Mavlink Onboard Companion Computer

I’m using the Pixhawk2.1 with Edison. (oh, and I can’t code, lol) It seems the popular software solution is to flash the Edison with a new version of Linux (debian) and use Mavproxy to facilitate communication. Is this necessary? Isn’t Mavlink alone capable of doing this on the oem Yocto? My next question is a two part deal:
How do I properly identify the companion computer and it’s capabilities? I see parameters for onboard compaion computer, and capabilities like ftp, how do I implement these on edison?
part two:
how do identify a mavlink enabled payload device? it’s similar in concept to the storm32bgc, but doesn’t need to anymore than recieve status and mode info, but want to integrate properly so I can expand capabilities later.
thanks for any advice in advance I’ve been reading about mavlink for a while but, again I’m new to this.
Merry Christmas!

OK I’ve answered my own questions but I don’t know how to remove this.