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Bennett Brooks
Bennett Brooks

Armbian Download Orange Pi: How to Choose the Right Image for Your Device


Introduction




If you are looking for a low-cost and versatile single-board computer (SBC) for your projects, you might have heard of the Raspberry Pi, which is the most popular and widely supported SBC in the market. However, there are also many alternatives to the Raspberry Pi, such as the Orange Pi, which offer different features and specifications at a lower price.




armbian download orange pi



But choosing a hardware platform is not enough. You also need to choose an operating system that can run on your SBC and provide you with the functionality and performance you need. One of the most common choices for SBCs is Linux, which is a free, open-source, and powerful operating system that can run on various architectures, including ARM.


However, not all Linux distributions are created equal. Some are more suited for certain SBCs than others, depending on their compatibility, optimization, stability, security, and user-friendliness. One of the best Linux distributions for ARM-based SBCs is Armbian, which is specifically designed to provide a simple, light, and fast Linux operating system for development boards.


In this article, I will show you how to install Armbian on an Orange Pi, which is one of the supported boards by Armbian. I will also explain what are the features and benefits of using Armbian over other operating systems for your Orange Pi projects.


What is Armbian and why use it?




Armbian is a Linux distribution that is based on Debian or Ubuntu, but optimized for ARM-based SBCs. It provides various pre-built images for supported boards, as well as a build framework that allows users to create custom images with different kernels and user space configurations.


Armbian has several advantages over other Linux distributions for SBCs:


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  • It is simple: It has a minimalistic design that only includes the essential components and utilities for running your SBC. It can be accessed via serial, HDMI/VGA, or SSH, with optional special utilities available for further customization.



  • It is light: It has no bloatware or spyware. It uses a compressed image that reduces the size of the system and minimizes SD card wear. It also has a read-only mode that prevents unnecessary writes to the SD card.



  • It is fast: It has optimized kernels and user space packages that ensure optimal performance across over 30 different ARM and ARM64 Linux kernels. It also has features like DVFS optimization, memory log caching, browser profile memory caching, swap usage tuning, garbage commit delay, etc.



  • It is secure: It has security level on par with stock Debian/Ubuntu systems and can be hardened with the configuration utility. It also provides regular updates and security fixes for the system.



  • It is supported: It has a dedicated team of developers and maintainers who provide documentation, user support, bug fixes, and feature enhancements. It also has a large community of users who contribute to the project.



What is Orange Pi and what are the different models?




Orange Pi is a brand of SBCs that are manufactured by Shenzhen Xunlong Software Co., a Chinese company that specializes in open source hardware and software. Orange Pi boards are based on ARM processors, mainly from Allwinner and Rockchip, and offer various features and specifications at a lower price than the Raspberry Pi.


There are many models of Orange Pi boards, each with different capabilities and use cases. Some of the most popular models are:


Model


Processor


RAM


Storage


Network


Other Features


Orange Pi 4B


Rockchip RK3399 (6-core)


4 GB LPDDR4


16 GB eMMC + microSD slot


Gigabit Ethernet + Wi-Fi + Bluetooth


HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, USB-C, MIPI-CSI, NPU co-processor


Orange Pi 5 Plus


Rockchip RK3588 (8-core)


4/8/16 GB LPDDR4X


microSD slot + M.2 slot


Dual 2.5G Ethernet + Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.1


HDMI 2.1, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, USB-C, MIPI-CSI, MIPI-DSI, PCIe x4


Orange Pi 800


Allwinner H6 (4-core)


1 GB DDR3


16 GB eMMC + microSD slot


Gigabit Ethernet + Wi-Fi + Bluetooth


HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, integrated keyboard and touchpad


Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS


Rockchip RK3328 (4-core)


1 GB DDR4


microSD slot


Dual Gigabit Ethernet + Wi-Fi + Bluetooth


HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, metal case, mini-router form factor


Orange Pi 3 LTS


Allwinner H6 (4-core)


1/2 GB LPDDR3


8 GB eMMC + microSD slot


Gigabit Ethernet + Wi-Fi + Bluetooth


HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, MIPI-CSI, PCIe x1


Source:


How to install Armbian on an Orange Pi?




To install Armbian on an Orange Pi, you need to follow these steps:



  • Choose an Armbian version and download the image. You can choose between three versions of Armbian: legacy, current, and edge. Legacy is based on an old LTS kernel or a vendor-provided kernel and is suitable for older boards or when newer kernels do not work well. Current is based on the current LTS kernel and is considered fully supported and stable. Edge is based on the latest mainline kernel or a third-party development branch and is experimental and unstable. You can download the Armbian images from the official website or from the torrent links provided by the community . Make sure to choose the image that matches your board model and processor.



  • Flash the image to a microSD card or USB drive. You need a reliable microSD card or USB drive with at least 8 GB of capacity to flash the Armbian image. You can use any tool that can write raw images to storage devices, such as balenaEtcher , Rufus , or dd (Linux/macOS). You can also verify the integrity of the downloaded image using the SHA checksum file provided by Armbian . After flashing the image, you can insert the microSD card or USB drive into your Orange Pi.



  • Boot the Orange Pi with Armbian. You need to connect your Orange Pi to a power supply that meets the board manufacturer requirements (usually 5V/2A with a DC jack or micro USB connector). You also need to connect your Orange Pi to a monitor or TV via HDMI or VGA, and optionally to a keyboard and mouse via USB. You can also access your Orange Pi remotely via SSH, but you need to know its IP address first. You can find the IP address by scanning your network with tools like nmap or by checking your router's DHCP table. The default username and password for Armbian are root and 1234 respectively.



  • Follow the first boot wizard and set up the system. On the first boot, Armbian will run a wizard that will guide you through some basic steps, such as changing the root password, creating a new user account, setting the timezone and locale, enabling or disabling the desktop environment, etc. After completing the wizard, you will be able to log in to your Armbian system and start using it.



Features and benefits of Armbian




Armbian is more than just a Linux distribution for SBCs. It is also a platform that offers various features and benefits for users and developers who want to get the most out of their boards. Some of these features and benefits are:



Simple, light, and fast Linux operating system. Armbian provides a minimalistic and optimized Linux operating system that only includes the essential components and utilities for running your board. It does not have any bloatware or spyware that can slow down or compromise your system. It


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