pin is Low, it's off. There are several other status LEDs on the Yśn, indicating power, WLAN connection, WAN connection and USB.
  • Analog Inputs: A0 - A5, A6 - A11 (on digital pins 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 12) — The Yśn has 12 analog inputs, labeled A0 through A11, all of which can also be used as digital I/O. Pins A0-A5 appear in the same locations as on the Uno; inputs A6-A11 are on digital I/O pins 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 12 respectively. Each analog input provides 10 bits of resolution (i.e. 1024 different values). By default, the analog inputs measure from ground to 5V, though is it possible to change the upper end of their range using the AREF pin and the analogReference() function.
  • AREF — Reference voltage for the analog inputs. Used with analogReference().
There are three reset buttons with different functions on the board:
  • Yśn RST — Bring this line Low to reset the AR9331 microprocessor. Resetting the AR9331 will cause the reboot of the Linux system. All the data stored in RAM will be lost and all the programs that are running will be terminated.
  • 32U4 RST — Bring this line Low to reset the ATmega32U4 microcontroller. Typically used to add a reset button to shields which block the one on the board.
  • WLAN RST — This button has two functions. Primarly it serves to restore the WiFi to its factory configuration. The factory configuration consists of putting the WiFi of the Yśn in access-point mode (AP) and assign to it the default IP address of; in this condition you can connect your computer to the WiFi network that appears with the SSID name Arduino Yun-XXXXXXXXXXXX, where the twelve X's are the MAC address of your Yśn. Once connected, you can reach the web panel of the Yśn with a browser at the or http://arduino.local address. Note that restoring the WiFi configuration will cause a reboot of the Linux environment. To restore your WiFi configuration, you have to press and hold the WLAN RST button for five seconds. When you press the button, the WLAN blue LED will start to blink and will keep blinking when you release the button after five seconds, indicating that the WiFi restore procedure has been recorded. The second function of the WLAN RST button is to restore the Linux image to the default factory image. To restore the Linux environment, you must press the button for 30 seconds. Note that restoring the factory image means you will lose all the files saved and all software installed on the on-board Flash memory connected to the AR9331.
See also the mapping between Arduino pins and ATmega32U4 ports.


The Yśn has a number of facilities for communicating with a computer, another Arduino, or other microcontrollers. The ATmega32U4 provides a dedicated UART TTL (5V) serial communication. The 32U4 also allows for serial (CDC) communication over USB and appears as a virtual COM port to software on the computer. The chip also acts as a full-speed USB2.0 device, using standard USB COM drivers. The Arduino software includes a serial monitor which allows simple text data to be sent to and from the Arduino board. The RX and TX LEDs on the board will flash when data are being transmitted via the USB connection to the computer.

Digital pins 0 and 1 are used for serial communication between the 32U4 and the AR9331. Communication between the processors is handled by the Bridge Library.

A SoftwareSerial Library allows for serial communication on any of the Yśn's digital pins except for pins 0 and 1.

The ATmega32U4 also supports I2C (TWI) and SPI communication. The Arduino software includes a Wire Library to simplify use of the I2C bus; see that link for details. For SPI communication, use the SPI Library.

The Yśn appears as a generic keyboard and mouse, and can be programmed to control these input devices using the Keyboard and Mouse classes.

The on-board Ethernet and WiFi interfaces are exposed directly to the AR9331 processor. To send and receive data through them, use the Bridge Library. To configure the interfaces, you can access the network control panel as described in the getting started page.

The Yśn also has USB Host capabilities through Linino. You can connect peripherals like USB Flash devices for additional storage, keyboards, or webcams. You may need to download and install additional software for these devices to work. For information on adding software to the AR9331, refer to the notes on the Deep Knowledge of Arduino Yun page.


The Yśn can be programmed with the Arduino software. Select Arduino Yśn from the Tools → Board menu. For details, see the Arduino Reference and Basic Concepts.

The ATmega32U4 on the Arduino Yśn comes pre-burned with a bootloader that allows you to upload new code to it without the use of an external hardware programmer — via the Arduino Development Environment. It communicates using the AVR109 protocol.

It is possible to bypass the bootloader and program the microcontroller through the ICSP (In-Circuit Serial Programming) header with an external programmer. See these instructions for details.

Automatic (Software) Reset and Bootloader Initiation

Rather than requiring a physical press of the reset button before an upload, the Yśn is designed in a way that allows it to be reset by software running on a connected computer. The reset is triggered when the Yśn's virtual (CDC) serial / COM port is opened at 1200 baud and then closed. When this happens, the processor will reset, breaking the USB connection to the computer (meaning that the virtual serial / COM port will disappear). After the processor resets, the bootloader starts, remaining active for about eight seconds. The bootloader also can be initiated by pressing the reset button on the Yśn. Note that when the board first powers up, it will jump straight to the user sketch, if present, rather than initiating the bootloader.

Because of the way the Yśn handles reset, it's best to let the Arduino software try to initiate the reset before uploading, especially if you are in the habit of pressing the reset button before uploading on other boards. If the software can't reset the board, you can always start the bootloader by pressing the reset button on the board.

USB Overcurrent Protection

The Yśn has a resettable polyfuse that protects your computer's USB ports from shorts and overcurrent. Although most computers provide their own internal protection, this fuse provides an extra layer of protection. If more than 500mA is applied to the USB port, the fuse will automatically break the connection until the short or overload is removed.

Physical Characteristics

The maximum length and width of the Yśn PCB are 2.7 and 2.1 inches respectively, with the USB connector extending beyond the former dimension. Four screw holes allow the board to be attached to a surface or case. Note that the distance between digital pins 7 and 8 is 160 mil (0.16") — not an even multiple of the 100-mil spacing of the other pins. (This is a legacy arrangement from the original Arduino's design flaw, maintained for compatibility with Arduino Shields.)

The board weighs 40.6 grams.

Other Arduino Yśn Resources

The various links above on this page can be found also from the the starting points listed below.

Note: The board does not have a connection for an external WiFi antenna. What looks like a U.FL connector on board is in fact an SWF microwave switch used in testing.

Optional Recommended Products for this Item
USB 2.0 Cable, 6ft. A-Male / Micro-USB (5-pin) B-Male+ US$6.00
Ethernet Cable, CAT5E 350MHz Unshielded, 7ft.+ US$3.60
Ethernet Crossover Cable, CAT5E 350MHz Unshielded, 5ft.+ US$7.00
Power-over-Ethernet Module, Ag9605-2BR, 5V, Up to 1.8A, 9W Max+ US$14.29
Arduino Stackable Female Header Kit, for R3 & newer+ US$1.50
Arduino Stackable Female Header - 8 Pin+ US$0.50
Arduino Stackable Female Header - 10 Pin+ US$0.50
2x mikroBUS Interface for Arduino (Arduino UNO click shield)+ US$7.50

This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 14 November, 2013.


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