Shell - IP Connection

This is the description of the Shell API bindings for the IP Connection. The IP Connection manages the communication between the API bindings and the Brick Daemon or a WIFI/Ethernet Extension. Before Bricks and Bricklets can be controlled using their API an IP Connection has to be created and its TCP/IP connection has to be established.

An installation guide for the Shell API bindings is part of their general description.

Examples

The example code below is Public Domain (CC0 1.0).

Enumerate

Download (example-enumerate.sh)

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#!/bin/sh
# Connects to localhost:4223 by default, use --host and --port to change this

# Trigger enumerate
tinkerforge enumerate &

echo "Press key to exit"; read dummy

kill -- -$$ # Stop callback dispatch in background

Authenticate

Download (example-authenticate.sh)

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#!/bin/sh
# Connects to localhost:4223 by default, use --host and --port to change this

# Trigger enumerate with authentication
tinkerforge --secret "My Authentication Secret" enumerate &

echo "Press key to exit"; read dummy

kill -- -$$ # Stop callback dispatch in background

API

At first some information about the general command structure:

tinkerforge [<option>..] <command> [<argument>..]
Parameters:
  • <command> -- string

The basic command can take several options:

  • --help shows general help and exits
  • --version shows version number and exits
  • --host <host> IP address or hostname to connect to, default: localhost
  • --port <port> port number to connect to, default: 4223
  • --secret <secret> secret for authentication (new in version 2.1.0)
  • --item-separator <item-separator> separator for array items, default: , (comma)
  • --group-separator <group-separator> separator for output groups, default: \n (newline)
  • --array-ellipsis <array-ellipsis> ellipsis for arrays, default: .. (two dots) (new in version 2.1.5)
  • --no-escaped-input disables escaped input of values (new in version 2.1.5)
  • --no-escaped-output disables escaped output of values (new in version 2.1.5)
  • --no-symbolic-input disables symbolic input of values
  • --no-symbolic-output disables symbolic output of values

All commands, except if the --help or --version option is present, create a TCP/IP connection to the given host and port. The host and port can refer to a Brick Daemon or to a WIFI/Ethernet Extension.

Since version 2.1.0 the --secret option can be used to perform an authentication handshake with the connected Brick Daemon or WIFI/Ethernet Extension. If the handshake succeeds the connection switches from non-authenticated to authenticated state and communication can continue as normal. If the handshake fails then the connection gets closed. Authentication can fail if the wrong secret was used or if authentication is not enabled at all on the Brick Daemon or the WIFI/Ethernet Extension. See the authentication tutorial for more information.

The item separator is used for parsing and formatting arrays. An array with three values 1, 2 and 3 is formatted as 1,2,3.

The group separator is used for formatting the output of callbacks. The group separator is printed before each callback output with more than one line, except before the first one, to separate the output of multiple callback invocations. See the section about output formatting for details.

Since version 2.1.5 an array ellipsis can be used to specify partial arrays. For example, the write function of the RS232 Bricklet takes an array of 60 characters. Normally, all 60 items have to be specified. With the array ellipsis a partial array can be specified (e.g. t,e,s,t,..) and the missing part will automatically be filled with '\0' characters.

Since version 2.1.5 escaped input and output is enabled by default. For example, the write-line function of the LCD 20x4 Bricklet takes a string. This string has to specified in the special character set of the display. For example, the degree sign (°) is represented by a non-ASCII character with value 0xDF. With escaped input enabled the degree sign can be specified as "\xDF" on the command line. Ensure to quote such strings to stop the shell from interpreting it. With escaped output enabled non-ASCII characters in string values will be represented as \x escape sequence.

By default symbolic input and output is enabled. For example, the set-i2c-mode function of the Temperature Bricklet can take two different values: 0 and 1. With symbolic input enabled there are also two symbols fast (0) and slow (1) for this values. The same holds for the get-i2c-mode function: the same two symbols are used for symbolic output, if enabled.

There are four subcommands: call, dispatch, enumerate and listen

tinkerforge call [<option>..] <device> <uid> <function> [<argument>..]
Parameters:
  • <device> -- string
  • <uid> -- string
  • <function> -- string

The call command is used to call a function of a Brick or Bricklet. It can take several options:

  • --help shows help for the call command and exits
  • --list-devices shows a list of known devices and exits
  • --timeout <timeout> maximum time (ms) to wait for response, default: 2500

If the --list-devices option is present all valid device names for the <device> argument are listed. For example master-brick and ambient-light-bricklet.

The --timeout option allows to specify the maximum time in ms for waiting for the response of a function call. If a response doesn't arrive in time the program exits with an error.

The <uid> argument takes a UID corresponding to the selected device type. This allows to select a specific device. All connected Bricks and Bricklets can be found with the enumerate command.

The <function> argument allows to specify which function to call. Which additional arguments have to be specified depends on the specified device and function.

tinkerforge dispatch [<option>..] <device> <uid> <callback>
Parameters:
  • <device> -- string
  • <uid> -- string
  • <callback> -- string

The dispatch command is used handle incoming callbacks of a Brick or Bricklet. It can take several options:

  • --help shows help for the dispatch command and exits
  • --list-devices shows a list of known devices and exits
  • --duration <duration> time (ms) to dispatch incoming callbacks (0: exit after first, -1: forever), default: -1

If the --list-devices option is present all valid device names for the <device> argument are listed. For example master-brick and ambient-light-bricklet.

The --duration option allows to specify the time in ms for dispatching incoming callbacks.

The <uid> argument takes a UID corresponding to the selected device type. This allows to select a specific device. All connected Bricks and Bricklets can be found with the enumerate command.

The <callback> argument allows to specify which callback to dispatch.

Basic Functions

tinkerforge enumerate [<option>..]
Output:
  • uid -- string
  • connected-uid -- string
  • position -- char
  • hardware-version -- int,int,int
  • firmware-version -- int,int,int
  • device-identifier -- int (has symbols)
  • enumeration-type -- int (has symbols)

The enumerate command is used to discover the connected Bricks and Bricklets. It can take several options:

  • --help shows help for the enumerate command and exits
  • --duration <duration> time (ms) to dispatch incoming responses (0: exit after first, -1: forever), default: 250
  • --types <types> array of enumeration types to dispatch, default: available
  • --execute <command> shell command to execute for each incoming response

The --duration option allows to specify the time in ms for dispatch incoming enumerate responses.

The --types option allows to specify which types of enumerate callbacks to dispatch. By default only enumerate callbacks with enumeration-type=available are dispatched.

The --execute option allows for advanced output formatting. See the section about this for details.

The command has seven output values:

  • uid is the UID of the device.
  • connected-uid is the UID where the device is connected to. For a Bricklet this will be a UID of the Brick where it is connected to. For a Brick it will be the UID of the bottom Master Brick in the stack. For the bottom Master Brick in a stack this will be "0". With this information it is possible to reconstruct the complete network topology.
  • position is position in stack (0 - 8) for Bricks or the position on Brick (a - d) for Bricklets.
  • hardware-version is in major, minor and release format.
  • firmware-version is in major, minor and release format.
  • device-identifier is the name of the device as known from the --list-devices option of the call and dispatch commands. With symbolic output disabled it is a number that represents the device.
  • enumeration-type is the type of enumeration.

Possible enumeration types are:

  • available = 0, the device is available (enumeration triggered by user: enumerate). This enumeration type can occur multiple times for the same device.
  • connected = 1, the device is newly connected (automatically send by Brick after establishing a communication connection). This indicates that the device has potentially lost its previous configuration and needs to be reconfigured.
  • disconnected = 2, the device is disconnected (only possible for USB connection). In this case only uid and enumeration-type are valid.

The device identifier numbers can be found here.

Advanced Functions

tinkerforge listen [<option>..]

The listen command is used to open a TCP/IP socket that accepts call, dispatch and enumerate commands. This enables the Shell bindings to act as a text protocol proxy for clients such as netcat, telnet or the NetIO Controller App. The listen command can take several options:

  • --help shows help for the listen command and exits
  • --address <address> IP address to listen to, default: 0.0.0.0
  • --port <port> port number to listen to, default: 4217
  • --enable-host enables --host option to override IP address or hostname to connect to
  • --enable-port enables --port option to override port number to connect to
  • --enable-execute enables --execute option for getters and callbacks

In listen mode some command line options are disabled by default for incoming commands.

The --host and --port options are disabled by default so incoming commands can only connect to the host and port given to the listen command. Use --enable-host and --enable-port to enable these options for incoming commands.

The --execute option for getter calls and callback dispatching is disabled by default so incoming command cannot execute other commands. Use --enable-execute to enable this option for incoming commands.

Incoming commands have to be terminated by \n. The output is also terminated by \n. See the output formatting section for details.

New in version 2.0.3.

Output Formatting

By default the output of getters and callbacks is printed in <key>=<value> format. For example, the output of an enumerate callback:

$ tinkerforge enumerate
uid=68yjBL
connected-uid=0
position=0
hardware-version=1,0,0
firmware-version=2,0,6
device-identifier=master-brick
enumeration-type=available

uid=eN3
connected-uid=68yjBL
position=a
hardware-version=1,1,0
firmware-version=2,0,0
device-identifier=distance-ir-bricklet
enumeration-type=available

The --item-separator option affects how arrays are formatted and the --group-separator option affects how output groups are formatted. The example above contains two groups separated by a blank line.

The output in listen mode (see tinkerforge listen) differs in two aspects to simplify parsing on the client side:

  • no group separator is included in the output and the --group-separator option is ignored
  • output lines in a group are separated by \t instead of \n

This means the output for the enumerate command looks like this in listen mode:

uid=68yjBL\tconnected-uid=0\tposition=0\thardware-version=1,0,0\tfirmware-version=2,0,6\tdevice-identifier=master-brick\tenumeration-type=available\n
uid=eN3\tconnected-uid=68yjBL\tposition=a\thardware-version=1,1,0\tfirmware-version=2,0,0\tdevice-identifier=distance-ir-bricklet\tenumeration-type=available\n

Advanced Options

For more advanced output formatting all getter functions and callbacks support the --execute option. It takes a shell command line with placeholders to be executed for each incoming response.

A simple example: getting the current distance in mm of a Distance IR Bricklet in <key>=<value> format:

$ tinkerforge call distance-ir-bricklet eN3 get-distance
distance=473

Now the --execute option is used for advanced formatting with bc and printf:

$ tinkerforge call distance-ir-bricklet eN3 get-distance\
  --execute "echo 'scale=2; {distance} / 10' | bc | xargs printf 'current distance is %.1fcm\n'"
current distance is 46.3cm

Before the command line is executed the contained placeholders are replaced with the actual values. In the example above a call to get-distance without --execute outputs a single line with key distance. This key is also the placeholder for --execute usage wrapped in curly brackets: {distance}.

In listen mode (see tinkerforge listen) the --execute option is not available by default and has to be enabled by the --enable-execute option of the listen command.