Pico Pi wifi enabled telnet/ssh client

hello , ok here is my idea and what i am going to try to do even if i fail several times…in a nutshell it will be a dumb terminal or zero shell that is vga wifi and usb keyboard connected hopefully with this little pi pico vga board I just got from here and a couple little esp01 boards i also have in the post…
i have no idea how realistic or delusional this asperation of mine is but I’m doing it lol whether I get there or not, if am am successful or if I die from exsanguination from my cuts and bruises in the process either way it will be journey and very likely a exceptionally misguided one as I know enough about using Linux that I want dedicated remote ssh client as I basically only use a terminal these days anyway but I don’t know enough to have a single clue about were to start here I do no “code” myself historically iv been more of a script junky but I am willing to learn and this little project just may end up teaching me more than I ever anticipated…
i would imagine that I would need to figure out how to run a basic operating system on the pico pi like one from back when dumb terminals were more common and it seems to me that this dual core microcontroller might be a perfect combo of simplistic but capable of achieving this, I fully understand that my life would be a lot easier with a simple raspberry pi zero running a very small Linux os with sshd installed but doesn’t that seem like the easy way out to anybody else because it does to me and also i am doing that awell lol, I figured I would do this with a small raspberry pi zero 1.3 board to see if I can make the tiny esp01 work for what I need as I have no idea if these little wifi microcontrollers can actually do what I am asking or if they are only capable of opening or closing a circuit on the gpio pins so in a way it will be a proof of concept and if I fail to hard with the dumb terminal I will at least have a working dedicated terminal device that is simply connected via a usb to ethernet adapter but that would be a concession equivalent to failure as ultimately I don’t want to haf to install a operating system and do local file managing and user management and everything else on a actual computer just to eventually get a shell that I can then ssh into my server this would not fit within the definition of a dumb terminal so I want to make a dumb one and only use the raspberry pi if absolutely there is no feasible way to make the pico pi work as basically a retro computer capable of being a telnet client …
now as iv mention before i have ZERO clues as to what I’m doing and i haven’t even gotten as far as running the blink test on either of my pi pico boards if that effectively conveys just how unprepared I am to tackle this but still anybody who wants to be an absolute god sent and wants to either directly help me or point me to some good resources as I literally starting at the very ground level if not a little deeper so any help will be a transcendence from my current position m(_ _)m

I think I may have stubled appon my operating system…Fuzix…it seems almost made for this project and it is out of binary(sorry…out of the box:) pun) capable of serial Communication hopefully I can get both serial Uart0 and 1 to work as I believe I will need serial uart0 for the esp01 And for the keyboard but maybe not as the vga board enables the use of the usb port on the pico itself as a host usb 1.1. so as long as it is capable of acsii I think we’re all set

You may find this interesting:
(35) Program Maker Pi Pico and ESP01 with Blynk IoT App using Arduino IDE - YouTube

1 Like

ya idk if this will work the way im thinking, the vga pimoroni board is using almost all the gpio pins on the side that eliminates one of the uarts and the other is being used for the vsync and hsync so i dont see a path forward to also setting up a serial device on this such as a esp01 that will only work with one of those uarts exposed if im understanding the documentation properly so if there ends up being no way to use a usb hub on the usb host and have that work with both a keyboard and a usb wifi or ethernet device at the same time i dont realy see a path forward using the pico pi as my minimal hardware for a dumb or zero shell…i will still try as i have all the parts here and maybe there is some way to decrease the use of the gpio pins for the rgb output with maybe shift registers but im not familiar enough with discrete logic to be confident that it can be done perhaps maybe another revision of this pimoroni board will implement something like this as opposed to using 15 of the gpio pins just for rgb resistive latter but its all a bit over my head at the moment so im probably going to shelf the whole project until i have bit more experience with both hardware and software prototyping … but i do still need a active shell for managing real servers that do actual work and i dont see the value in wasting a whole other system just for a management interface so i will likely set it up with the pi zero for now as that has a clear path to a working system and i will still have the pico and the vga board to tinker with and in reality i dont need the vga board to be capable of that many colors just for a dumb terminal that will be used only to manage my servers from a cli and not for semi high resolution images or videos or audio but i do need it to a have a display output for a cli and a usb or serial input and have some way to connect the the network but again i dont know enough about these things to know if i can just decrease the number of pins used for rgb so it will still have the uart unused but that will be what i look into in the future… i might also look into a vga serial adapter of some kind but that seems a little redundant as at that point the wifi device will be serving as the shell client and the vga serial will be the display so all the pcio will be doing is acting as the usb host for a keyboard and maybe some firmware as spaghetti logic to tie everything into one ecosystem but we are getting into the weeds at that point just to have a telnet or ssh client that in reality is probably not even capable of secure shell in the first place but a $5 pi zero will definitely be able to facilitate the needed firmware and i am more than capable of installing a minimal Linux distro on a arm computer with only 512mb of ram and having it work perfectly fine as a client side terminal for all my servers i may have
alternatively found exactly what im looking for to implement this as bare metal system with exactly the features i want on the already well documented tiny computer im still investigating that though and the pi zero is small enough and low power that i will literally be able with very little soldering and modding to integrate that into the monitor itsself as the one i will be using has a built in usb B to dual A hub and integrated audio with speakers and i have a tiny usb ethernet device that also can be simply integrated as well as use the mini hdmi to dvi-d and i would still have all the gpio pins exposed on the pi zero and have a still avalible vga port to use to tinker with the pico vga board further and maybe adapt the fuzix stuff for this board specificly on the same system…but both the pico and the vga board are still in there infancy so ya we will see

kinda seems to me that i either need more info like maybe a real education ;) … or maybe the pico needs a “bus” of some kind…again let me clarify i legitimately don’t have a clue here so
im in the dark completely …any ideas are welcome

Ok Iv found a better solution…(i really should have payed more attention sooner cuz I saw this item on EBay a cople times I just never looked at it so I didn’t know this is what it was).it’s unfortunate that it wount include the pico or the pimoroni board at all but for the application I was wanting the VGA32 board is literaly a out of the box working solution to the issue and it also has Bluetooth and wifi so no need for a lan solution I can actuly just use the VGA32 by itself to implement a vga network terminal and added bonus there is already library’s for everything in the arduino ide so ya I’m gonna go that route …now I just need to find a not overpriced PS2 keyboard and maybe a mouse altho I wount be using a mouse only a keyboard…I will atemp to see if usb to PS2 will sample fast enough as I have a couple usb 1.1 backlit mechanicle keyboards lying around and that would really Pair well with the slightly old school Vga flat panel I want to use and I can integrate this board right into that monitor by removing the vga plug and simply soldering a vga bridge with Shealded mini coax cable I have so this will integrate nicly…I am defently still going to tinker with the pimoroni vga board and also the pico explorer I got and see if I can get Fuzix working still becase I will want to integrate secure she’ll options into this project and the esp32 chip with the 4gm spi flash just isn’t enough for a full blown os (this board also has a SD card slot so that’s an option for Fuzix) but I have a feeling that I will not end up using any of the pimoroni products in this endeavor after all so swing as I have 2 more pico Pis I will look into more intended projects for those instead…maybe figure out a way to improve the vga board so it doesn’t wipe out all the gpio pins just for the vga array idk we will see