Just a note that I was able to install Espruino on our 'Vanguard' reference platform (a $2.50 NodeMCU-M from doit.am having an ESP8285 - which is an ESP8266 with built-in 1Meg Flash) using the following from an Ubuntu 17.10 console, after cd-ing to the espruino_1v96_esp8266 folder of the Espruino download.
esptool.py --port /dev/ttyUSB0 --baud 115200 erase_flash
esptool.py --port /dev/ttyUSB0 --baud 115200 write_flash \
--flash_freq 40m --flash_mode dout --flash_size 1MB \
0x0000 "boot_v1.6.bin" 0x1000 espruino_esp8266_user1.bin \
0xFC000 esp_init_data_default.bin 0xFE000 blank.bin
I am then able to connect to the shell by running GNU Screen like...
screen /dev/ttyUSB0 115200
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