MicroPython runs on top of ev3dev, which is a specific version of Linux. Linux is an operating system. (Other popular operating systems are Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS.) This means that your EV3 is almost like a real computer, just much smaller.

Note

If you just want to write MicroPython programs, you can skip the remaining sections.

The remaining sections are aimed at curious users who want go beyond MicroPython and access some of the other built-in features of Linux and ev3dev.

## The Linux command line¶

Although your EV3 Brick is quite like a real computer, you do not interact with it using a big screen and a mouse. Instead, you can access files and programs on it using the command line. It is also called the terminal.

Follow the steps in Figure 16 to access the command line. Now you can enter commands by typing them in and pressing enter.

Figure 16 Opening the Linux command line and running the ls command.

Running basic commands

For example, if you type the following command and press enter:

ls


then you will see the contents of the current folder. Figure 16 shows the result: it listed the project folder of the getting_started project that we just ran.

If you type the following command and press enter:

exit


then the command line will be closed. Alternatively, click the garbage icon shown in Figure 16.

You can copy text from the command line by selecting it and then pressing ctrl shift c. You can paste text into the command line using ctrl shift v.

Some commands require a password to run. This is similar to administrative tasks on your computer or tablet, such as installing a new app. These commands work like any other command, but you add sudo in front of them.

As an exercise, you can run the following command to turn the EV3 Brick off:

sudo poweroff


You will be prompted for a password. Type maker and then press Enter.

Warning

Only run commands with sudo if you know what you are doing.

Learning more about the command line

To learn more about the command line and many of the available commands, we recommend reading the beginner-friendly free ebook called The Linux Command Line.

## Changing the EV3 Brick name¶

When you search for your EV3 using Visual Studio Code, you see all EV3 Bricks listed by their name. By default, all EV3 Bricks are named ev3dev. Follow these steps to change that name:

1. Open Visual Studio Code and connect to your EV3 as usual.

3. Think of a good name. In this example, we’ll call it autonomous-vehicle2
sudo hostnamectl set-hostname autonomous-vehicle2

EV3 Brick names should only contain lowercase letters a through z, the digits 0 through 9, and the hyphen -. It must start with a letter or digit. It cannot include spaces or other symbols.