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Tiny computers that run JavaScript natively

George Mandis
Google Developer Expert on Web Technologies, full stack developer, consultant, mentor and traveler.
Originally published at george.mand.is on ・2 min read

These computers are bananas

I’ve had johnny-five.io bookmarked for a long time as something to explore, and earlier today I took a break to do it. If you’re not familiar with the project, it allows you to program single-board computers and controllers like the Arduino, Rasperry Pi and many, many others in JavaScript.

For some of the platforms it runs directly on the devices, but for others it requires a host machine to run your JavaScript and communicate the hardware interactions with your tiny computer over a serial connection. Depending on what you’re trying to build that’s probably fine, but I’m more interested these days in hardware that allows you to run JavaScript directly.

Fortunately their hardware list is quite easy to filter! Essentially this list comprises all the SBCs that run some kind of Linux environment and allow you to install Node. Still, for posterity, here’s a list of all the tiny computers that you can run JavaScript on directly that I’m aware of:

Is this list missing something? In particular I’m curious about other projects like the Espruino that don’t run some flavor of Linux but instead allow you to run JavaScript natively on the board. All of these would make nice computers for some of my MIDI projects.

Did I miss any? Please let me know — send me an email or ping me on Twitter.

Discussion (2)

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William Hilton

You can run node on the Onion Omega! It's less than $10! I've got the original, I think there's a 2nd edition by now.

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George Mandis Author

Thanks William. I went ahead and added it :)